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Bilingual Education in Canada

presented at SFU on July 18-19, 2017

Monica Tang

on 19 July 2017

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Transcript of Bilingual Education in Canada

Roots of bilingualism in Canada
Bilingual Education in Canada
by Monica Tang

History of bilingualism in Canada
- Result of 7 Years War (1763): victory for English
- Canada is an English constitutional monarchy but Québec remains French
- 1969: English AND French are the official languages of Canada
- 1974: French is the official language of Québec
- 1988: Multiculturalism Act
- 1995: Referendum for Separation of Québec!
Organisational structure
- French Immersion: K-12
- From K to Grade 10, 50-75% of all content (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, PE, etc.) is in French
- For Grades 11-12, 25% of content is in French
- in Late FI, students merge with Early FI students by Gr.8

-`dual-track` schools
- teaching assistants (often, are native speakers)
- district coordinator for professional development
- administrators are not always bilingual
French in the community
- CPF support (financial and social)
- Francophone/francophile community contributions and outreach
- film festival
- speech contests
- volunteerism in French community
- post-secondary options in French
- Teacher training
- Teacher remedial training
Emergence of French language programs
Anglophones want to learn French:
- French Immersion program : (1977) result of the pressure from anglophone parents living in Montréal.
- CPF (Canadian Parents for French) continues to be an active supporter of the program with regional branches throughout Canada.

Francophones want to maintain their French:
- Because French education in English schools was seen as insufficient, francophone parents insisted on the creation and management of their own francophone school board.
- CSF (Conseil scolaire francophone): 1995

Francophone school board
Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees minority language educational rights to French speaking communities outside Québec.

The main goal is to foster increased linguistic and cultural vitality in francophone communities and to counter language and cultural assimilation.

French language programs for anglophones
French immersion
: LEARNING LANGUAGE THROUGH CONTENT (handout for comparison of programs)
- Early French immersion (kindergarten - Grade 12)
- Late French immersion (Grade 6-12)

Intensive French
(Grade 6 and beyond)
Core French
(Grade 5-7 with options to continue until Grade 12)
Pedagogy in French immersion
- balance between form and function
- communicative-experiential +
action-oriented approach (CEFR)
- alternating between language and content goals
- language policies in the classroom
- use of technology
- CEFR and provincial exams in French
content and language integration
- co-construction of vocabulary
- use of writing and oral discussion for METACOGNITION
- integration of writing and oral activities for GRAMMATICAL application
- examples in Mathematics (use of journalling in problem solving; use of picture books to create context for mathematical concepts)
Content and language integration
Post-secondary options in French
- SFU (BC), U of Ottawa (Ontario), U of Laval (Québec), Campus St-Jean (Alberta) etc.
- programs in Business, Political Science, French Literature, French Education
- Graduate Diploma, Masters and Doctorate level studies (+ funding for linguistic support)
- French Education cohort at SFU

French teacher training at SFU
- 12-16 month program
- 2 practica (2 weeks + 3 months)
- French cohort: Language Competency Test (DELF)
methodology courses in French
(maths, science, social studies)
very h
igh demand
in school districts for French Immersion teachers
- mentorship program offered
an increasing number of graduates of French Immersion are becoming teachers
- an increasing number of teachers pursue 1) Graduate diploma and 2) Master's degree for salary increase.
Challenges in French Immersion
- access to level-appropriate and authentic ressources
- attrition rates of students and teachers
- meeting demand for teachers while maintaining a high standard
- encouraging students to speak French to their bilingual peers
- creating a respectful culture between French Immersion students and NON-FI students within the same school.
Types of language education
Fruits of bilingual education
Advantages to studying in French immersion
- employability in all of Canada
- increased development of creativity, problem-solving skills, appreciation for multilingualism and multiculturalism
- often -- though not always -- smaller class sizes and better learning conditions (within public system)
- Bilingual identity as a Canadian

- funding allocation
- understanding challenges of seemingly "elite" students
creating climate of inclusion vs. tension between teachers
- special needs students in immersion?
Importance of leadership in immersion
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