Date: 2017-02-24

Canadian Parents for French Celebrates National Inclusive Education Month: An Open Letter to Canadian Parents

Date: 2017-02-23

Canadian Parents for French Recognizes the Financial Support of the Government of Canada

Date: 2017-02-07

Canadian Parents for French Respond to Globe and Mail Article:

Date: 2016-12-21

Supporting FI Graduates Post-Secondary Learning, Supporting FI Teacher Mobility and Training

Date: 2016-11-08

Canadian Parents for French Congratulates the NB Government for Restoring Early French Immersion Grade 1 Entry Point

Date: 2016-11-08

Canadian Parents for French Congratulates the NB Government for Restoring Early French Immersion Grade 1 Entry Point

Date: 2016-11-01

CPF National Bids Adieu to Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages

Date: 2016-11-01

Canadian Parents for French Honors Service of our Volunteers and Staff

Date: 2016-08-31

National Survey on Official Languages and Bilingualism: OCOL Reveals Findings of Survey in Nielsen report

Date: 2016-06-08

French Immersion offers great opportunities, but it’s not perfect. So what?

Date: 2016-06-01

Announcing the Winners of the 14th Annual CPF National Concours d’art oratoire

Date: 2016-05-19

Canadian Parents for French Receives Commissioner’s Award of Excellence in the Promotion of Linguistic Duality

Date: 2016-05-17

Announcing the Winners of this Year's Québec Concours D’art Oratoire

Date: 2016-05-17

The National Concours d’art oratoire in Canada’s Capital Region!

Date: 2016-02-09

Canadian Parents for French Celebrates National Inclusive Education Month: An Open Letter to Canadian Parents

Date: 2015-12-07

CPF National Weighs in on Supreme Court Ruling

Date: 2015-10-28

Canadian Parents for French National Board Welcomes Newly Appointed Director, Dr. Wendy Carr PhD

Date: 2015-09-16

Canadian Parents for French wants to hear about importance of bilingualism during federal election

Date: 2015-06-19

Canadian Parents for French Welcomes the Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, Aiming Higher: Increasing Bilingualism of our Canadian Youth

Date: 2015-06-17

Francophone Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire!

Date: 2015-06-11

Early French Immersion Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire!

Date: 2015-06-10

Late French Immersion Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire!

Date: 2015-06-09

Extended Core French Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire!

Date: 2015-06-08

Core French Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire

Date: 2015-06-01

Thirteenth successful year of CPF National Concours d'art oratoire!

Date: 2015-05-15

Quebec Premier Couillard addresses Ontario Legislature; Governments Should Do More to Support French Language Learning Programs

Date: 2015-04-07

Canadian Parents for French celebrates the successful launch of its French Second Language Virtual Choir Project

Date: 2015-03-25

Canadian Parents for French receives approved funding for Quebec “Meeting the Needs of English Minority Community Parents and Students in Quebec” Project

Date: 2015-02-26

Canadian Parents for French Celebrates National Inclusive Education Month

Date: 2015-02-25

The CPF National Board Welcomes Newest Member Karen Lynch

Date: 2015-01-28

Canadian Parents for French Celebrates Increased Enrollment Trends in French Immersion

Date: 2014-12-17

Canadian Parents for French Encourages Policy Makers to Provide More Specialist Support for Learning Disabled Students in French Immersion

Date: 2014-11-13

Early French immersion change coming, says Education Minister Serge Rousselle

Date: 2014-10-30

Nicole Thibault Selected as Canadian Parents for French's New National Executive Director

Date: 2014-10-08

Canadian Parents for French welcomes the Commissioner of Official Languages 2013-2014 Annual Report

Date: 2014-09-17

CPF Welcomes the Government of Canada’s Response to the Report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages: The State of French Second-Language Education Programs in Canada

Date: 2013-12-03

CPF congratulates the government of Canada on the achievements of its Official Languages Support Programs

Date: 2013-11-08

Canadian Parents for French welcomes the Commissioner of Official Language’s Annual Report

Date: 2013-11-08

Canadian Parents for French welcomes the Commissioner of Official Language’s Annual Report

Date: 2013-10-10

Announcing Canadian Parents for French’s 37th Annual General Meeting

Date: 2013-05-29

Is English-French bilingualism really in decline?

Date: 2013-05-27

Announcing the Winners of the 11th Annual CPF National Concours d’art oratoire

Date: 2013-04-18

‘#French Is’ a success!

Date: 2013-04-17

CPF Selects Winners for Nationwide Memorial Fund Honouring Departed Teacher Mary Joyce Booth

Date: 2013-04-16

Canadian Parents for French meet with the Senate’s Standing Committee on Official Languages

Date: 2013-03-28

Canadian Parents for French welcomes a renewed Government commitment to Official Languages

Date: 2013-03-21

CPF applauds the renewal of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages

Date: 2013-03-19

CPF Welcomes the Government of Canada’s response to After the Roadmap

Date: 2013-02-21

Open letter to Liberal Leadership Candidates

Date: 2013-02-06

Why is French immersion really so popular - CPF response to Margaret Wente article

Date: 2013-02-01

CPF Response to Canadian Living article

Date: 2012-11-26

CPF Welcomes "After the Roadmap"

Date: 2012-11-06

2011 Census Finds Positive Numbers in Canada's Bilingual Labour Force

Date: 2012-10-25

2011 Census Finds Positive Gains in Numbers of Bilingual Canadians

Date: 2012-10-19

Research Report Calls for More Support for Academically Challenged Students in French-Second-Language Education

Date: 2012-05-29

Announcing the Winners of the CPF National Concours d'art oratoire 2012

Date: 2012-05-25

Advisory: $20,000 scholarship to be awarded to each of five grand prize winners in national French-language public speaking competition

Date: 2012-01-13

Open Letter to Minister Moore In Support of CBC/Radio-Canada

Date: 2011-10-11

CPF To Host 35th National AGM October 15 in Charlottetown

Date: 2011-07-19

Robert Rothon Selected as Canadian Parents for French's New National Executive Director

Date: 2011-06-22

An Open Letter from James Shea: This Is My Canada

Date: 2011-06-21

Allons en France 2011 contest awards Canadian student with a trip to France

Date: 2011-05-30

Announcing the Winners of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire 2011

Date: 2011-04-29

CPF Asks for Reversal of CBE Decision

Date: 2011-03-23

Announcing the winners of Français pour mon succès 2011!

Date: 2011-01-14

CPF National's Executive Director James Shea Announces Retirement

Date: 2010-10-19

Immersion Graduates Take Control of Canadian Parents for French

Date: 2010-10-15

Canadian Parents for French Publishes Research Report in Support of Canada’s French-Second-Language Programs

Date: 2010-05-31

Canadian Parents for French (CPF) and the University of Ottawa select five Canadian students to win $20,000 scholarship

Date: 2010-05-27

Beyond Obligations: Canada's Responsibility

Date: 2009-10-30

Research report an important step in addressing students’ post-secondary linguistic needs

Date: 2009-09-10

Canadian Parents for French Mourns The Loss of Dr. Wallace Lambert

Date: 2009-09-10

Canadian Parents for French Proudly Supports Signing of Official Languages in Education Protocol

Date: 2009-06-02

Allons en France 2009 contest awards three students a trip to France

Date: 2009-06-02

$20,000 Scholarships Awarded to Five Canadian Students for Excellence in Public Speaking

Date: 2009-05-26

"One Common Space" an Important Goal for Canada’s Future

Date: 2009-03-18

CPF Video Promotes a Healthy Bilingual Identity

Date: 2009-02-04

40 years of bilingualism represents a right, not a burden

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Canadian Parents for French Celebrates National Inclusive Education Month: An Open Letter to Canadian Parents

OTTAWA, ON - Canadian Parents for French and our 26,000 members enthusiastically support National Inclusive Education Month. We believe all students should have the opportunity to learn both of Canada’s official languages in order to participate fully in Canada’s economy, governance and society.

In company with all education programs, French second language programs in Canada are challenged to meet the different needs of learning disabled and other special need students. The difference is that special education services are provided to English program students, while their peers in French immersion are quite often denied service and transferred out of immersion. Although all ministries of education have general policies that ensure access to education for students with special education needs, in practice, they are not necessarily applied to French immersion students.1

Many FSL teacher education candidates in FSL do not learn about special need students and that “opportunities to alert teacher candidates to already known research about [learning disabled] students” are missed. This is most unfortunate as teacher education candidates demonstrate increased sensitivity to student needs and enhanced ability to address these needs when provided with factual information and pedagogical strategies.2

CPF is encouraged by a renewed focus on inclusive education as it applies to FSL education for academically-challenged students. Classroom teachers, school districts, faculties of education, and ministries of education alike are setting aside discredited assumptions about the unsuitability of immersion for academically-challenged students and beginning to implement research-based strategies based on over 40 years of French second language research.

We commend the Ontario Ministry of Education for its 2015 publication: Including Students with Special Education Needs in French as a Second Language Programs which notes that at-risk readers benefit from participation in the Immersion program by virtue of the transfer of phonological awareness across languages and of the more explicit teaching of reading strategies in immersion programs. It also notes that there were no significant differences between struggling readers in the English and French immersion programs, and no improvement in achievement when students are transferred out of immersion.3

CPF encourages parents to consult Supporting Students with Special Education Needs in French as a Second Language: A Parent Guide, developed by an Ontario school board. This welcome resource provides useful information about being involved, monitoring progress, working with educators and advocating for your child.4

CPF is hopeful that these documents will empower parents and encourage ministries of education and school districts across the country to welcome academically-challenged students to French immersion programs, and to provide appropriate special education support. As the Parent Guide says,there is a place for all learners in Ontario FSL classrooms.

1. Mady, C. (2015) French as a Second Language Teacher Candidates’ Conceptions of Allophone Students and Students With Learning Difficulties, Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics 18( 2), Ottawa file:///C:/Users/jhawkins/Downloads/21532-37418-1-PB%20(4).pdf
2. Mady, C. (2015) French as a Second Language Teacher Candidates’ Conceptions of Allophone Students and Students With Learning Difficulties, Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics 18( 2), Ottawa file:///C:/Users/jhawkins/Downloads/21532-37418-1-PB%20(4).pdf
3. Ontario Ministry of Education (2015) Including Students with Special Education Needs in French as a Second Language Programs, Toronto: Author http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/amenagement/includingFLS2015.pdf
4. Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic School District (2015) Supporting Students with Special Education Needs in French as a Second Language: A Parent Guide,Ontario: Author

Canadian Parents for French is a nationwide, research-informed, volunteer organization that champions the opportunity to learn and use French for all those who call Canada home.

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Canadian Parents for French Recognizes the Financial Support of the Government of Canada

OTTAWA, ON - Canadian Parents for French, National would like to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage for its contribution in the amount of $2,490, 000 to help our organization carry out its core program activities. Additionally, Canadian Parents for French, National has received a contribution in the amount of $360,000 to support Canadian Parents for French Quebec and Nunavut projects: Youth, Parents & Member Engagement, all under the Enhancement of Official Languages Program, Promotion of Linguistic Duality Component. All funding will be allocated over three government fiscal years 2017-2020.

It is in large part due to this assistance that Canadian Parents for French, National has been able to provide leadership and oversight to a volunteer network of 26,000 members as well as support 10 Branches on the ground in every province and territory. Furthermore much of CPF’s work has also gone towards informing and influencing educational decision makers and increasing public awareness of the importance of French second language education in Canada.

The Government of Canada’s financial support, over the next three years, will allow CPF and the collective efforts of Canadian Parents for French volunteers to continue fulfilling our mandate towards furthering bilingualism by promoting and creating opportunities for students to learn and use French. Working together, CPF can increase our impact across the country and help the Department of Canadian Heritage promote our rich linguistic and cultural diversity sharing our stories to build a strong and inclusive Canada. We look forward to continuing our important work together in the years to come.

Canadian Parents for French is a nationwide, research-informed, volunteer organization that champions the opportunity to learn and use French for all those who call Canada home.

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Canadian Parents for French Respond to Globe and Mail Article:

On February 5th 2017, Ms Alphonso's article Quality of French-immersion teachers questioned as demand soars in Canada highlights the importance of the supply, recruitment and retention of FSL teachers to provide accessible quality language learning programs, particularly in BC. This is indeed a complex and challenging landscape and is not quite so black and white as this article presents. A deeper, more nuanced conversation in the media is needed. The article could have shared possible solutions to the challenges related to employing well-prepared FSL teachers and encouraging teacher mobility among provinces, supporting continued opportunities for professional learning to address teacher proficiency, and sharing initiatives already underway in certain jurisdictions.

Canadian Parents for French clearly advocates for equitable access to all FSL programs for all learners everywhere in the country. French immersion graduates are an important source of future education professionals. Benefits of careers in second language teaching must be highlighted. A shortfall of teachers creates barriers to access which cites the importance of supporting teachers working in the field, of revitalizing the second-language teaching profession. Inviting French teachers who have moved from immersion into the English stream, e.g., by providing subsidies to take French language immersive courses to boost their proficiency and share promising practices with other immersion educators and/or providing teachers with opportunities to continue their professional learning in the summer.

The House Standing Committee on Official Languages latest report, Toward a New Action Plan for Official Languages, highlights the issue of French Immersion teacher mobility and training. While teaching jobs are quickly filled in urban jurisdictions, rural areas are chronically understaffed requiring more Francophone and bilingual teachers. CPF supports measures to encourage interprovincial/ territorial mobility for students and graduates in the area of education; possible incentives such as financial measures to offset tuition fees for those entering FSL education programs, for those in-service educators seeking continuing professional education, as well as for those willing to move outside metro areas to teach as mechanisms that could go a long way to helping alleviate the current challenges.

The article is well timed, however, as the Federal government is developing a new strategy for official languages. Canadians have an opportunity to prioritize second language learning and target investments to champion bilingualism. Establishing pan-Canadian mechanisms to ensure a sufficient supply of qualified French-second-language teachers, developing recruitment campaigns, and bringing all its educational partners together will improve access to French second language programs for all Canadians. As well, the upcoming negotiations between the Federal government and the provincial / territorial Ministries of Education provide an a timely leadership opportunity to bring forth clear actions in support for education staff and research to ensure a sufficient supply of FSL teachers and improve access to all FSL programs. This opportunity should not be ignored. Provincial-level working groups need to be established to examine and enhance recruitment and retention strategies and share these across jurisdictions. Teacher federations must review working conditions for core and immersion teachers as research has shown that these can have a deleterious effect on the retention of these educators.

Governments at every level – school board, provincial and federal – must work together to collect data and take appropriate and collaborative action to support second official language learning. The supply, recruitment and retention of FSL teachers depend on administrative and political decisions made at the regional or school district / division level. This situation can be improved with informed strong leadership that addresses the needs of the communities they serve.

Long term staffing plans for teacher recruitment and retention initiatives can be enhanced by investments through the Federal government bilateral agreements with the provincial / territorial ministries of education. French Immersion has proven its worth and will continue to do so by being the most effective way to teach French as a second language.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers, representing 26,000 members, which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

For further information: Shaunpal Jandu, Public Relations Lead, sjandu@cpf.ca, Telephone: 613-235-1481.

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Supporting FI Graduates Post-Secondary Learning, Supporting FI Teacher Mobility and Training

Ottawa, ON – December 19, 2016 – Canadian Parents for French applauds the House Standing Committee on Official Languages latest report: Toward a New Action Plan for Official Languages and Building New Momentum for Immigration in Francophone Minority Communities. The report highlights several areas of importance requiring improvement within the realm of Official Languages. Specific recommendations reflects on the status of post-secondary immersion graduates entering into francophone institutions to pursue their studies in French and the issue of French Immersion teacher mobility and training. While teaching jobs are quickly filled in urban jurisdictions, rural areas are chronically understaffed requiring more Francophone and bilingual teachers.

Canadian Parents for French stands in support of the recommendations put forth by The Standing Committee on Official Languages on the following actions:

CPF supports measures to establish an infrastructure of specialized services to support students coming from French immersion programs who enroll in Francophone post-secondary institutions;
• CPF supports measures to increase the availability of programs offering courses in French to support students coming from French immersion programs and who want to pursue their studies in French;
• CPF supports a focus on measures to encourage interprovincial/territorial mobility for students and graduates in the area of education; possible incentives such as financial measures to offset tuition fees for those entering FSL education programs, for those in-service educators seeking continuing professional education, as well as for those willing to move outside metro areas to teach could go a long way to helping alleviate the current challenges.

