“Our heritage languages and cultures, they help ground us. And they help us realize who we are at our core on good days and on bad days. With that, we carry them with us everywhere, whether we realize it or not. And that we need to remember that no matter where we go, they follow us and we need to carry them with pride. Because as humans on this planet, where we go, we leave a trace of who we are, wherever we go.”
Antonella Cortese Bio
My name is Antonella Cortese and I am the President of the International and Heritage Languages Association. I also wear the “hat” as the Director and a Teacher of the Comitato Promotore della Lingua Italiana -Scuola Italiana in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I have been a part of IHLA and the CPLI since 2008. My involvement in IHLA was borne from the desire to work and learn from like-minded people who share my dedication in the promotion, sustainment and teaching of heritage languages. Before moving to Edmonton, I was a teacher for 15 years in the US, having taught ESL, Italian and General Education in Michigan (where I am from originally), Delaware and California. Being the daughter of immigrants and having moved around myself, instilled in me the importance of my heritage language and culture, which has always grounded me in who I am and how I am in the world. It has also gifted me the appreciation of others that walk along the same path from different backgrounds and cultures, as bridge builders to new ways of knowing each other and being with each other in harmony.
The sites and resources I would like to direct listeners are, first and foremost, the International and Heritage Languages Association site: www.ihla.ca where one can find information about our organization and resources to other HL organizations in Alberta and Canada wide. The second is the Linguapax International https://www.linguapax.org/en/ in partnership with UNESCO, it promotes the importance linguistic and cultural diversity and supports activities of multilingualism and multiculturalism as tools for peace and understanding globally.
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