UARR Vice President Tam Goossen, was a Trustee in the former Toronto Board of Education (TBE) now Toronto District School Board. During her term as a school board Trustee she recalls the progressive framework in which the heritage languages program was first initiated along with the heightened public debates surrounding the issue. She chaired the committee of Heritage Languages and Black Cultural Program (as well as Race Relations Committee) of the former TBE.
In 1994, Tam Goossen co-chaired with then Director of Education of the Catholic Board Norm Forma an advisory group to improve Heritage Languages Programs in Ontario and recommended change to the name ‘International Languages’. She believes that the international languages program is beneficial to students of all diversities. Here is her perspective on the relationship between the ‘Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Confucius Institute‘ as well as a background piece written in 1994 for Education Today titled ‘Should International Languages Be part of School Curriculum’.