We know that current committee members are focusing on providing an inclusive perspective and recognize the importance of rapprochement with Francophiles to ensure the vitality of Francophone post-secondary institutions.

The above propositions would work together to alleviate and address the problems French as a Second Language students face when trying to access post-secondary education in French. Canadian Parents for French and its 26,000 parent members offers its full cooperation to the House Standing Committee on Office Languages and the Government of Canada as they begin implementation of the next federal strategy for Official Languages.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers, representing 26,000 members, which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

For further information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Public Relations Lead, sjandu@cpf.ca, Telephone: 613-235-1481.

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Canadian Parents for French Congratulates the NB Government for Restoring Early French Immersion Grade 1 Entry Point

OTTAWA, ON - Canadian Parents for French is pleased to learn that the Government of New Brunswick has decided to reinstate Grade 1 as the entry point for early French immersion in that province.

On behalf of the entire nationwide network of the 26,000 volunteers who make up Canadian Parents for French, we congratulate the government of New Brunswick and the CPF New Brunswick Branch on this news. The reinstatement of Grade 1 as the early immersion entry point comes eight years after the former Liberal government decided to change the entry point to Grade 3.

The CPF network applauds the work of all parents, school officials, education stakeholders and ministers, as well as the CPF Branch staff and Board for their advocacy efforts towards ensuring the best possible means for students to succeed in learning French as a second language.
We especially commend the government of New Brunswick and Premier Gallant for realigning their position to follow the recommendations of researchers and experts in the field of learning French as a second language. Premier Gallant’s assertion that learning a second language, or languages in general, is best accomplished at a young age, is well supported by research.

As a nationwide, research-informed, volunteer organization that champions the opportunity to learn and use French for all those who call Canada home, Canadian Parents for French offers its complete support to the Premier and the New Brunswick government as they work to make improvements to the previous Grade 1 immersion program and include initiatives to address classroom composition. We are inspired by the initiative and action taken by those committed to making linguistic duality a priority across Canada.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

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Canadian Parents for French Congratulates the NB Government for Restoring Early French Immersion Grade 1 Entry Point

OTTAWA, ON - Canadian Parents for French is pleased to learn that the Government of New Brunswick has decided to reinstate Grade 1 as the entry point for early French immersion in that province.

On behalf of the entire nationwide network of the 26,000 volunteers who make up Canadian Parents for French, we congratulate the government of New Brunswick and the CPF New Brunswick Branch on this news. The reinstatement of Grade 1 as the early immersion entry point comes eight years after the former Liberal government decided to change the entry point to Grade 3.

The CPF network applauds the work of all parents, school officials, education stakeholders and ministers, as well as the CPF Branch staff and Board for their advocacy efforts towards ensuring the best possible means for students to succeed in learning French as a second language.
We especially commend the government of New Brunswick and Premier Gallant for realigning their position to follow the recommendations of researchers and experts in the field of learning French as a second language. Premier Gallant’s assertion that learning a second language, or languages in general, is best accomplished at a young age, is well supported by research.

As a nationwide, research-informed, volunteer organization that champions the opportunity to learn and use French for all those who call Canada home, Canadian Parents for French offers its complete support to the Premier and the New Brunswick government as they work to make improvements to the previous Grade 1 immersion program and include initiatives to address classroom composition. We are inspired by the initiative and action taken by those committed to making linguistic duality a priority across Canada.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

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CPF National Bids Adieu to Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages

OTTAWA, ON - On Sunday October 16, 2016 Canadians Parents for French’s National Network concluded the “Volunteer Leaders – Past, Present, & Future” Conference and 40th Annual General Meeting by receiving the 8th annual Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Linguistic Duality presented by the Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser.

The award, given out annually, recognizes the efforts of organizations or individuals who have committed to the contribution, development and promotion of linguistic duality at home and abroad. Having been informed as the recipient organization of the prestigious award earlier this spring, the CPF National Conference provided the prime opportunity for leaders from across the country to join in the congratulatory occasion and to offer our best wishes and sincere thanks to outgoing Commissioner Fraser.

This assertion of confidence in CPF’s mandate recognizes the efforts of parents, members, volunteers, and staff who continually work towards the advancement of French Second Language education everywhere in Canada. Commissioner Fraser spoke to the significance of what started as a group of parents with a simple vision that has grown into a national network with over 26,000 members, advocating at the national, provincial and community levels for access to quality French immersion and French second language programs in schools.

Canadian Parents for French would once again like to thank Graham Fraser for his commitment to the enrichment of linguistic duality across Canada as well as his unwavering support for CPF throughout the years. As Mr. Fraser steps down from his post as Commissioner of Official Languages we wish him the very best in all future endeavours. Moving ahead Canadian Parents for French looks forward to the continued collaboration between the CPF National Network and the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the years to come.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

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Canadian Parents for French Honors Service of our Volunteers and Staff

OTTAWA, ON – Canadian Parents for French is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the “Volunteer Leaders – Past, Present, & Future” Conference and 40th Annual General Meeting held the weekend of October 14-16th in Ottawa, Ontario.

The occasion welcomed over 130 CPF members, delegates and partners from across the country to gather and share in the exchange of ideas, best practices and CPF success stories.

The opportunity provided the CPF National Network to recognize the contribution of several individuals having rendered significant service to the organization and demonstrated leadership in the advancement of French second language education in Canada. The awards arepresented biennially by the CPF National President on behalf of the CPF National Network of over 26,000 members.

The three Awards of Recognition presented were:
CPF National Volunteer Award – Jan Finlay, National Past President 1993-1995, CPF member from Ontario
CPF National J. Elmer Hynes Excellence in Leadership Award – Gail Lecky, Executive Director, CPF-PEI
CPF National Distinguished Life Membership – Jane Keith, CPF National Past President 2014-2016, CPF member from New Brunswick

The CPF National Network recognizes and thanks these outstanding volunteers and staff member for consistent dedication and commitment to CPF and their communities. We look ahead to many more years of effective collaboration in moving French as a Second Language education forward across Canada.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-languagelearning opportunities for young Canadians.

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National Survey on Official Languages and Bilingualism: OCOL Reveals Findings of Survey in Nielsen report

Ottawa, ON – On Wednesday, August 31, 2016 the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages released findings from the National Survey on Official Languages and Bilingualism. This knowledge of Canadian attitudes will also be used in the implementation of objectives outlined in the Official Languages Act.

As advocates of official language bilingualism, Canadian Parents for French is pleased with results confirming that 84% of Canadians view bilingualism in a favorable light — a viewpoint strongly shared among CPF’s 26,000 members nationwide. Other key findings from the report also reveal that 80% of survey participants felt that large scale events should be held in both English and French and that Canada’s capital, Ottawa, should be recognized as officially bilingual, in recognition of Canada’s history as a bilingual country.

Canadian Parents for French National and the ten provincial/territorial Branches look forward not only to supporting the objectives outlined in the Official Languages Act but to using the detailed findings on education in consultation with regional educational stakeholders across the country this fall as we work to dispel the many myths and misconceptions surrounding bilingualism.

As we approach Canada’s 150th anniversary and celebrate the unique and culturally rich heritage of our nation, we cannot forget that linguistic duality is an integral part of what makes Canada a great place to call home.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

For media inquiries in both official languages or for more information please contact Nicole Thibault at nthibault@cpf.ca or by phone 613-858-2598

Contact:
Nicole Thibault
nthibault@cpf.ca
613-858-2598

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French Immersion offers great opportunities, but it’s not perfect. So what?

On Saturday, The Globe and Mail’s Margaret Wente posted an article entitled “There’s just one problem with French immersion … well, several, actually”.

Ms. Wente in your column you describe, a number of problems with the French immersion program and how it is “too good to be true”. By doing this you are simply perpetuating myths and selectively choosing and sharing outdated facts.

Articles like this one that appear to surface annually just to stoke the fires and incite language debates, continue to perpetuate a number of myths around the French immersion program. We, at Canadian Parents for French, felt that it would be important to dispel a few of these myths and shed light on what the research shows us regarding French immersion in Canada – because it is 2016.

Canadian Parents for French works with school board administrative and political decision makers to address and fix the problems, and educate critics. Ms. Wente, in the last ten years much has changed to alleviate the concerns that you have brought forward. Time to fact check.

Your article chose to share that the percentage of Canadians who can speak both official languages has dropped. Perhaps seeing the actual numbers may enlighten you: in 1961, 2.2 million Canadians self identified as being able to sepak French and English; by 2011, that number had ballooned to 5.8 million – a 160% increase. This despite the large number of immigrants coming into Canada in the last twenty years who do not speak either French or English.

Your notion of French immersion being an elitist program may have been true historically, but Canada has evolved and so has the program. The reality is quite the opposite, Professor Fred Genesee stated that “students from low SES [socio-economic] backgrounds in immersion perform just as well in English-language development and academic achievement as do students from the same SES backgrounds in English-language programs.” In addition, data from the Toronto District School Board shows growth in French immersion enrollment in the city’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods just as it is elsewhere in the city.

The argument that French immersion filters out a variety of students was primarily due to old school board administrative policies that discouraged – or in some cases even denied – students with learning disabilities from entering French immersion programs. As research has been reviewed, provincial ministry of education policy and resource documents are continuing to be updated to address equity and inclusive education strategies, stating that FSL is for all students. The column notes how children who struggle with English will also struggle in French, and thus French immersion programs should be shut down. However, by that logic it should be both the French immersion and English programs which should be shut down not just one of the two programs.

Immigrant kids (as you call them) are enrolling, in droves, into French immersion programs across Canada. Ironically, studies show immigrant students who learn French as a third language adapt very easily to French immersion. The Canadian Parents for French Concours d’art oratoire winners’ names and heritages are as diverse as our Canadian population. Not a single student shares regret at becoming bilingual or multilingual, and most will offer stories of the benefits second official language acquisition has had in opening doors for them both personally and professionally.

In 2016, Canadian parents want the very best learning opportunities for their children. And what is wrong with that?

• Bilinguals earn more than the unilingual Canadian when they live outside Quebec. Canadians who speak both languages earn on average more and have a lower unemployment rate than unilinguals. Men who speak both official languages earn an average of 3.8% more, and bilingual women earn an average of 6.6% more than those who speak only English. (Workopolis, 2015)
• Bilingual job candidates face much lower competition for jobs. This is especially pronounced in Ontario, providing a strong competitive advantage in markets such as Toronto or Guelph where fewer bilingual candidates are available.

As stated by Mario Lefebvre, director of the Centre for Municipal Studies at the Conference Board of Canada, “In communities with a limited number of French speakers, you are a scarce resource. If you are a limited resource, you will be welcome wherever you go.” (Workopolis, 2015)

There are some definite problems with the lack of access to French immersion in Canada , both in terms of program availability and administrative barriers to entry. However, at Canadian Parents for French, we believe every student in Canada should have the opportunity to learn and use French. It is for this reason we remain committed to improving the system as well as educating those who perpetuate myths and outdated information.

French immersion has proven its worth with its widespread support over fifty years. Let us celebrate the benefits and address outdated enrollment policies and processes to help provide students with the best tools possible to learn French, and live up to the ideal of being fully French-English bilingual Canadian citizens.

Jane Keith
President, Canadian Parents for French, National

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Project and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Announcing the Winners of the 14th Annual CPF National Concours d’art oratoire

OTTAWA, ON — On May 28, 2016 thirty-nine high school students from across Canada visited the Nation’s Capital to compete in Canadian Parents for French’s (CPF) National Concours d’art oratoire. Finals

The Concours d’art oratoire final event draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $500,000 in scholarships from the University of Ottawa, Université de Moncton, University of Prince Edward Island, Université Sainte-Anne, and Université de Saint-Boniface.

The students, having won at their provincial or territorial championships, competed in five categories ranging from Core French to Francophone for this final competition. They spoke on topics including feminism, islamophobia, the impact of social media and the power of music.

The winners of the 2016 edition of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire are:

Level 1 [Core French]
1st Place: Kieran Kreidié-Akazaki (Toronto, Ontario)
2nd Place: Mariia Nevoit (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
3rd Place: Amal Javed Abdullah (Surrey, BC)

Level 2 [Core French Extended]
1st Place: Amna Majeed (Toronto, Ontario)
2nd Place: Fatima Beydoun (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
3rd Place: Hanaa Mekawy (Holyrood, Newfoundland)

Level 3 [Late French Immersion]
1st Place: Sharina Frija-Altarac (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec)
2nd Place: Lea Muhigi (Dieppe, New Brunswick)
3rd Place: Annie Xu (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Level 4 [Early French Immersion]
1st Place: Mubeena Mistry (Toronto, Ontario)
2nd Place: Hamish Clinton (Burnaby, BC)
3rd Place: Austin Henderson (Salisbury, New Brunswick)

Level 5 [Francophone]
1st Place: Selina Leveugle (Edmonton, Alberta)
2nd Place: Victoria Blouin (Gatineau, Québec)
3rd Place: Gwendolyn Culver (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Jane Keith, Canadian Parents for French National President, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event and congratulated participants on their accomplishments: “You join us as some of Canada’s best and brightest and are proof that young Canadians want to learn French as well as recognize the cultural and professional significance of acknowledging Canada’s two official languages.

Participants spent two nights in the Nation’s Capital, participating in several excursions to some of Ottawa’s most popular landmarks accompanied by CPF staff and volunteers, including bilingual guided tours of the Canadian War Museum, Parliament Hill, as well as time for shopping at the Rideau Centre, and a French-language screening of the Ciné+ film, Les Mystères du monde invisible, at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec.

This year’s Concours was especially significant as CPF launched the Celebrating Sir Wilfrid Laurier - Canada’s Destiny as a Great Nation a project which marked Laurier’s 175th birthday. The campaign will encourage high school and university students to discuss the impact of Laurier’s values on diplomacy, inclusivity, and rapproachment in their own lives and communities across Canada.

This project has been made possible in large part by the Government of Canada.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Project and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French Receives Commissioner’s Award of Excellence in the Promotion of Linguistic Duality

OTTAWA, ON - On May 19, 2016 Canadian Parents for French is honored to be recognized as the recipient of the Commissioner of Official Languages eighth annual Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Linguistic Duality.

In delivering his tenth and final annual report, Graham Fraser, announced the award acknowledging the work of organizations or individuals who have committed to the contribution, development and promotion of linguistic duality at home and abroad. The announcement, available in the 2015-2016 annual report of the Commissioner of Official Languages, says of the organization:

The Commissioner congratulates Canadian Parents for French for its exceptional work in the area of research and promotion, for providing opportunities for young Canadians to learn French in school and communities and supporting their sometimes unilingual parents, and for respecting French as an integral part of Canada

It is with great appreciation that Canadian Parents for French thanks the Commissioner of Official Languages in recognizing the daily efforts of the organization’s members, staff and volunteers who’ve made, and continue to make, French second language learning opportunities a priority in the lives of students across the country. Canadian Parents for French is proud of its longtime partnership with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, both at the national level and in each of its regions.

Jane Keith, CPF National President, praised Fraser for his wholehearted support for access to quality French immersion and French-second-language programs for all Canadian youth in our schools.

It with the utmost respect and gratitude that we thank Commissioner Fraser for his relentless support and solid leadership in bringing forward issues, helping to dispel myths, building bridges and removing barriers to second language education opportunities across Canada. This vote of confidence inspires us to continue onward in fulfilling our organization’s mandate which champions the opportunity to learn and use French for all those who call Canada home. We look forward to continuing our important work with Mr. Fraser’s successor in the years to come.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Maryanne Bright, Communications and Marketing Officer
mbright@cpf.ca

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Announcing the Winners of this Year's Québec Concours D’art Oratoire

Dorval, QC - The Concours d’art oratoire is a public speaking contest organized by Canadian Parents for French for secondary students in French programs across Canada. Every spring, an estimated 80,000 students take part in this annual competition. The provincial finals took place on May 14 at the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Montréal – Dorval in Dorval, Quebec. CPF was pleased to welcome 34 students from the Lester B. Pearson, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Western Quebec School Boards, as well as their parents and teachers. The students were divided into three groups based on their grade level, and then each group was further divided into five categories, based on their French speaking ability. Here are the winners of each category:

Secondary 1/2
Core - Lucas Graham (Rosemere High School, Rosemere)
Enriched - Quinn McCart (Philemon Wright High School, Gatineau)
Enriched plus - Aniesha Covey (Philemon Wright High School, Gatineau)
Immersion - Claire Driedger (Philemon Wright High School, Gatineau)
Francophone - Lukka Picklyk (Philemon Wright High School, Gatineau)

Secondary 3/4
Core - Elizabeth Hua (Rosemere High School, Rosemere)
Enriched - Julia-May Avon (Philemon Wright High School, Gatineau)
Francophone – Jade Le Pape (Philemon Wright High School, Gatineau)

Secondary 5
Core – Kirstyn Townsend (Philemon Wright High School, Gatineau)
Enriched – Sharina Frija-Altarac (Beaconsfield High School)
Enriched plus – Valarie Empey (Philemon Wright High School, Gatineau)
Immersion - Rowen Tanguay (Philemon Wright High School, Gatineau)
Francophone - Victoria Blouin (Collège Saint-Joseph de Hull, Gatineau)

The Secondary 5 first place winners will now advance to the National finals of the Concours d’art oratoire, held in Ottawa, ON on May 28, where they will have the chance to win scholarships to the University of Ottawa, the University of Moncton, the University of Prince Edward Island, the Université de Saint-Boniface, the Université Sainte-Anne and La Cité Collégiale.

Better French language skills are a key aspiration for Quebec’s non-Francophone youth. The Concours program helps fulfill that aspiration by giving youth a meaningful forum in which to practice and develop confidence in their French language skills.

We would also like to thank our sponsors, Canadian Heritage, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Global Montreal, LEARN Quebec and the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) for their generous support in helping us provide such a meaningful opportunity for the participants of the Concours.

Canadian Parents for French (www.cpf.ca) is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French second language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Marla Williams
Canadian Parents for French
514-434-2400
mwilliams@cpf.ca

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The National Concours d’art oratoire in Canada’s Capital Region!

GATINEAU, QC – On Saturday May 28, Canadian Parents for French is hosting its annual public speaking competition, the 2016 National Concours d’art oratoire, in Gatineau, Quebec.

The grand prize for the first place winners will have the opportunity to receive scholarships from the University of Ottawa, Université de Saint Boniface, Université de Moncton, the University of Prince Edward Island, and Université Sainte-Anne. Second-place and third-place winners have the option of receiving scholarships from the University of Ottawa, Université de Saint Boniface, or the University of Prince Edward Island. Other national finalists who compete will be awarded a $1,000 entrance scholarship to the University of Ottawa.

The competition brings together senior high school students from across Canada who will deliver the speech that won them first prize at the school, regional, and/or provincial and territorial levels. The National Concours d’art oratoire has five language categories: Core French, Core French Extended, Late Immersion, Early Immersion, and Francophone.

Date: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. (Welcoming Remarks and Opening Ceremony)
Place: Four Points by Sheraton Gatineau
33 Laurier Street
Gatineau, QC
Spokespersons: Jane Keith, President; Nicole Thibault, Executive Director

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Project and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French Celebrates National Inclusive Education Month: An Open Letter to Canadian Parents

February is National Inclusive Education Month, a special awareness celebration enthusiastically supported by Canadian Parents for French and its 23,000 members. These parents believe that every Canadian child should have the opportunity to become bilingual so he or she can participate fully in Canada’s economy, governance and society.

Canada has a publicly funded school system that offers enriched forms of education but it restricts access to it. We have a school system within a school system where some kids get full resources for learning and some kids don’t. There are serious ethical as well as legal issues here. Can we justify publicly supported French immersion education and not give full access to all resources needed to succeed?”

Genesee, F. (2012) CPF Roundtable on Academically-Challenged Students and FSL Programs, Canadian Parents for French, Ottawa.

The reluctance of school boards and school authorities to adapt to the needs of students with learning disabilities in immersion has denied universal access to effective French-second-language learning. Despite over 40 years of research demonstrating that at-risk students can become bilingual and attain levels of first-language and academic ability commensurate with their learning challenges, these children are often weeded out from immersion and placed in the English stream.

As a parent, you may be told that your child should master their first language before learning a second – that learning a second language would be overtaxing for your struggling learner and would jeopardize your child’s first language. You may also be told that there are no effective interventions or resources for struggling students in French-Second-Language programs.

There is no evidence to support the belief that students who are at risk for poor academic performance are at greater risk in immersion than in English-only programs. Indeed, research shows that effective interventions do exist and that there is notable improvement in special need student performance in French immersion when appropriate assistance is provided.

In 2016, there is no place for capping French immersion enrolment, running lotteries, failing to provide remedial services or excluding less academically-challenged students —practices which deny parents the chance to choose the best educational programs for their child. It is time for educators and policy-makers to adopt more inclusionary practices and to move the issue of equitable access for all students in Canada from a place of discussion to a place of action.

Although it may be difficult, you can be a strong advocate for your child’s inclusion in French immersion and other FSL programs. By meeting teachers, principals and school district decision-makers you can assist with changing policies and practices which exclude or fail to provide appropriate academic support for struggling immersion and core French students. You can help to change educators’ beliefs about struggling learners in FSL programs by challenging myths with factual information about academically-challenged students’ second-language learning achievements, about the benefits of more inclusive classroom practices and about special education interventions that help learning. Happily, some jurisdictions have begun to adopt more inclusionary practices in response to parents who share research evidence and advocate on behalf of their child.

For assistance advocating for your child, please see our fact sheets for parents, teachers and advocates at http://cpf.ca/en/research-advocacy/research/the-state-of-fsl-education-in-canada/ or contact Canadian Parents for French at: cpf@cpf.ca

Canadian Parents for French is a national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for all those who call Canada home.

Contact:
Maryanne Bright
mbright@cpf.ca

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CPF National Weighs in on Supreme Court Ruling

CPF National Weighs in on Supreme Court Ruling

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Canadian Parents for French National Board Welcomes Newly Appointed Director, Dr. Wendy Carr PhD

OTTAWA, ON – Canadian Parents for French is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the 39th Annual General Meeting held in Quebec City on Sunday, October 18, 2015.

The weekend saw CPF delegates from across the country congregate together to participate in a Leader Networking Event that allowed for the review of organizational priorities including CPF bylaws and newly completed, five-year National Network Strategic Plan.

Of particular note, one newly appointed Director joins the returning six members of the CPF Board of Directors to complete the slate.
Dr. Wendy Carr Phd, from British Columbia is the current Associate Dean of Teacher’s Education at the University of British Columbia where she has coordinated and taught for many years in its French Teacher Education program. She has authored a number of FSL classroom resources, teacher professional learning manuals, curriculum documents as well as scholarly articles. Wendy Carr will be serving the first of a two year term with the CPF National Board of Directors.

Canadian Parents for French looks forward to moving ahead collaboratively with its National Network to accomplish new goals set out for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

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Canadian Parents for French wants to hear about importance of bilingualism during federal election

Ottawa, ON – As Canada enters its 42nd general election, Canadians are concerned with a number of issues that affect their lives. On September 14, Canadian Parents for French released three questions on behalf of their 23,000 members regarding the importance of official bilingualism in Canada. Canadian Parents for French is calling on all federal election candidates to share their party position on official language bilingualism and provide answers to the following questions:

1. Parental demand for French Immersion programs exceeds the supply in some areas, limiting enrolment and thus denying many students the opportunity to learn their second official language. Although education is a provincial jurisdiction, official language bilingualism falls within the federal domain.

What actions will your party take to demonstrate national leadership and direction to encourage provincial governments to respect the wishes of parents and meet the demand for immersion programs in every community, including remote and rural areas?

2. Forty years of research has demonstrated the impressive French second-language skills of immersion graduates, but many young Canadians lack confidence in their achievements and hesitate to identify themselves as bilingual, while prospective employers lack objective information about their abilities.

How does your party plan to establish national, comparable proficiency standards for graduates from various FSL programs across Canada?

3. Despite the fact that the majority of students in Canada choose to attend post-secondary studies in their home provinces, opportunities to continue French second-language education do not exist in every province and territory.

What type of investment will your party make to ensure that post-secondary students may pursue French second-language studies in their own province or territory?

For almost forty years, Canadian Parents for French has worked with federal, provincial, and local governments, and education stakeholders to improve accessibility to and the quality of French second-language education in Canada. Canadian Parents for French looks forward to hearing from all candidates and will post all responses on their website cpf.ca. Please send responses to Shaunpal Jandu at sjandu@cpf.ca.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Projects and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French Welcomes the Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, Aiming Higher: Increasing Bilingualism of our Canadian Youth

OTTAWA – On June 16, the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages published a report on necessary policies needed to positively assist second official-language learning in Canada. Canadian Parents for French applauds the finding of the committee’s report, Aiming Higher: Increasing Bilingualism of our Canadian Youth.

The report provides an overview of second official-language learning from across Canada. The report also examines and provides recommendations regarding challenges identified during the public consultations. Canadian Parents for French was the first group to meet with the Committee during the consultations in April 2013 and provided follow up documents to assist the Committee during their study. References to the information we provided the Committee can be found throughout the report and in the recommendations.

The overarching recommendation made by the Committee was “the federal government must actively promote bilingualism”. Generally the ten recommendations touched on a variety of topics including:

•The need to ensure second official-language learning programs are available to all Canadians;
• Increase official-language proficiency amongst Canadians through measurable objectives and testing;
• Increase research on innovative practices in official language promotion and learning, and disseminated broadly;
• Increase opportunities for learners to use their French outside of the classroom (through exchanges, though media outlets, etc.);
• Improve accountability between the federal-provincial/territorial agreements; and
• Maintain or increase investments in official-language promotion and learning.

Canadian Parents for French President, Philip Fenez, stated “The report recommendations reflect what we, as an organization, are trying to achieve. The Senate Committee’s work is proof that there is room for improvement and that Canadian Parents for French is on the right track in promoting and creating French-second-language learning opportunities for more young Canadians.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Projects and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Francophone Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire!

OTTAWA — On May 30th, 35 high school students from across Canada came to Ottawa to compete in Canadian Parents for French’s (CPF) National Concours d’art oratoire.
The students competed in five categories that range from Core French to Francophone and this year, spoke on topics including gender equality, adoption, appreciating life’s beautiful moments, and learning beyond the classroom.
The Francophone category is for French second-language students who speak and comprehend French with native fluency, they often have one or two parents who speak French regularly, or have recently lived in a French community for at least a year.

The winners of the Level 5 – Francophone category are:

1st Imane Marrakchi of Winnipeg, MB
2nd Charles Hubert-Favreau of Vancouver, BC
3rd Emily Michaud of Dart Mouth, NS

“These students have worked incredibly hard to write and orate their speeches. They have spoken about topics which are very close to them and have had a chance to share their passion with their class, schools, school districts, at the provincial and territorial levels and at the National levels,” said CPF President, Philip Fenez. “And through these experiences, the students have made new friends which have encouraged them to find ways to continue using their French.”

The individual names of the winners of the different categories have now all been announced. The names of all five category winners are listed on our website at cpf.ca. We are proud of all the participants as they are testaments to the benefits of the French second-language learning programs provided in Canada.

The Concours d’art oratoire program draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $500,000 in scholarships from the University of Ottawa, Université de Moncton, University of Prince Edward Island, Université Sainte-Anne, and Université de Saint-Boniface.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Project and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Early French Immersion Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire!

OTTAWA — On May 30th, 35 high school students from across Canada came to Ottawa to compete in Canadian Parents for French’s (CPF) National Concours d’art oratoire.

The students competed in five categories that range from Core French to Francophone and this year, spoke on topics including gender equality, adoption, appreciating life’s beautiful moments, and learning beyond the classroom.

The winners of the Level 4 – Early French Immersion category are:

1st. Margot Ghersin from Ottawa, ON
2nd. Madeline Arthur from Vancouver, BC
3rd. Andréa Rondeau-Brown from Winnipeg, MB

French Immersion is a French Second-Language program in which French is the language of instruction for several subjects over a significant part of the school day; Early French Immersion is a French Immersion program with an entry point typically in kindergarten or Grade 1.

“For these students to write and orate their own speech is incredible, but to think that they are doing this in their second language is amazing!” said CPF President, Philip Fenez. “Ms. Ghersin’s speech on the ‘School of life’ echoed Canadian Parents for French’s belief that learning is not only done in the classroom but in the real world. That is why part of our mission is to create and promote opportunities, such as the Concours d’art oratoire, for students to use their French outside of the classroom.”

The individual names of the winners of the different categories will be announced over the coming weeks. We are proud of all the participants as they are testaments to the benefits of the French second-language learning program in Canada.

The Concours d’art oratoire program draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $500,000 in scholarships from the University of Ottawa, Université de Moncton, University of Prince Edward Island, Université Sainte-Anne, and Université de Saint-Boniface.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Project and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Late French Immersion Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire!

OTTAWA — On May 30th, 35 high school students from across Canada came to Ottawa to compete in Canadian Parents for French’s (CPF) National Concours d’art oratoire.

The students competed in five categories that range from Core French to Francophone and this year, spoke on topics including gender equality, adoption, appreciating life’s beautiful moments, and learning beyond the classroom.

The winners of the Level 3 – Late French Immersion category are:

1st. Kirianne Ashley from Yellowknife, NT
2nd. Kayla Peters from Winnipeg, MB
3rd. Zachary Besler from Richmond, BC

French Immersion is a French Second-Language program in which French is the language of instruction for several subjects over a significant part of the school day; Late French Immersion is a French immersion program with an entry point in Grade 6 or later.

“For these students to write and orate their own speech is incredible, but to think that they are doing this in their second language is amazing!” said CPF President, Philip Fenez. “Ms. Ashley is a testament to the fact that as the additional exposure to French is provided a students’ French language skills increase. Providing access to strong French Second-Language programs in remote areas is an important way to share the benefits of bilingualism with all Canadian students.”

The individual names of the winners of the different categories will be announced over the coming weeks. We are proud of all the participants as they are testaments to the benefits of the French second-language learning program in Canada.

The Concours d’art oratoire program draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $500,000 in scholarships from the University of Ottawa, Université de Moncton, University of Prince Edward Island, Université Sainte-Anne, and Université de Saint-Boniface.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Project and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Extended Core French Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire!

OTTAWA — On May 30th, 35 high school students from across Canada came to Ottawa to compete in Canadian Parents for French’s (CPF) National Concours d’art oratoire.

The students competed in five categories that range from Core French to Francophone and this year, spoke on topics including gender equality, adoption, appreciating life’s beautiful moments, and learning beyond the classroom.

The winners of the Level 2 – Extended Core French category are:

1st. Pol Ferreres-Garcia representing Winnipeg, MB
2nd. Amirthan Sothivannan from Ottawa, ON
3rd. Rachel Field from Halifax, NS

Extended Core French is an FSL program designed to provide more exposure to French than in a core French program: French is the language of instruction for one or more subjects (e.g. social studies, physical education) in addition to core French.

“For these students to write and orate their own speech is incredible, but to think that they are doing this in their second language is amazing!” said CPF President, Philip Fenez. “Mr. Ferreres-Garcia is from Spain, to come to Canada and compete in his third language on a topic so close to him, the adoption of his little sister from Mali, was heartwarming and absolutely incredible!”

The individual names of the winners of the different categories will be announced over the coming weeks. We are proud of all the participants as they are testaments to the benefits of the French second-language learning.

The Concours d’art oratoire program draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $500,000 in scholarships from the University of Ottawa, Université de Moncton, University of Prince Edward Island, Université Sainte-Anne, and Université de Saint-Boniface.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Project and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Core French Winners of CPF National’s Concours d'art oratoire

OTTAWA — On May 30th, 35 high school students from across Canada came to Ottawa to compete in Canadian Parents for French’s (CPF) National Concours d’art oratoire.

The students competed in five categories that range from Core French to Francophone and this year, spoke on topics including gender equality, adoption, appreciating life’s beautiful moments to learning beyond the classroom.

The winners of the Level 1 - Core French category are:

Tehzeeb Sayed from Edmonton, AB
Sophia Luo from Burnaby, BC
Siyu Chen from Milton, ON

The core French program focuses on French being taught as a subject for one period each day or several periods each week; it is also called basic French in Manitoba and FSL in Alberta. All of these students have spent limited time learning French in school; often no more than 2 hours a week.

“For these students to write and orate their own speech is incredible, but to think that they are doing this in their second language is amazing!” said CPF President, Philip Fenez. “When listening to the winner’s speech during the award ceremony I couldn’t believe how well she spoke, the clarity of her ideas and the depth of her message. It was hard to believe that Ms. Sayed was in Core French as she spoke eloquently on her topic.

The individual names of the winners of the different categories will be announced over the coming weeks. We are proud of all the participants as they are testaments to the benefits of the French second-language learning programs across Canada.

The Concours d’art oratoire program draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $500,000 in scholarships from the University of Ottawa, Université de Moncton, University of Prince Edward Island, Université Sainte-Anne, and Université de Saint-Boniface.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Project and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Thirteenth successful year of CPF National Concours d'art oratoire!


OTTAWA — Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to announce the success of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire 2015. The competition was held on Saturday May 30 in Ottawa, ON.

The Concours d’art oratoire program draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $500,000 in scholarships from the University of Ottawa, Université de Moncton, University of Prince Edward Island, Université Sainte-Anne, and Université de Saint-Boniface. In addition, one lucky participant received a special gift from the Embassy of France in Ottawa, a 2 week educational stay in Royan, France!
This year, 35 national finalists in five different categories were welcomed to Ottawa after winning their provincial or territorial championships. Students compete in five categories that range from Core French to Francophone and this year, spoke on topics including gender equality, adoption, appreciating life’s beautiful moments to learning beyond the classroom.

“The runaway success of the Concours program, now in its thirteenth year and still growing, is proof that Canadian students want to be bilingual,” says CPF president Philip Fenez, from Manitoba. “And why wouldn’t they? Bilingualism will open cultural and professional doors to them, enrich their minds, and graduate them to full citizens of both Canada and the world. Young people are smart, and know a good thing when they see it.”

Participants spent two nights in the Nation’s Capital providing them an opportunity to participate in several excursions to some of Ottawa’s most popular tourist landmarks including a tour of Parliament, a traditional French Canadian dinner at a sugar bush in Vanier’s Museopark, shopping at the Rideau Center, and a Haunted Walk of Ottawa conducted in French.

CPF acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada, the educational institutions for their generous scholarship donations, the Embassy of France in Ottawa, Voyages Rideau Travel, Ecclesiastical Insurance, Marsh Canada Limited, and individual donors for their assistance with this event.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Project and Public Affairs Lead
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Quebec Premier Couillard addresses Ontario Legislature; Governments Should Do More to Support French Language Learning Programs

OTTAWA, ON – On Monday May 11, 2015 Quebec Premier Couillard addressed the Ontario Legislature —a move that represented an opportunity to strengthen the growing ties between the two provinces.

Premier Couillard took advantage of the opportunity, touching on many social issues of importance to the continued prosperity of the two provinces. Of particular note to us at Canadian Parents for French was his mention of French Immersion and the need to support these programs in provinces outside of Quebec.

Speaking to the “extraordinary asset” of French, one of Canada’s official languages, Couillard noted the obligation we have to protect and preserve this heritage. He remarked on the exponential growth French Immersion programming has seen in the last 40 years, but also stated that much more can be done in the way of ensuring that French Immersion programming is afforded the resources necessary to thrive.

Canadian Parents for French shares the view of Premier Couillard and agrees that while notable strides have been made, progress remains stalled in different regions across the country – a problem we believe can be addressed by the willing leadership, assistance and support of provincial governments and local school boards. President of Canadian Parents for French Ontario, Mary Cruden expressed our hope that this event would put some political energy into French second language learning in Ontario.

As an organization that advocates for universal access to French Language learning programs for students across Canada, we, the pan-Canadian network of Canadian Parents for French, urge policy makers, and boards of education to recognize the immeasurable benefits of official-language bilingualism and take action. Encouraging linguistic duality through French Immersion programming and rich FSL programs, not only helps to build a better future for Canada’s youth, but contributes to the growth and solidarity of our nation as well.

About Canadian Parents for French
Canadian Parents for French (www.cpf.ca) is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. The organization envisions a Canada where French- and English-speakers live together in mutual respect with an understanding and appreciation of each other’s language and culture and where linguistic duality forms an integral part of society.

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Canadian Parents for French celebrates the successful launch of its French Second Language Virtual Choir Project

Montreal, QC –Canadian Parents for French, in partnership with Bishop’s University, the Community Learning Centre Initiative and the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations, collaboratively came together last week for the launch of the first LA PETITE SUITE QUÉBÉCOISE. The successfully completed project featured over 400 students and choristers - both young and distinguished - from English-speaking communities and their French-speaking counterparts from around the province singing a medley of well-loved Quebec classics. The French Second Language Virtual Choir provided the opportunity to not only bring music back into the schools but pay special tribute to Canada’s unique cultural heritage through song and dance.

Video of the Virtual Choir available for viewing here: http://qc.cpf.ca/activities/youth-activities/virtual-choir/
Participating schools and choirs include: Pope Memorial Elementary School and Chorale de l’église catholique Saint-Raphaël (Bury); Portneuf Elementary School (Cap-Santé); Gaspe Elementary School and Les Voix du Large (Gaspé); St. Paul Elementary School (Laval); Grosse Ile School, Chorale de Grande-Entrée and École Notre-Dame-de-Sacré-Cœur (Magdalen Islands); Princess Elizabeth Elementary School (Magog); New Carlisle High School (New Carlisle); Chœur Walter (Montreal); Sherbrooke Elementary School, Les Oisillons and Bishop’s University Singers (Sherbrooke); and Parkdale Elementary School (Ville-Saint-Laurent).

We would also like to send special thanks to the department of Canadian Heritage and the collective efforts of Canadian Parents for French volunteers for their tremendous support towards the success of the Quebec Project this year. We look forward to expanding our important together to more regions and communities in the years to come.

Canadian Parents for French (www.cpf.ca) is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. The organization envisions a Canada where French- and English-speakers live together in mutual respect with an understanding and appreciation of each other’s language and culture and where linguistic duality forms an integral part of society.

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Canadian Parents for French receives approved funding for Quebec “Meeting the Needs of English Minority Community Parents and Students in Quebec” Project

Ottawa, ON - Canadian Parents for French would like to thank the Department of Canadian Heritage, Official Languages Support Branch, for its continued contribution to CPF’s Quebec Project “Meeting the Needs of English Minority Community Parents and Students in Quebec”.

This financial support enables Canadian Parents for French (CPF) to assist students and parents in Quebec’s English minority community while fulfilling our mandate to champion opportunities for all those who call Canada home to learn and use French. Due to the ongoing contribution, we have been able to accomplish much in the past year, including establishing partnerships with institutions and organizations such as LEARN Quebec, the Community Learning Centers, Bishop’s University, the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations and the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN). With the assistance of these partners, CPF was able to run a French second-language virtual choir project that brought together over 400 students from Anglophone and Francophone elementary schools and community choirs to celebrate Canada’s linguistic duality through a medley of traditional French songs. The activity garnered favorable media attention, as well as recognition for excellence by the Eastern Townships School Board.

In addition to supporting initiatives on the ground CPF was also invited to sit on the French for the Future Forum Committee and to present to groups such as the Advisory Board on English Education (ABEE). This sponsorship has provided a platform within the community, allowing us to participate in several conferences such as the Community Learning Centre Initiative Conference and Conversation Dinner, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) AGM, the QCGN Goldbloom Awards, the Association québécoise des enseignants de français langue seconde Congress, the Quebec Association of Lifelong Learning Banquet, the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations Conference and the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers Convention.

The support of the department of Canadian Heritage and the collective efforts of Canadian Parents for French volunteers continue to make a tremendous impact in the province of Quebec and we look forward to continuing our important work together in the years to come.

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Canadian Parents for French Celebrates National Inclusive Education Month



Ottawa, ON
- February marks National Inclusive Education Month, a special awareness celebration Canadian Parents for French proudly supports. As an organization that advocates for equitable access to French second language education for all students this annual event represents an ideal we firmly believe in: enhancing inclusionary practices and successful school experiences for every student across Canada.

This month serves as a reminder to ministries of education, school districts and educators to continue pushing towards the implementation of quality education programming to an increasingly diverse student population, including students with learning disabilities. Canadian Parents for French believes every child should be given the opportunity to reap the academic, cognitive and employment benefits of knowing both of Canada’s official languages, and this includes equal access to quality French programs for all.

Three decades of French-second-language research has consistently demonstrated that students with learning disabilities are not differentially handicapped in French immersion and can achieve the same level of success in French immersion as they would in English programs. Despite Official-language advocates having identified the need to support these efforts, exclusionary practices remain. This issue was addressed by Fred Genesee at the 2012 Canadian Parent’s for French Roundtable on Academically-Challenged Students in FSL Programs.

Canada has a publicly funded school system that offers enriched forms of education but it restricts access to it. We have a school system within a school system where some kids get full resources for learning and some kids don’t. There are serious ethical as well as legal issues here. Can we justify publicly supported French immersion education and not give full access to all resources needed to succeed?Genesee, Fred (2012) Proceedings of the Canadian Parents for French Roundtable on Academically Challenged Students in French-Second-Language Programs, Canadian Parents for French, Ottawa. http://cpf.ca/en/files/NEW-CPF-Roundtable-Proceedings-jh-2-3.pdf

It is time for educators and policy-makers to adopt more inclusionary practices and to move the issue of equitable access for all students in Canada from a place of discussion to a place of action. For more information on supporting inclusionary education practices please visit: http://cpf.ca/en/files/NEW-CPF-Roundtable-Proceedings-jh-2-3.pdf

Canadian Parents for French is a national parent-lead organization dedicated to promoting and creating French second language opportunities for all young students.

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The CPF National Board Welcomes Newest Member Karen Lynch

OTTAWA, ON – Canadian Parents for French is pleased to announce the newest addition to its National Board: Karen Lynch. The National Board of Directors recently invited Karen Lynch from Alberta to join as its sixth and final member. Lynch will be in attendance at the upcoming National board meeting taking place on February 28-March 1, 2015 in Wakefield, Quebec where she will begin her tenure immediately.

Karen Lynch’s experience in advocacy, membership retention and her involvement with CPF over the years makes her a valued addition to the National Board who look forward to benefiting from her expertise and varied skill set as they work together to achieve the goals and expectations of the organization.

Karen Lynch's Bio

Karen Lynch is a respected community and civic leader, with over 35 years of diverse experience working with business, all levels of government, charitable organizations, politicians and nonprofit groups. Karen tackles issues and challenges with a pragmatic and common sense approach developing a reputation for making things happen and getting things done.

Lynch put herself through university by driving trucks as a Teamster on the Syncrude site in Fort McMurray. After graduation, Lynch was asked to serve the Speaker in the Alberta Legislature as Executive Assistant. After senior positions in communications at Alberta College and the Workers’ Compensation Board, she brought her passion for community volunteerism and strategic leadership to Volunteer Alberta as Executive Director for eight years building its ability to serve Albertans from a single program to multi-faceted approaches to engage Albertans.

Lynch served on several nonprofit boards with municipal, provincial and federal mandates focusing on public policy impact on the nonprofit/voluntary sector. For over 40 years, she also served her community through an active interest in politics. At last count, she had volunteered stuffing envelopes to designing key strategies for success in over 27 municipal, provincial, federal, advocacy and leadership campaigns. She's experienced real life politics as a federal political spouse and as a senior director in a Premier’s office

She is now enjoying a more relaxed pace serving on one board and establishing a consulting practice. Whenever possible, she travels to visit her adult twins in Boston and Los Angeles.

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Canadian Parents for French Celebrates Increased Enrollment Trends in French Immersion

OTTAWA, ON – Canadian Parents for French and partner Canadian Association for Immersion Teachers (CAIT) celebrate the rise in French immersion enrollment across the country, as indicated in a Statistics Canada report last month.

The increase signifies a major triumph towards ensuring all children in Canada have access to a variety of French programs; a tenet held strongly by Canadian Parents for French, its membership and its partners.
This growth is further demonstrated in provinces like Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia which have, within the last several years, seen noteworthy growth in the rate at which students enter French Immersion programming.

While Canadian Parents for French considers the increased interest and enrolment trend to be most encouraging, we duly acknowledge that there are still strides to be made in bridging the gap between demand and availability. French language and culture are integral parts of Canada — every child in Canada should have equitable access to the quality, effective French-second-language program of their choice in order that they may participate fully in Canada’s economic and social development.

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Canadian Parents for French Encourages Policy Makers to Provide More Specialist Support for Learning Disabled Students in French Immersion

Ottawa, ON – On December 3rd the world came together to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. As an organization that proudly advocates for equitable access to French second language education for all students in Canada recognition of the needs of students with learning disabilities remains an issue of great importance.

As we continue to recognize the rights of persons with disabilities around the globe Canadian Parents for French would like to encourage ministries of education, school districts and educators to extend special education services to academically-challenged students so that they, too, may reap the academic, cognitive and employment benefits of bilingualism.

By embracing diversity, Canada has recognized the potential of all Canadians, encouraging them to integrate into society and take an active part in its social, cultural, economic and political affairs. Canadians should work strenuously to eradicate all forms of discrimination in our society, so it is important to not stay silent when Canadian students are subjected to discrimination in school because of how they learn. Fraser, Graham (2012) Proceedings of the Canadian Parents for French Roundtable on Academically Challenged Students in French-Second-Language Programs, Canadian Parents for French, Ottawa http://cpf.ca/en/files/NEW-CPF-Roundtable-Proceedings-jh-2-3.pdf

Struggling students are often refused enrolment or counselled out of French immersion programs by well-intentioned educators who mistakenly believe that academically-challenged students cannot succeed in immersion or that funds for specialized support must be used only to support students in regular English programs. Indeed, some school administrators suggest that the student would be best served by the English program’s special education services and advise parents that giving students both French immersion and special education support would constitute ‘doubledipping’. Wise, Nancy (2012) Proceedings of the Canadian Parents for French Roundtable on Academically Challenged Students in French-Second-Language Programs, Canadian Parents for French, Ottawa.http://cpf.ca/en/files/NEW-CPF-Roundtable-Proceedings-jh-2-3.pdf

Second-language acquisition research has demonstrated that academically-challenged students are not differentially handicapped in French immersion —they achieve at the same level in French immersion as they would in regular programs.

Research has also shown that, with pre-service or in-service education, classroom teachers can and do adopt successful teaching strategies that benefit not only learning-disabled students, but all students at varying levels of academic ability. Unfortunately, effective professional development for French immersion teachers is lacking. Pellerin, Martine (2013) E-Inclusion in Early French Immersion, Canadian Journal of Education 36, 1 (2013): 44-70 http://journals.sfu.ca/cje/index.php/cje rce/article/viewFile/1186/1458

CPF encourages policy-makers to take advantage of existing assistive technologies to help students with learning disabilities to realize their full potential. This approach promotes the use of digital technologies to support, scaffold, and enhance learning not only for students with learning difficulties, but for all students in every classroom. Pellerin, Martine (2013) E-Inclusion in Early French Immersion, Canadian Journal of Education 36, 1 (2013): 44-70 http://journals.sfu.ca/cje/index.php/cje rce/article/viewFile/1186/1458

Three decades of French-second-language research has consistently demonstrated that students with learning disabilities can thrive in French immersion and official-language advocates have identified the need to support their efforts, but exclusionary practices remain. It is time for educators and policy-makers to adopt more inclusionary practices and to move the issue of equitable access for all students in Canada from a place of discussion to a place of action.

For more information please see the Proceedings of the 2012 CPF Roundtable on Academically-Challenged Students in French-Second-Language Programs at: http://cpf.ca/en/files/NEW-CPF-Roundtable-Proceedings-jh-2-3.pdf

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Information:
Maryanne Bright, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x226 Email: mbright@cpf.ca

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Early French immersion change coming, says Education Minister Serge Rousselle

OTTAWA, ON – Canadian Parents for French congratulates the Government of New Brunswick on its new commitment to push forward with a plan to reinstate the Grade 1 early French Immersion entry point.

The revision comes several years after implementation of a contentious policy by the former Shawn Graham government which delayed the Early French Immersion entry point until Grade 3. Education Minister Serge Rousselle, who believes the Grade 1 entry point ‘is clearly the way to go’, will be working diligently with staff to ensure the new promises are met and implemented effectively.

Talk of the revised policy has met with little opposition from residents of the province who, in a September CBC Radio Canada poll, demonstrated ‘that 58 per cent would like to see the entry point for French immersion in Grade 1 compared to 34 per cent who would like to see it in Grade 3.’

A decision regarding the date on which the new policy will take effect has yet to have been disclosed with Rousselle stating that he is awaiting feedback from the department on how the policy change should be implemented.

The revised policy is a welcome change as Canadian Parents for French, and FSL researchers alike, consider Early French Immersion to be the program best suited for the greatest range of students and for achieving linguistic duality.

Canadian Parents for French sends it thanks and congratulations to the government of New Brunswick for recognizing the importance of implementing a policy that allows students greater access to and success in French second-language learning now and in the future.

As an organization that believes in access to quality French second-language (FSL) learning to all those who call Canada home, triumphs such as these support our belief that ongoing advocacy for French-Second-Language can, and does, effect change.
*Updated press release from 11/13/2014

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Information:
Maryanne Bright, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x226 Email: mbright@cpf.ca

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Nicole Thibault Selected as Canadian Parents for French's New National Executive Director

OTTAWA - Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to announce the selection of a new National Executive Director.

CPF congratulates Nicole Thibault on her appointment. Effective December 1, 2014, Ms. Thibault will be leading the Ottawa-based National staff under the stewardship of the CPF National Board of Directors.

Ms. Thibault brings over 20 years combined leadership experience as an executive director, vice principal, educational consultant and teacher whose personal and professional passion is centered on the promotion of a bilingual Canada for all those who call Canada home. She will replace Robert Rothon, whose three-year term as the former National Executive Director ended on August 22, 2014.

"We are very pleased with the decision to hire Nicole," says Lisa Marie Perkins, Canadian Parents for French's former National President and Chair of the Executive Director Search Committee. "Our efforts were focused on finding an individual who will be a visionary alongside the National Board and staff, and who is prepared to oversee the administration of this organization during a period of renewal and advancement. Ms. Thibault is committed to the direction that the National Board is taking, which was a crucial factor in our hiring decision, and her professional background complements the diverse skill set possessed by the rest of the National Office staff."

Ms. Thibault's career in education began as a classroom core French and French immersion teacher with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board in 1987. Ms. Thibault has also strategically led and supported teaching staff and students as a special assignment teacher and Vice Principal before moving on as a seconded professor at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Education, assisting in the management, delivery and facilitation of special projects related to conflict resolution and leading change within the education sector. She then served as Executive Director for the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers for almost ten years. From 2010-2014, Ms. Thibault took on consultant work with various cultural, educational and other not-for-profits.

Ms. Thibault is greatly supportive of CPF's mission to provide official language education opportunities for all students in Canada and is looking forward to stepping into her new role in order to advocate for this cause at the federal level. "I strongly believe in individual bilingualism as a personal benefit and I am absolutely passionate about effective language learning as a way to engage more Canadian students so they too can be passionate about French as a reflection of Canada's linguistic duality" says Ms. Thibault. "I have been afforded the opportunity to attend French language schools and a bilingual post-secondary institution and to move freely from one official-language-dominant work milieu to the other. I am living proof that bilingualism works, and every child in Canada should be afforded this same right.'"

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Information:
Maryanne Bright, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x226 Email: mbright@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French welcomes the Commissioner of Official Languages 2013-2014 Annual Report

OTTAWA, the Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser tabled his eighth Annual Report. Canadian Parents for French welcomes the Commissioner’s report and its alignment to CPF’s vision and activities.

Canadian Parents for French supports the Commissioner’s recommendation of highlighting Linguistic Duality during the 150th anniversary of Confederation. The Commissioner’s recommendation “to ensure linguistic duality throughout the festivities marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation” is confirmation of the importance of an Official Language Bilingual celebration. CPF was among those who appeared in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages’ study on Linguistic Duality during the 150th anniversary celebration of Canadian Confederation in 2017. CPF President, Lisa Marie Perkins stated in front of the Committee “the legacy surrounding the 150th anniversary celebration should be a great one. Canada’s centennial legacy was primarily of bricks in mortar, this sesquicentennial’s legacy should be that of a stronger sense of linguistic duality.”

Canadian Parents for French is also pleased that Mr. Fraser touched on the importance of validating the funds provided by Canadian Heritage to the provinces and territories through transfer payments to promote second-language instruction and minority-language education, are used appropriately.

In the report the Commissioner states, “To make real progress in serving Canadians and in respecting federal employees’ rights, we need training for public servants to have a stronger emphasis on the importance of official languages.” This statement reflects Canadian Parents for French’s belief that all young Canadians should learn both their official languages in order to build respect and value for both languages at an early age. Ms Perkins stated, “If all children had access to quality French and English Second-Language programs Canada would have the bilingual workforce described by the Commissioner.”

Canadian Parents for French has a long standing working relationship with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and this report illustrates our common vision to see a fully bilingual country.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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CPF Welcomes the Government of Canada’s Response to the Report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages: The State of French Second-Language Education Programs in Canada

OTTAWA – On September 15, the Canadian Government tabled a response to the Standing Committee on Official Languages report, The State of French Second-Language Education Programs in Canada, which was presented to the House on February 27, 2014. Canadian Parents for French (CPF) applauds the report and is delighted with the government’s decision to continue supporting French Second-Language learning.

The Government’s response highlighted how French Second-Language (FSL) learning is important to Canadians and that the government “will continue to work with its partners in second-language learning, including teacher associations, parents and young Canadians, to ensure that its support to second-language learning is as effective as possible.” Canadian Parents for French’s work in providing winners of the Concours d’art oratoire post-secondary scholarships, which encourage participants to continue their French education, was cited as an example of how the Government is working with non-governmental organizations to support FSL learning in Canada.

The Government’s response also highlighted CPF’s commitment to the promotion and creation of FSL learning opportunities for young Canadians, and “to inform parents across Canada on their options for French as a second-language programs.”

Canadian Parents for French is delighted to have been part of the process, both as a witness during the House of Commons Committee on Official Languages’ study and our mentions in both the Committee’s report and the Government’s response.

CPF President Lisa Marie Perkins stated, “The government’s positive recognition of Canadian Parents for French’s commitment to French Second-Language learning in Canada is an illustration of CPF’s impact across the country.”

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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CPF congratulates the government of Canada on the achievements of its Official Languages Support Programs

OTTAWA - Canadian Parents for French (CPF) congratulates the government of Canada on the achievements of its Official Languages Support Programs contained in the recently released Official Languages Annual Report 2011-2012, and is proud of its own contributions to these achievements.

Initiatives by Canadian Parents for French’s Ontario Branch were a highlight of this report. CPF Ontario organized and presented an interactive theatre production that reached more than 20,000 students in the province. To support second-language learning, CPF Ontario contributed the research necessary to create a FSL Homework Toolbox for students and parents throughout the province.

The work done in Ontario is an excellent example of how CPF provincial and territorial branches and community level chapters support linguistic duality, a key goal of Canadian Heritage.

CPF President, Lisa Marie Perkins, stated “It is immensely gratifying to see how Canadian Heritage’s support for official languages in Canada is shaping the lives of young Canadians. Driven by our core belief that every Canadian child deserves the opportunity to learn their second official language, CPF is in a unique position to help advance the federal government’s agenda in Official Languages.”

Among other valuable initiatives supporting official languages, Young Canada Works in Both Official Languages created 404 jobs where students gained valuable work experience while using their second official language. Canadian Parents for French, as a proud participant in this program, also appreciates the capacity-building benefits that the YCW program contributes to the non-profit sector.

Since the first class in Saint-Lambert, Quebec in 1965, French Immersion education, supported by Canadian Heritage, has been an essential vehicle for the creation of bilingual Canadians. Although the overall national student population has dropped between 1976-1977 and 2010-2011, French Immersion enrolment has grown from 5,292 to 341,103, demonstrating the program’s sustained popularity among Canadian families.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French welcomes the Commissioner of Official Language’s Annual Report

OTTAWA – Today, Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser tabled his seventh annual report. Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to see how the Commissioner continues to value French second-language instruction across Canada, and lauds his vision of creating a true continuum of learning from elementary schools to post-secondary institutions. CPF strongly agrees with the Commissioner that the “continuum is an important an integral part of preparing our young people to be productive employees and citizens who can invest themselves fully in in the civic life of their country,” and supports the Commissioner’s recommendations to help improve French second-language learning for elementary, high school, and university programs across the country, including a better exploitation "of the potential of minority-language educational institutions,” and “a common language proficiency framework.”

Commissioner Fraser also stated during the press conference held after the release of the report that he was disappointed that French is not a mandatory subject outside of Québec.

CPF National President, Lisa Marie Perkins, welcomed the Commissioner’s report and stated, “It is always reassuring to know that the Commissioner is hearing the stories of parents who make the effort to give the gift of both official languages to their children , and that he sees a clear path in taking action to help future generations of children gain access to second-language education. The recommendations made in the Commissioner’s report are the necessary building blocks to help future French second language learners in the years and decades to come.”

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French welcomes the Commissioner of Official Language’s Annual Report

OTTAWA – Today, Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser tabled his seventh annual report. Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to see how the Commissioner continues to value French second-language instruction across Canada, and lauds his vision of creating a true continuum of learning from elementary schools to post-secondary institutions. CPF strongly agrees with the Commissioner that the “continuum is an important an integral part of preparing our young people to be productive employees and citizens who can invest themselves fully in in the civic life of their country,” and supports the Commissioner’s recommendations to help improve French second-language learning for elementary, high school, and university programs across the country, including a better exploitation "of the potential of minority-language educational institutions,” and “a common language proficiency framework.”

Commissioner Fraser also stated during the press conference held after the release of the report that he was disappointed that French is not a mandatory subject outside of Québec.

CPF National President, Lisa Marie Perkins, welcomed the Commissioner’s report and stated, “It is always reassuring to know that the Commissioner is hearing the stories of parents who make the effort to give the gift of both official languages to their children , and that he sees a clear path in taking action to help future generations of children gain access to second-language education. The recommendations made in the Commissioner’s report are the necessary building blocks to help future French second language learners in the years and decades to come.”

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:
Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x222 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Announcing Canadian Parents for French’s 37th Annual General Meeting

CPF will hold their 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM) October 18-20, 2013 in Victoria, British Columbia.

This year’s AGM weekend will feature a special panel discussion on Rapprochement between Francophiles and Fracophones. Participating on the panel will be representatives from CPF, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Commission nationale des parents francophones, the French Language Services of Ontario and the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique.

In addition to this discussion, this year’s AGM will have special presentations by standing and ad hoc national committees on initiatives that will shape the future of CPF.

We hope that this year’s AGM weekend will provide CPF with a strong platform to continue the great work across the organization.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x22 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Is English-French bilingualism really in decline?

Ottawa – On May 28, Statistics Canada released a study on the state of bilingualism in Canada entitled The evolution of English-French bilingualism in Canada from 1961 to 2011. The report concluded that in the last decade the proportion of the Canadian population who are official language bilingual has decreased for the first time in 40 years.

The small statistical decline masks the fact that the actual number of Canadians who are official language bilingual has increased from 5.2 million in 2001 to 5.8 million in 2011. The relative decrease is attributed to the increasing number of new immigrants coming to Canada, which is growing faster than the bilingual population of Canada, and to a decline in the proportion of students enrolled in French Second Language programs like Core or Basic French, which is not offset by the sustained growth experienced by French Immersion.

An additional factor is the decline in the overall student population in Canada during the same period as the study: “We`ve seen a decline from roughly 5,352,000 students 2002-2003 to roughly 4,712,000 in 2009-2010, so, looking at the proportion of students enrolled in FSL programs must be in tandem with the overall number of students in Canada,” states Robert Rothon, National Executive Director of Canadian Parents for French.

Canadian Parents for French sees the report as a call for further improvement to French Second Language learning and instruction in Canada, including:

  • Mandating French second language learning in every province and territory
  • Improving FSL programs like Core or Basic French and improving their retention rates
  • Developing provincial and territorial policy enabling FSL learning by all immigrant children and youth in our schools

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x22 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Announcing the Winners of the 11th Annual CPF National Concours d’art oratoire

OTTAWA—Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to announce the winners of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire 2013, held on Saturday May 25 at the University of Ottawa.

The Concours d’art oratoire program draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $180,000 in scholarships to the University of Ottawa and up to $5,000 in scholarships to Ottawa’s La Cité collégiale. This year, 38 national finalists in five different categories were welcomed to Ottawa after winning their provincial or territorial championships. The five categories that students compete in are based on linguistic ability, and range from Level 1 (Core French) to Level 5 (Francophone).

“Many people find public speaking difficult, especially in a second language, but with participation numbers nearing 70,000 nationwide, Concours d’art oratoire proves Canadian students want to be bilingual,” says CPF president Lisa Marie Perkins. “Young Canadians make smart choices when they realize that bilingualism will help open doors for them in the near future both culturally and professionally.”

First place winners in each category were awarded with an offer for a $20,000 scholarship to the University of Ottawa, generously donated by the school itself. In addition to the five grand prizes, the University also offers $5,000 scholarships to the first runner-up in each category, and $2,000 entrance bursaries to every national competitor. New this year, La Cité collégiale will also offer five $1,000 scholarships: four to competitors from Ontario, and one to a student from elsewhere in Canada.

The winners of the 2013 edition of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire are:

Level 1 [Core French]

1st Place: Melanie Zetusian (Oakville, Ontario)
2nd Place: Pooneh Montazeralsedgh (Gatineau, Quebec)
3rd Place: Jaclyn Flom (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Level 2 [Core French Extended]

1st Place: Greta Cecamore (Gatineau, Quebec)
2nd Place: Lucy Asante (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
3rd Place: Vicky Yi Qing Liu (Surrey, British Columbia)

Level 3 [Late French Immersion]

1st Place: Cristina Andronic (Ottawa, Ontario)
2nd Place: Carmela de Torres (Richmond, British Columia)
3rd Place: Emma Gehrs-Whyte (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Level 4 [Early French Immersion]

1st Place: Liam Bekirsky (Mississauga, Ontario)
2nd Place: Princessessa Calixte (Gatineau, Quebec)
3rd Place: Irene Carrasco (North Vancouver, British Columbia)

Level 5 [Francophone]

1st Place: Jordy Le (Victoria, British Columbia)
2nd Place: Jounaid Lyaghfouri (Mississauga, Ontario)
3rd Place: Raphaël Choquette (Auburn, Nova Scotia)

Participants spent two nights at the University of Ottawa dorms and were taken by CPF staff and volunteers on several excursions to some of the city’s most popular tourist landmarks. These included a tour of Centre Block on Parliament Hill, shopping at the Rideau Centre, dinner by the Byward Market and a trip to the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec for a French-language screening of the IMAX 3D film The Last Reef.

CPF thanks Canadian Heritage, the University of Ottawa, La Cité Collégiale and individual donors for their assistance with this event.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

Information:

Nicole Chatelain, Senior Communications Officer

Tel: 613.235.1481 x26 Email: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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‘#French Is’ a success!

OTTAWA – In March of this year, the National Office of Canadian Parents for French started a social media campaign in order to engage our membership and Canadians at large in a discussion about what French meant to them.

The campaign, which was supported by various branches and chapters of CPF across the country, started by asking our audience what French is to them. From there it progressed to a French word of the Day, and then a video which has sparked many positive comments and expressions of support. The success of the ‘#French Is’ campaign can be seen in the level of enthusiasm of participants’ comments and posts on Facebook and Twitter.

French Is:

“Wonderful wines, marvellous music, expressions of delight on the faces of my young students when "the inner light bulb" goes on and they understand something they've been struggling to understand!” – Bravo French Tutoring Facebook

“It’s a gateway to more opportunities” – A. Baker Facebook

“Raising a bilingual child is the joy/amusement of hearing ‘all finit’ from your 2yr old after dinner.” – ElisiaSQ Twitter

“An important part of our school culture” – SHA_NL Twitter

These are only some of the hundreds of comments we have heard thus far, and we are look forward to seeing more.

CPF National Executive Director, Robert Rothon said “This campaign showed us how important French is to Canadians across the country. We are pleased with the results of the campaign thus far, and we are going to work hard to continue the conversation.”

Join the conversation and tell us what you think #FrenchIs on Twitter or on Facebook!

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x22 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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CPF Selects Winners for Nationwide Memorial Fund Honouring Departed Teacher Mary Joyce Booth

CPF is pleased to announce the winners of the second annual CPF National Mary Joyce Booth Endowment Fund lottery.

An initiative that will provide students across Canada with thousands of dollars towards French-second-language (FSL) extracurricular opportunities every year, the Fund was implemented at the national level of CPF following the passing of teacher Mary Joyce Booth. A long-time friend and devoted advocate of CPF, Booth understood the value of extracurricular activities in supporting FSL learning. Her gift of a bequest gave CPF the opportunity to properly honour her years of work with a fund that shares not only her name, but also her spirit of devotion to Canadian students.

After a successful pilot in 2012 targeting individual students and their families, CPF adapted the program in 2013 to broaden its reach. CPF chapters and associate member organizations across the country were invited to apply for up to $1000 in grant money for camps, exchanges, clubs, trips, tutoring programs, and more, all with the stated goal of promoting or complementing the provision of quality FSL education to students in their communities.

This year’s grants, awarded via random lottery following the approval of all applications for eligibility, are going to a diversity of projects, including such things as a group trip to the historic Fortress of Louisbourg, a French concert for FSL students, a summer day camp, and more.

“The strength with which Mary Joyce Booth believed in CPF’s cause, and the zeal with which she advocated for it, are an inspiration to us all,” says CPF President Lisa Marie Perkins. “CPF wanted to ensure that the generous bequest she left would be used only in support of FSL education and student programs, so with the Mary Joyce Booth Endowment Fund, her legacy lives on.”

The winners of the 2013 CPF National Mary Joyce Booth Endowment Fund lottery are:

  • The CPF Corner Brook Chapter (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • The CPF Lindsay Chapter (Ontario)
  • The CPF New Westminster Chapter (British Columbia)
  • The CPF Port Hawkesbury Chapter (Nova Scotia)
  • The Société canadienne-française de Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
  • The Society of Supporters of École St. Matthew (Alberta)

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:

Nicole Chatelain, Senior Communications Officer/Agente de communication principale
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French meet with the Senate’s Standing Committee on Official Languages

OTTAWA – Canadian Parents for French was the first organization to be heard during the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages’ Study on best practices for language policies and second-language learning. Lisa Marie Perkins, CPF National Board President, Rita Parikh, CPF National Board Member, and Robert Rothon, CPF National Executive Director, gave a joint presentation that centered on the need for more inclusionary practices for immigration students to French Second Language programs.

During the presentation Ms Perkins highlighted the importance of keeping French Second Language instruction open to all students particularly immigrant students whose first language is neither English nor French. She stated that, “Research does show that immigrants are motivated to learn French, and have their children learn both of Canada’s official languages both because of the enhanced economic opportunity they feel it might afford them, and also because learning both languages fits with their understanding of what it means to be a Canadian.”

The presentation - which included broad recommendations centering on outreach and promotion of the importance of French Second Language programs, access to FSL programs, and setting achievable targets in the OLEP agreements to increase the number of children in FSL programs - was well received by the Committee.

The Committee Chair, Senator Maria Chaput of Manitoba, stated that she “was always impressed by the work conducted by Canadian Parents for French” and thanked CPF for assisting in bringing Canadian Francophonie to the level it is today.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x22 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French welcomes a renewed Government commitment to Official Languages

OTTAWA – Today, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, James Moore announced the details of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages. Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to see how the Government of Canada continues to believe in the importance of the country’s Official Languages.

In the announcement, Minister Moore stated, “Official Languages are a central part of Canada.” While the funding amount supporting language education was slightly lower than its predecessor, the overall financial commitment of 1.1 billion dollars was well-received by stakeholders.

During her presentation at today’s press conference, CPF National President Lisa Marie Perkins said she was “encouraged by the mention of the development of evaluation tools to recognize proficiency, funding to expand immersion opportunities, and the commitment to exchange programs.”

Yesterday, Ms Perkins was invited to a stakeholders meeting with the Minister in order to go through the Roadmap. Upon exiting the meeting, Ms Perkins stated that this was a legacy document and that she was happy to see how “our government recognizes that Canada’s Official Languages are interwoven into the fabric of what makes us Canadian.”

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x22 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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CPF applauds the renewal of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages

OTTAWA - Canadian Parents for French (CPF) applauds the Government of Canada’s renewal of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages as announced in the Economic Action Plan 2013.

“Canadians understand the importance of Canada’s official languages and support the values they embody, and the commitment made in the budget to renew the Roadmap illustrate how strongly the Government of Canada stands behind this nation-shaping policy,” says Lisa Marie Perkins, National President of CPF. “We are particularly grateful to Canadian Heritage minister James Moore for successfully keeping official languages among government priorities in a time of economic uncertainty and a general focus on skills training and infrastructure,” she concludes.

The action plan states that “[t]he new Roadmap represents an ongoing commitment to enhance the vitality of Canada’s official language minority communities and contribute to a strengthened linguistic duality.” Also, Canadian Parents for French is looking forward to see how the re-opening of the Federal Skills Worker Program which will put higher emphasis on language proficiency and youth will translate into French Second Language instruction for Canadians.

“Renewing the Roadmap will help French Second Language programs across the country,” states Robert Rothon, National Executive Director of CPF. “Despite the fact that programs like French Immersion are booming, and a record number of young Canadians are studying their second official language, support of this nature is crucial to keeping Canada a world leader in second language instruction and learning.”

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications
Tel: 613.235.1481 x22 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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CPF Welcomes the Government of Canada’s response to After the Roadmap

OTTAWA - On March 8, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore submitted a response to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages’ report After the Roadmap: Toward Better Programs and Service Delivery on behalf of the Canadian Government. Canadian Parents for French (CPF) applauds the Government of Canada’s intention to give consideration to the recommendations contained in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages’ report After the Roadmap: Toward Better Programs and Service Delivery.

Canadian Parents for French President Lisa Marie Perkins stated, “The government’s positive recognition of the committee’s work is very important for Canada, especially with the recent extensive media coverage on French immersion and official language bilingualism.”

The Government’s response highlighted how The Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality “represents the largest investment to support Canada’s official languages in our history,” The response also stated that that the Canadian Government is working on developing a strategy to follow up on the current Roadmap, which is set to expire in 2013. Canadian Parents for French is encouraged that the Government is considering the recommendations made by the Committee that the next official languages strategy be established with the milestones proposed in their report.

CPF was invited to speak during the Committee’s consultation process, and its statement on how “second-language learning [should] start at the early childhood stage” is echoed in the Committee’s report’s recommendations on official-language instruction.

CPF believes an increased commitment to bilingualism through FSL should include:

  • Addressing the shortage of qualified FSL teachers by enhancing teacher mobility and exchanges within Canada, and by speeding up the accreditation of immigrant teachers;
  • Increasing enrolment and retention in elementary and secondary FSL programs by encouraging the development and adoption of national French-language proficiency benchmarks;
  • Enabling Anglophone colleges and universities to offer courses and programs in French; and
  • Increasing opportunities for Anglophones to pursue their studies at Francophone colleges and universities.

Canadian Parents for French looks forward to seeing further details on the Government’s actions on Official Languages in Canada and follow up to The Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x22 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Open letter to Liberal Leadership Candidates

Open letter from Canadian Parents for French to:

David Bertschi
Martin Cauchon
Deborah Coyne
Marc Garneau
Martha Hall Findlay
Karen McCrimmon
Joyce Murray
George Takach
Justin Trudeau

One of the cornerstones of Canada’s national identity is the country’s two official languages - English and French. Canadian Parents for French (CPF), an organization which values French as integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-Language learning opportunities for young Canadians, believes that the Liberal Party of Canada’s leadership campaign offers candidates an opportunity to bring Official Languages to the fore as their party seeks to renew itself and engage with the Canadian electorate.

On April 16, 2013, voting delegates will choose the next Liberal leader who best understands the issues important to Canadians. One of those issues, CPF believes, is access by Canadian children and youth to a French Second Language (FSL) education.

Therefore, on behalf of our 24,000 members, CPF is submitting six questions for your consideration and response by March 1, 2013. On March 7, we will release your responses to the media, post them on our web site – www.officiallanguagesmatter.com – and share them with our members across Canada.

Official Languages matter to Canada and to individual Canadians, and no doubt they matter to you as well. Thank you in advance for responding to our questions and for making certain that Official Languages and FSL education are among the issues discussed during your leadership campaign.

Sincerely,

Lisa Marie Perkins
President, National Board
Canadian Parents for French
Robert Rothon
Executive Director, National Office
Canadian Parents for French

To read our questions to the candidates click here

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x22 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Why is French immersion really so popular - CPF response to Margaret Wente article

On February 5, Margaret Wente asked Why is French immersion so popular? The 24,000 members of Canadian Parents for French would like to answer that question based on its 36 years of experience advocating for French Second Language across Canada.

Academic Elitism

The article describes the students who enter French immersion a being the best and brightest students of any school district. Well, they don`t have to be since French Immersion was designed to accommodate all students, irrespective of their level of academic achievement. As leading Canadian FSL researcher Professor Fred Genesee from McGill University found, “…immersion students who are at risk in school because of below-average levels of academic ability…are not differentially-handicapped in their native language and academic development in comparison to groups of similar students in English-only programs.”

If French Immersion were truly an elitist program, then one would expect it to be bristling with all sorts of restrictive conditions of admission. But French Immersion has none. It is as accessible a programme as school districts care to make it.

Financial Elitism

Ms Wente states in her article that French immersion is “a way to get the benefits of a top public school even if you can’t afford to live near one.” Is Ms Wente arguing against excellence in the public school system? Would she apply the same arguments against an all-boys alternative program or a hockey academy? Furthermore, with over 350,000 students currently enrolled in French immersion programs across the country – a number that is growing – just how likely is it that all students come from higher socioeconomic backgrounds or are Montessori school graduates?

Keeping up with English stream

Ms Wente discusses how “Some [children] struggle in science and math” when enrolled in French immersion. The truth is while French immersion students may lag behind at Grade 3, but by Grade 4 or Grade 5 they not only match but often surpass English program students in math and English-language skills. Many Globe & Mail readers probably remember struggling in math went they went to school – in their mother tongue. Perhaps we should simply say that math is hard, and leave it at that.

Geographic use of French

Many factors go into the choice of a second or third language, but as the second most spoken language in Canada – and that by a huge margin over languages like Punjabi or Mandarin – there is a strong case for French to be a first choice. In addition, as the second most learned foreign language in the world after English, French is a uniquely well-positioned international language. It is the official language of more than 33 countries and is the only language other than English to be spoken on five continents.

Retention Rates

Retention rates in French immersion programs vary across the country, and we would certainly like to see them improve. However, school districts are increasingly successful in keeping children in the program. For example, in a 2012 review of the French immersion program in Ontario’s Peel District School Board, figures showed that more than half the students stay in French immersion from grades 1 to 8. In a similar vein, the Toronto District School Board claims a 70% retention rate from grades 1 to 6.

Early entrance to FSL programs

Studies find that adoption of languages is easiest during early instruction. So while parents demand French immersion programs at the Kindergarten and Grade 1 level, this is not because “It’s all about the parents.” It`s about the children getting the best opportunity to learn and master a second or other language.

Canadian Parents for French works hard to dispel the myths around French Immersion with evidence-based research. We would like to thank Ms Wente for providing us an opportunity to clarify many of the myths around French immersion and to provide us with a platform to spread the good word about the benefits of French Second Language instruction.

To read Ms. Wente’s article please click here.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x22 Email: sjandu@cpf.ca

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CPF Response to Canadian Living article

Recently, Ryan Stuart wrote an article for Canadian Living on his assessment on the pros and cons of French immersion schooling. He spoke with leading Canadian researcher Prof. Fred Genesee from McGill University, and we are happy to hear that after his discussion Mr. Stuart will be keeping his daughter in French immersion!

In his article, Mr. Stuart raised some of the questions regarding French immersion many parents ask themselves as they look at French immersion for their child. CPF would like to take a quick moment to address these concerns, maybe dispel some myths, and assist parents in making their decisions about enrolling their children into French immersion.

Retention

Mr. Stuart raised the issue of French immersion programs having a low retention rate, “one in four children who enroll in kindergarten French immersion graduate in French immersion.” While this may be true in some parts of Canada, the reality is that this is not true across the country. Unfortunately, with multiple entry points to the program (Kindergarten, grades 1, 3, and 6) it is difficult to calculate exact French immersion retention rates from kindergarten to graduation.

However, if we look at retention rates in primary school we can see that the numbers can be higher than those quoted in Mr. Stuart’s article. For example, in a 2012 review of the French immersion program in Ontario’s Peel District School Board, figures illustrated that more than half the students stay in French immersion from grades 1 to 8. In a similar vein, the Toronto District School Board claims a 70% retention rate from grades 1 to 6.

Elitism

One of the points raised by Mr. Stuart is the issue of elitism surrounding the French immersion program, pointing to a Statistics Canada report from 2004 that states “French immersion students are more likely to come from higher socioeconomic backgrounds and to have parents who have a post-secondary education.” This, we feel, is a changing reality. The truth is that with over 350,000 students currently enrolled in French immersion programs across the country – a number that is growing – not all students come from higher socioeconomic backgrounds or live in privileged communities. Moreover, there are no admission tests to French Immersion, no admission criteria to meet, and in this regard, French Immersion is open to all.

Keeping up with English stream

One concern many families face when their children are enrolled in the French immersion program is the ability to keep up with their peers in the English stream. Mr. Stuart noticed that his daughter was “falling behind in reading in both French and English” when she was in the 3rd grade. The truth is while French immersion students may lag behind at Grade 3, by Grade 4 or Grade 5 they not only match but often surpass English program students in math and English-language skills.

French vs. Other languages

The last point we would like to comment on is Mr. Stuart’s comment about how “a Mandarin, Spanish or Hindi immersion program would be even more beneficial.” Many factors go into the choice of a second or third language, but as the second most spoken language in Canada – and that by a huge margin over languages like Punjabi or Mandarin – there is a strong case for French to be a first choice. In addition, as the second most learned foreign language in the world after English, French is a uniquely well-positioned international language. It is the official language of more than 33 countries and is the only language other than English to be spoken on five continents.

Canadian Parents for French is happy that Mr. Stuart decided to keep his daughter in French immersion, and we wish the Stuart family many happy years of involvement with our country’s official languages.

Click here to read the article.

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CPF Welcomes "After the Roadmap"

OTTAWA—On November 8, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages issued its report on a successor to the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality, a 1.1 billion dollar investment in official languages in Canada. Canadian Parents for French (CPF) applauds the recommendations on French-second-language (FSL) education from the report, After the Roadmap, and looks forward to seeing the federal government’s response.

CPF’s brief to the committee on how “second-language learning [should] start at the early childhood stage” was an important piece in the Committee’s report’s recommendation:

“That, in a future horizontal official languages initiative, the Department of Canadian Heritage consider supporting a bursary program for immersion school graduates and Francophile or Anglophile students wishing to pursue some or all of their studies in their second language at a postsecondary institution in Canada.”

In addition, CPF’s stance on the importance of targeting Allophone parents was the first of four priority areas of government action on second-language education.

In the context of the latest census figures released by Statistics Canada, which noted a decrease in the number of unilingual English and French speakers and a rise in immigrant languages, and higher employment rates for official-language bilinguals, CPF hopes to see the federal government respond with a renewed commitment to official-language bilingualism. While the current approach to the Official Languages Act protects each linguistic community separately, CPF believes that enshrining the principle of individual official-language bilingualism is the natural next step for this government to take in meeting the evolving reality of the linguistic landscape in Canada.

An increased commitment to bilingualism through FSL could include:

  • Addressing the shortage of qualified FSL teachers by enhancing teacher mobility and exchanges within Canada and by speeding up the accreditation of immigrant teachers;
  • Increasing enrolment and retention in elementary and secondary FSL programs by encouraging the development and adoption of national French-language proficiency benchmarks;
  • Enabling Anglophone colleges and universities to offer courses and programs in French; and
  • Increasing opportunities for Anglophones to pursue their studies at Francophone colleges and universities.

To see more ways CPF feels that the federal government can increase the proportion official-language bilinguals in Canada please read our brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee of Official Language here.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:

Nicole Chatelain, Senior Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x26 Email: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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2011 Census Finds Positive Numbers in Canada's Bilingual Labour Force

OTTAWA—On November 1st, Statistics Canada released a second set of findings from its much-anticipated 2011 Census. The new data sets illustrate Canada’s linguistic landscape in the workforce. As with the first batch of language statistics, Canadian Parents for French has identified some very positive numbers regarding bilingualism and linguistic duality across Canada’s job market.

There are some great trends for French-English bilinguals across the country. Aside from Quebec, unemployment rate of French-English bilinguals is significantly lower than the national average, with the highest levels being just above 4%. Also, across Canada, the majority of bilingual workers earn more than $500 a week, with almost 30% earning more than $800 a week.

Looking at labour indicators for English-French speakers who have a mother tongue which is not necessarily an official language of Canada, the employment rate is over 5% higher than the national average. And, the unemployment rate is just under the national average.

An interesting conclusion from the Census is that while one of the big selling points of official language bilingualism is the ability to work in government, just over 6% of this population is employed in public administration. Robert Rothon, Executive Director of CPF’s National Branch commented about this by saying “that official Language bilingualism is proving to be of added value in the private sector as well.”

While the overall numbers of Francophones in the labour market are not as high as Anglophones with unemployment numbers of 8.3% and 7.4%, respectively, Statistics Canada is quick to point out that this “is more a reflection of the distribution of Francophones and Anglophones in Canada than a lower level of ‘performance’ in the labour market by a particular language group.”

Seeing these results, CPF is happy with the language trends occurring within Canada’s employment sector. These trends demonstrate that there is a great demand for French-English bilingualism in the labour market and CPF encourages parents to enroll their children in bilingual programs that will help give them an extra edge in the workforce.

For more information please contact your local CPF Chapter or Branch and see how you can contribute to Canada’s official bilingualism.

Read the Census report here.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer/Agent de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x22 Email/Courriel: sjandu@cpf.ca

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2011 Census Finds Positive Gains in Numbers of Bilingual Canadians

OTTAWA—On Wednesday, Statistics Canada released the findings of its much-anticipated 2011 Census. Since its release there has been an outpouring of information regarding Canada’s linguistic landscape. Some of the most prominent trends are those regarding the decrease of French and English speakers across the country. However, Canadian Parents for French sees some very positive numbers regarding bilingualism and linguistic duality across the country.

A major takeaway which is directly related to the efforts of CPF is that bilingualism is increasing faster among young Canadians than the general public. This trend mirrors our own research in CPF’s Annual FSL Enrolment in Canada 2006-2011 report which shows an increased proportion of students in immersion programs since 2006.

While there has been a minor increase in the proportion of French-English bilingual speakers across the country from 2006 to 2011 (17.4% and 17.5% respectively), the actual number of people who can conduct a conversation in both official languages is up by 350,000. While this is only a small increase, it is a very positive finding, especially when compared to the number of unilingual English and French speakers which is currently in decline in Canada.

It is important to also note that the percent of households who speak both English and French at home has increased from 3.8 % in 2006 to 5.4 % in 2011. This shows that despite a low increase of official-language bilingualism across the country, a growing number of people are encouraging and practicing bilingualism at home.

Finally, one of the largest conclusions from the 2011 Census is the number of Allophones in Canada. According to the census almost 70% of the population who speak a non-official language at home also speak either French or English. In the 2010 issue of CPF’s The State of French-Second-Language Education in Canada, the focus was on Allophone engagement in FSL programs. The report stated that 40% of Allophone parents enrolled their children into French Immersion programs. Given the numbers from the Census it could be inferred that there are over 100,000 FSL students from Allophone families.

Echoing the importance of Allophone engagement in FSL programs, Robert Rothon, Executive Director of CPF National, stated that “with the increasing presence of Allophone communities in Canada through immigration, it is important that all parties work together to ensure that Allophone youth be able to learn both official languages as part of their settlement and integration process.”

There is a slew of information on Canada’s linguistic landscape in the 2011 Census, and while there are some positive notes regarding official bilingualism in Canada we cannot sit idly by and hope that these trends continue. We should take an active role in encouraging bilingualism and FSL enrolment.

For more information please contact your local CPF Chapter or Branch and see how you can contribute to Canada’s official bilingualism.

Read the Census report here: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121024/dq121024a-eng.htm

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:

Shaunpal Jandu, Communications Officer/Agent de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x22 Email/Courriel: sjandu@cpf.ca

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Research Report Calls for More Support for Academically Challenged Students in French-Second-Language Education

Canadian Parents for French (CPF) has launched its tenth research report, entitled The State of French-Second-Language Education in Canada 2012: Academically Challenged Students and FSL programs.

The 2012 report, the most recent in a line of publications exploring trends, challenges, and successes of French-second-language (FSL) education in Canadian schools, highlights the unique obstacles faced by students with learning difficulties in an FSL environment. The report features summaries of presentations by six researchers studying this subject in Canada to a round table of diverse participants in June. The round table included representatives from CPF, researchers, federal and provincial government officials, school board officials, academics, and other stakeholders concerned with accessibility in FSL programming.

“Too many FSL programs are closed off to students with learning difficulties, when these are the very programs that might be able to help such children really shine,” says CPF President Lisa Marie Perkins. “The majority of students — including many of those with academic challenges — can succeed in becoming bilingual, especially when adequate resources are in place to help with student academic development.“

The 2012 report includes comprehensive recommendations to facilitate better access to, and success in, FSL programs for students with learning difficulties that were developed by round table participants. CPF believes that given adequate resources, more awareness about academically challenged students’ abilities, and sufficient teacher support, more Canadians than ever before can become bilingual in both of Canada’s official languages. All FSL programs, and in particular French immersion—the FSL program best suited to the widest range of student ability—should be sufficiently resourced in order to offer all students the chance to become bilingual. CPF Executive Director Robert Rothon notes that preventing academically challenged students from full participation in a standard-curriculum program may in some cases amount to discrimination:

“For too long, and by too many, French immersion has been seen as a program for the gifted child or the child from the ‘right’ background or the child without any kind of learning challenge or difficulty,” says Rothon. “Actually, French immersion is a program designed for all children where the standard curriculum is taught in both official languages. Until we understand this and change discriminatory practices and policies identified by our round table participants and presenters, many—too many—children will never get a fair deal.”

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:

Nicole Chatelain, Senior Communications Officer/Agente de communication principale
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Announcing the Winners of the CPF National Concours d'art oratoire 2012

OTTAWA—Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to announce the winners of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire 2012, held on Saturday May 26 at the University of Ottawa.

The Concours d’art oratoire program draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $170,000 in scholarships to the University of Ottawa. This year, 34 national finalists in five different categories were welcomed to Ottawa after winning their provincial or territorial championships. The five categories that students compete in are based on linguistic ability, and range from Level 1 (Core French) to Level 5 (Francophone).

“The runaway success of the Concours program, now in its tenth year and still growing, is proof that Canadian students want to be bilingual,” says CPF president Lisa Marie Perkins. “And why wouldn’t they? Bilingualism will open cultural and professional doors to them, enrich their minds, and graduate them to full citizens of both Canada and the world. Young people are smart, and know a good thing when they see it.”

First place winners in each category were awarded with an offer for a $20,000 scholarship to the University of Ottawa, generously donated by the school itself. In addition to the five grand prizes, the University also offers $5,000 scholarships to the first runner-up in each category, and $2,000 entrance bursaries to every national competitor.

The winners of the 2011 edition of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire are:

Level 1 [Core French]
1st Place: Jeremy Wang (Toronto, Ontario)
2nd Place: Joshua Fernandez (Vancouver, British Columbia)
3rd Place: Breanne Nemez (Narol, Manitoba)

Level 2 [Core French Extended]
1st Place: Colin Taylor (Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labrador)
2nd Place: Alan Zhou (Scarborough, Ontario)
3rd Place: Tzu-Wei Tseng (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Level 3 [Late French Immersion]
1st Place: Shaul Gordon (Richmond, British Columbia)
2nd Place: Kate Lavergne (Ste-Anne-Des-Plaines, Quebec)
3rd Place: Emily Smith (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories)

Level 4 [Early French Immersion]
1st Place: Olivia Dorey (Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia)
2nd Place: Liam Bekirsky (Mississauga, Ontario)
3rd Place: Caitlin Berger (Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Quebec)

Level 5 [Francophone]
1st Place: Maha Temkit (Ottawa, Ontario)
2nd Place: Bénédicte LeMaître (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
3rd Place: Ghislain d’Entremont (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)

Participants spent two nights at the University of Ottawa dorms and were taken by CPF staff and volunteers on several excursions to some of the city’s most popular tourist landmarks. These included a tour of Centre Block on Parliament Hill, shopping at the Rideau Centre, dinner in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood and a trip to the Théâtre de l’île in Gatineau, Quebec for a chance to see La petite poule d’eau, a play based on the book of the same name by Manitoban author Gabrielle Roy.

CPF thanks Canadian Heritage, the University of Ottawa, Voyages Rideau Travel, Radio Enfant-Ado, and individual donors for their assistance with this event.

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About CPF

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.
www.cpf.ca

Information: Nicole Chatelain, 613.235.1481 x26, nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Advisory: $20,000 scholarship to be awarded to each of five grand prize winners in national French-language public speaking competition

OTTAWA - On Saturday May 26, Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is hosting its tenth annual public speaking competition, CPF National Concours d’art oratoire 2012, at the University of Ottawa.

The grand prize for the first place winners in each of five categories is a $20,000 scholarship to the University of Ottawa, generously donated by the University. Second-place winners receive a $5,000 scholarship and each of the other national finalists who competes will be awarded a $2,000 entrance scholarship.

The competition brings together senior high school students from across Canada who will deliver the speech that won them first prize at the school, regional, and/or provincial and territorial levels. The CPF National Concours d’art oratoire has five language categories: Level 1 (Core French), Level 2 (Core French Extended), Level 3 (Late Immersion), Level 4 (Early Immersion), and Level 5 (Francophone).

Date: Saturday, May 26, 2012
Time: 9:30 a.m. (Welcoming Remarks)
Place: University of Ottawa, Tabaret Hall, 550 Cumberland, Ottawa, ON
CPF Spokespersons: Lisa Marie Perkins, President; and Robert Rothon, Executive Director

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:

Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Open Letter to Minister Moore In Support of CBC/Radio-Canada

The Honourable
James Moore, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister:

The following member organizations of the French Second-language (FLS) Partner Network—Canadian Association of Immersion Teachers (CAIT), Canadian Association of Second-Language Teachers (CASLT), Canadian Parents for French (CPF), Canadian Youth for French (CYF) and French for the Future—congratulate you on your support of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and of the Société Radio-Canada (SRC).

The CBC/SRC offers a service that no other broadcaster in Canada is able and/or willing to provide: a commitment to engage with both of Canada’s official languages. We are pleased to see Canada’s Minister of Official Languages show such strong support for the CBC/SRC as an institution of linguistic duality. We echo your comments that “the importance of CBC to ensure that both of Canada’s official languages are represented all over the regions of this country is essential.”

Of particular relevance to the Network, and to families across Canada, is the CBC/SRC’s role in helping foster official-language bilingualism in Canada’s youth. You expressed acknowledgement of this crucial role on December 1, with your comments that the CBC/SRC can help FSL teachers bring French-language resources and entertainment into the classroom. We thank you for your recognition of this effective and helpful method for encouraging students to embrace and engage with linguistic duality and we greatly hope that for all of these reasons, the CBC/SRC will not be ignored as a cultural institution in the Canadian media landscape.

Your support for the CBC/SRC is appreciated by the undersigned members of the FSL Partner Network and by countless Canadians on a nationwide level.

Yours sincerely,

Chantal Bourbonnais, Canadian Association of Immersion Teachers
Myriam Lafrance, French for the Future
Guy Leclair, Canadian Assocation of Second-Language Teachers
Justin Morrow, Canadian Youth for French
Robert Rothon, Canadian Parents for French

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CPF To Host 35th National AGM October 15 in Charlottetown

OTTAWA, October 11, 2011—Canadian Parents for French (CPF) will be hosting its 35th National Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, October 15, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. More than 40 delegates nationwide will be in attendance at the meeting.

The 2011 AGM Weekend, with the theme “Our CPF,” will run from Friday October 14 to Sunday October 16. All official CPF activity will be taking place at the Delta Prince Edward, except for the welcoming reception on Friday evening, which will be held at Founders Hall in downtown Charlottetown, and the Saturday night President’s Banquet, which will take place at the Stanhope Beach Resort & Conference Centre in Stanhope, PEI.

Charlottetown mayor Mr. Clifford J. Lee will deliver a note of welcome to the delegates at Friday evening’s reception.

Date and time of the AGM:
Saturday, October 15, 1:15 pm

Place:
Delta Hotel, 18 Queen Street, Charlottetown, PEI Elfin/Pekeha Room

Spokespersons:
Lisa Marie Perkins, President, Canadian Parents for French Robert Rothon, Executive Director, Canadian Parents for French

For information on other events, or to request a media pass and/or weekend program book, please contact Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer, at 613-794-9324.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x26 Email: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Robert Rothon Selected as Canadian Parents for French's New National Executive Director

For Immediate Release Ottawa, July 19, 2011
Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to announce the selection of a new national executive director.

CPF congratulates Robert Rothon on his appointment. Effective September 12 2011, Rothon will be leading an Ottawa-based national staff under the management of the CPF national board of directors.

Rothon, an 18-year consultant for the non-profit industry with a strong communications background, is currently the executive director of the British Columbia & Yukon branch of CPF, the largest in Canada. He will be succeeding James Shea, whose nine-year turn as current national executive director will be officially ending on September 30.

"We are very pleased that Robert has accepted the position as national executive director because of his professional background and personal commitment to the organization and what is stands for," says Lisa Marie Perkins, CPF national president and chair of the Executive Director Search Committee. "Our efforts were focussed on finding a progressive individual who will provide operational leadership to a national organization and staff in pursuit of the goals and objectives as set by the national board. Robert's commitment to the direction that the national board is taking, and his professional background were of crucial importance in our hiring decision, and his communications background complements nicely the diverse skill set possessed by the rest of the national office staff."

A graduate of Concordia University and of the Université du Québec à Montréal, Rothon's career in communications began with his employment in French language services at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1986. For over a decade, Rothon worked as a researcher, broadcaster and producer for the Canadian media powerhouse in Vancouver before moving to the Fédération canadienne pour l'alphabétisation en français in 2004 as a research and project coordinator for the Western and Northern members of the national network. In 2006, Rothon began a new research and communications role at Educacentre College, British Columbia's sole Francophone college, moving quickly to Head of Continuing Education and Training, before finally landing his role of executive director with CPF British Columbia & Yukon in 2008. Prior to his joining CPF, from 1990-2008, Rothon also took on consultant work with various cultural, educational and other not-for-profits on a freelance basis.

Rothon is committed to CPF's mission to provide official languages education for all students in Canada and is looking forward to stepping into his new role in order to advocate for this cause at the federal level. "Not only do I strongly believe in personal bilingualism as a reflection of Canada's linguistic duality, I can honestly say that I have lived it all my life, even before the Official Languages Act came into existence," says Rothon. "It was my great good luck to be raised in a bilingual household, to attend English and French language schools and post-secondary institutions, and to move freely from one official-language-dominant work milieu to the other. I'm living proof that bilingualism does work. It is my profound conviction," he concludes, "that every child in Canada should have a right to a bilingual education."

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

The Embassy of France Cultural Service focuses on the exchanges between France and Canada in sectors such as education and linguistic co-operation, academic relations, artistic and cultural co-operation, and audio-visual co-operation.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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An Open Letter from James Shea: This Is My Canada

I remember the first time I met Melanie Young.

We were both attending a CPF advocacy event in Winnipeg, in 2004. She had a baby with her—her son, Quinn, and the youngest of four. Melanie was new to CPF and had recently fallen into the role of Chapter President for The Pas, Manitoba. She wasn’t quite sure how she had ended up in her presidency position so quickly, but she was looking forward to representing parent advocates in her community and standing up for bilingual education.

Over the years, I would meet Melanie again several more times, and a truer personification of all we stand for at CPF would be hard to find. A hardworking, devoted parent with a fundamental belief in the power of languages, Melanie was counselled by many to keep all four of her children out of the immersion system. And in every case, Melanie refused to listen.

Alexa, her eldest child and only daughter, struggled with a phonological delay in kindergarten and it was suggested that the immersion program might be too complicated for her. Ignoring the advice of speech therapists who suggested that Alexa might be better suited to a less intensive French-second-language (FSL) program, Melanie opted to give her daughter a chance to prove what she could do. Now 15, Alexa is poised to graduate from high school in a few years with full French immersion creditation, and she has just been named a member of SEVEC’s Youth Advisory Committee. Alexa hopes to continue her bilingual studies one day at the University of Ottawa.

Melanie’s sons were, like their older sister, recommended for removal from the French immersion stream. The oldest, Dylan (now 13), has battled Asperger’s; McKenzie (10) battles Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD; and young Quinn is facing his own learning difficulties at seven, although nothing has yet been diagnosed. Melanie has enrolled all four in the early French immersion program, the program that researchers have consistently found is the best suited to the widest range of student abilities, including those with learning difficulties. All four, she proudly proclaims, remain in the program to this day—and they are flourishing in their bilingual studies.

Through my nine years as the national executive director of CPF, I’ve encountered many success stories like Melanie’s. She credits CPF with giving her the support she needed to insist on the right programs for her children, but it’s plain to anyone who talks to her that the fight for the students in her community was in her all along. When the immersion program was under threat of elimination in The Pas, she joined CPF and took a stand in the fight to keep the program alive. The efforts of Melanie and her colleagues did not go unrewarded: today, the program is thriving in her community.

I am honoured to have known, talked to, and worked with Melanie Young. It has been my pleasure to call her a colleague and to hear her proudly discuss her children’s accomplishments in school and in life. So I would like to take this time to say thank you to Melanie Young, and to all of the mothers, fathers and caregivers just like her who’ve taken an active role in pushing for students’ rights in Canada.

Many of you have been in Melanie’s position. You might be native-born Canadian or new to this country; you could belong to any political or religious persuasion; you could be a teacher, police officer, tribal chief, public servant, doctor, farmer, Bay Street executive or stay-at-home parent. The one thread connecting you all is your passion for bilingual education. Whether you’re doing what you can to support CPF with your annual fee, or taking time to work with your school board and insist on the rights of your children to learn both of Canada’s official languages, you’re a part of this organization. CPF is filled with members just like Melanie: people who’ve used what resources they had available to advocate the best they can for their children and all children in their communities.

This may be my final word as your national executive director, but that does not mean that my journey on this path is finished. I am inspired by the volunteerism and the activist spark that I see in Melanie. It is my greatest wish that although I may no longer be in a position to call the hundreds of directors, volunteers and staff in this organization my colleagues, I can continue to call you my friends—friends who believe in a common vision and work towards a common goal. I firmly believe that Canada will see a day where all of its residents support and appreciate official bilingualism—and that is thanks to you. Please continue the great work that has built CPF into what it is today: please remember Melanie Young and her colleagues, and most of all, remember the four children in The Pas, Manitoba who’ve been given the wonderful gift of bilingualism because their mother refused to let it pass them by.

Thank you all for the nine wonderful years I have had here with you, and remember—it is you who have made CPF, and who have helped make bilingualism a reality in your homes, your schools, your communities and indeed, in all of Canada.

À bientôt!

James Shea
Executive Director, CPF

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:

Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x26 Email: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Allons en France 2011 contest awards Canadian student with a trip to France

For immediate release June 21, 2011
Ottawa–Canadian Parents for French (CPF) and the Embassy of France are pleased to announce the winner of the Allons en France 2011 competition. Julia Sinkovits, of Oakville, Ontario, was selected among 52 competitors to receive a 10-day trip to France.

“Dozens of youth in Canada have come home from the prize trip year after year exhilarated by a once-in-a lifetime experience,” says CPF president Lisa Marie Perkins. “We are so happy at CPF to have the occasion to partner with the Embassy of France each year, bringing this opportunity to students all across Canada. Congratulations to Julia Sinkovits and to all participants for a fantastic contest!”

Students were asked to submit a piece of literature in French, using 10 words provided, that illustrates the contest theme. This year’s theme was “Français: langue olympique,” and invited students to submit poetry, stories, essays or other literature about the Olympics themselves or other sports and competitions. Each submission was evaluated based on originality, French language quality, and content development.

“All I can say right now is wow,” said Sinkovits upon hearing the news of her win. “Thank you so much for this opportunity!”

Sinkovits’ poem, “Tout commence avec un seul fil,” will soon be available for viewing at www.cpf.ca. The prize consists of a 10-day trip to France which will take place in July. The prize package includes travel, accommodation, activities and insurance.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

The Embassy of France Cultural Service focuses on the exchanges between France and Canada in sectors such as education and linguistic co-operation, academic relations, artistic and cultural co-operation, and audio-visual co-operation.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Announcing the Winners of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire 2011

For immediate release May 30, 2011
OTTAWA—Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to announce the winners of the CPF NationalConcours d’art oratoire 2011, held on Saturday May 28 at the University of Ottawa.

The Concours d’art oratoire program draws students from across Canada in the competition that offers over $175,000 in scholarships to the University of Ottawa. This year, 36 national finalists in five different categories were welcomed to Ottawa after winning their provincial or territorial championships. The five categories that students compete in are based on linguistic ability, and range from Level 1 (Core French) to Level 5 (Francophone).

“This year’s edition was, as always, filled to the brim with talent and enthusiasm,” says CPF president Lisa Marie Perkins. “It is heartening to see so many young people who care about official bilingualism. These are youth who work hard at their French, whether they come from Francophone homes or have learned the language through classes at school. Every one of these students deserves utmost praise for their outstanding efforts here today.”

First place winners in each category were awarded with an offer for a $20,000 scholarship to the University of Ottawa, generously donated by the school itself. In addition to the five grand prizes, the University also offers $5,000 scholarships to the first runner-up in each category, and $2,000 entrance bursaries to every national competitor.

The winners of the 2011 edition of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire are:

Level 1 [Core French]
1st Place: Camille Pabalan (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
2nd Place: Sophie Starke-Hellwig (Bathurst, New Brunswick)
3rd Place: Christian Norton (Annandale, Prince Edward Island)

 

Level 2 [Core French Extended]
1st Place: Julia Romanski (Toronto, Ontario)
2nd Place: Megan Freimann (Sainte Agathe, Quebec)
3rd Place: Nicola Jones (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

 

Level 3 [Late French Immersion]
1st Place: Aislin Flynn (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
2nd Place: Tanya Bagai (Delta, British Columbia)
3rd Place: Raquel Albert (Gatineau, Quebec)

 

Level 4 [Early French Immersion]
1st Place: Sean Leonard (Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador)
2nd Place: Maria Debly (Quispamsis, New Brunswick)
3rd Place: Avnee Paranjape (Regina, Saskatchewan)

 

Level 5 [Francophone]
1st Place: Alice Brun-Newhook (St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador)
2nd Place: Julien Jefferson (Waterloo, Ontario)
3rd Place: Nastastya Hénault (Wakefield, Quebec)

 

Participants spent two nights at the University of Ottawa dorms and were taken by CPF staff and volunteers on several excursions to some of the city’s most popular tourist landmarks. These included a tour of Parliament, shopping at the Rideau Centre, dinner in the ByWard Market and a viewing of Herman Kolgen’s interactive art film Dust at the Dai-Mon gallery in Gatineau, Quebec.

CPF thanks Canadian Heritage, the University of Ottawa, Rideau Travel, the Rideau Centre, Park-Ex Pictures, and individual donors for their assistance with this event.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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CPF Asks for Reversal of CBE Decision

For immediate release April 29, 2011
Ottawa, April 29—Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is asking the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) to reconsider their decision to eliminate mandatory core French from their community. "CPF is firmly in support of parental and student choice, because no one program works best for all students," says CPF president Lisa Marie Perkins. "But removing the requirement for students to have any second-language instruction at all doesn't introduce more options, it eliminates them."

Under the new program, administrators of individual schools will be allowed to determine whether second-language instruction is right for their school for students in grades 4 - 6. Previously, schools in Calgary had to offer at minimum enough second-language instruction to constitute a core French or equivalent program from grades 4 through 9, with the option of offering more hours of instruction as per the school's wishes. The new policy may have technically introduced options by eliminating a mandatory component for younger students, notes CPF, but these options are superficial and do not translate into greater program accessibility.

"Schools in each district can do what they want for the younger kids, so it remains to be seen how many will opt for a bilingual or multilingual approach," says Perkins. "This might lead to cuts or reductions in program offering, and Calgary might start seeing admissions lotteries or enrolment caps plaguing the schools who offer any second-language programming at all. Experience has demonstrated that access to quality French-second-language (FSL) programs is reduced under charges of elitism when they are forced to compete with English-only programs that are wrongly perceived as more universally suitable. Every student deserves a chance to excel in FSL."

CPF executive director James Shea shares Perkins' concern. "This decision was not made in consultation with parents, or even with parent advocates, such as the Calgary chapter of Canadian Parents for French," states Shea. "On what basis was this decision reached, if local families couldn't even voice their input? School boards are supposed to listen to the people that they represent, not decide what's best for them without consultation. From an executive standpoint, this decision was hasty at best."

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Announcing the winners of Français pour mon succès 2011!

For immediate release March 23, 2011
Ottawa, March 20 2011 L’Association de la presse francophone (APF) and Canadian Parents for French (CPF) are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2011 edition of the Français pour mon succès competition.

The four regional winners are Ksenia Pinski of Eric Hamber Secondary School in Vancouver (Western/Northern Canada category); Will Medeiros of Regiopolis-Notre Dame in Kingston (Ontario); Robyn Brewer of Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School in Pierrefonds (Quebec) and Ashna Hammad-Asim of Harbourview Montessori School in Sydney, Nova Scotia (Atlantic provinces category). The winners were chosen by a jury for the linguistic quality and originality of each piece.

These four winning students will see their writing published in the APF’s member newspapers and will be awarded with a scholarship from the University of Ottawa, as well as a package of French-language materials.

Six writers were also selected as finalists in their respective categories: Emily Drouin and Danica Lagassé of Regiopolis-Notre Dame (Ontario), Christophe Marmouche of St. Paul’s Jr. High and Laura Bailey of St. Paul’s Intermediate in Newfoundland & Labrador (Atlantic provinces category) and Cristina Makowecki and Kellie Sych of École St. Thomas in Saskatchewan (Western/Northern Canada category).

"CPF is very pleased with the success of the 2011 edition of the competition. We've received just over 100 submissions in total--proof that today's youth really do think about the imporance of French in regards to their future," said CPF president Lisa Marie Perkins. APF president Étienne Alary added: “I offer congratulations to all the contest winners and encourage them to continue using French in their daily life. Students enrolled in French-second-language programs are important to the French-speaking community; they add a richness and diversity that can inspire us all.”

To participate in the competition, students were asked to submit a piece of writing in French explaining why learning French was important to them.

APF and CPF would like to thank Canadian Heritage for funding this project, as well as the University of Ottawa, Scholastic and l’Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique, who contributed to the prize packages for the finalists and winners.

To read the winning entries, obtain a copy of your local APF member Francophone community paper in the next few weeks, or visit the APF and CPF websites.

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About APF

L’Association de la press francophone is the only network of Canadian French-language newspapers published outside Quebec. Its mission is to unite, support, serve and represent its member publications so as to contribute to the development and reach of Canada's Francophone press, and the vitality of Canada's Francophone and Acadian communities. It vigorously defends the principles of free speech and freedom of the press.

www.apf.ca
Information : Geneviève Gazaille, 613.241.1017, communications@apf.ca

About CPF

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

www.cpf.ca
Information : Nicole Chatelain, 613.235.1481 x26, nchatelain@cpf.ca

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CPF National's Executive Director James Shea Announces Retirement

For immediate release January 14, 2011
Happy New Year to you all. As is the tradition with new beginnings, we at CPF are embarking on a new adventure. After nine years of dedicated service as our Executive Director, James Shea has decided to move on from CPF. He will be ending his tenure in September 2011. On behalf of the National Board, I know I speak for many when I say that CPF would not be where it is today without Jim. His knowledge, dedication and passion for our vision and the organization have brought us much success and it is now time for us to wish him well as he explores new options. As a National Board, we realize the importance of the Executive Director to CPF's success. Thus, we have formed a committee of the National Board to oversee this transition and to take leadership in selecting a new Executive Director. This committee consists of Lisa Marie Perkins, CPF President;Jordan Wright, CPF Vice-President; and Claude Parent, CPF Board Member. To begin, we will be conducting a needs-assessment and soliciting feedback from the CPF network, our partners, and staff. Based on this feedback and other research, we will draft and finalize a job description. Thereafter, we will advertise, interview, and select an appropriate candidate. The National Board is hoping to have someone hired by this summer, which will allow for some transition between Jim and his successor. We thank everyone for your patience and cooperation as we go through this process. If you have any questions about our ED search, please contact a member of the committee. On behalf of the committee, Lisa Marie Perkins National President Chair, ED Search Committee

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

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Immersion Graduates Take Control of Canadian Parents for French

For immediate release October 19, 2010
OTTAWA—October 16 2010 marked a historic day for Canadian Parents for French (CPF) when officials at the 34th Annual General Meeting for the organization elected a French immersion graduate as its national president for the first time ever. Lisa Marie Perkins, a native of Alberta, has been an enthusiastic member of the National Board of Directors for several years now. As president, she will represent a network of approximately 26,000 members nationwide who support the advancement of French-second-language (FSL) opportunities for youth in Canada.

A mother of a 13-year-old son studying FSL himself, Perkins looks forward to taking on a leadership role for more students across Canada. “I’ve gone through the French Immersion program, first as a student and now as a parent,” says Perkins. “I know first-hand what FSL can do. I’m honoured and excited to represent this amazing community and deliver its message to our country: the message that every student in Canada can become bilingual, and deserves opportunities to make that dream a reality.”

Perkins is backed by a talented and diverse Board of Directors, including Newfoundland’s Jordan Wright, newly elected national vice-president. Wright is also a graduate of the French Immersion program and together, Perkins and Wright represent an important evolution in CPF’s governance structure, with the students who benefited from the organization’s advocacy years ago now stepping into place as its leaders.

Albertans have a unique relationship with official bilingualism, says Perkins. “Some people in Canada might be surprised to learn that there are many supporters of official bilingualism in Alberta, but I can say with pride that Francophile Albertans are here, and we’re vocal and active in our communities. Alberta does indeed have a strong support base for linguistic duality and that’s the support base I come from—one that does not shy away from activism and is not afraid of a challenge.”

Perkins has degrees in Political Science, History, and French from Simon Fraser University and a Master's Degree in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University. Currently employed as a corporate strategist for the City of Red Deer in Alberta, Perkins also works with other community organizations in facilitating strategic planning and learning sessions.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French Publishes Research Report in Support of Canada’s French-Second-Language Programs

For immediate release October 15, 2010
OTTAWA—Inequitable access to French-second-language (FSL) programming in Canada is hurting our country’s youth, says Canadian Parents for French (CPF).

CPF, a parent-led advocacy group that advocates for opportunities for students to learn and use French in Canada, today published a research report entitled The State of French-Second-Language Education in Canada 2010. This report, which is the latest edition in a series that is published generally every two years and coincides with the biennial CPF National Conferences held in Ottawa, focuses on the need for equitable access to FSL programs nationwide.

“For years, FSL stakeholders have identified barriers to access,” says CPF president David M. Brennick. “Enrolment caps, differential program and transportation fees, admission criteria and limited FSL entry points in small, rural and remote communities preclude the participation of many students. Furthermore, there are great discrepancies in school district practice regarding inclusion and academic support for academically-challenged and Allophone students, both between and within provinces and territories.”

This lack of access for Allophone students (those who speak neither French nor English as a first language) is addressed in detail in a research study conducted by Callie Mady, Ph.D., and commissioned by CPF. This research study is presented as part of the report’s findings and demonstrates the accessibility challenges that are unique to new Canadians.

Allophone families are among FSL’s greatest supporters in Canada, notes CPF Executive Director James Shea. “Despite the fact that 80% received no information about French immersion options from the school system, Allophone parents pursue second-official-language education for their children. In the absence of clear ministry policies, however, 33% of Allophone students surveyed reported that their school had discouraged them from enrolling in immersion, while 42% reported that their school had disallowed their enrolment.”

Such a gap between immigrant support for FSL education and access to it is telling of the current state of affairs of FSL education in our country, says CPF—a gap that must be bridged if Canada is to pave the way to true equity for newcomers to Canada. CPF urges the Government of Canada and provincial/territorial ministries of education to rectify this situation by encouraging universal access to FSL programs for all students in Canada, including Allophones and those who are otherwise disadvantaged.

To access a copy of the report, visit CPF at www.cpf.ca.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French (CPF) and the University of Ottawa select five Canadian students to win $20,000 scholarship

For immediate release May 31, 2010
OTTAWA—Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to announce the names of the five grand-prize winners of the eighth annual edition of the CPF National Concours d’art oratoire, which was held at the University of Ottawa on May 29th, 2010.

Concours d’art oratoire, a public-speaking contest held in conjunction with the University of Ottawa for its sixth consecutive year, is a nationwide event with competitors reaching the national level after first winning in the provincial and territorial finals. Grand prize winners in five categories—based on level of proficiency with French—each take home an offer for a $20,000 scholarship to the University of Ottawa, donated generously by the University itself. All competitors receive a $2,000 entrance scholarship, and new this year, the school is offering a $5,000 scholarship to each of the five second-place winners. This year’s competition welcomed 37 high-school students to Canada’s capital for the competition and some sightseeing.

Concours d’art oratoire is in its eighth year at the national level, and it just gets better every year,” says CPF president David M. Brennick. “The students we’ve seen compete today are wonderfully talented and worked so hard to get here. This competition really demonstrates that students in Canada are driven to succeed linguistically, and it’s exactly why we at CPF support this cause. These students are smart and every one of those 37 teenagers deserves our recognition.”

CPF congratulates the following contest winners:

Core French
1st place: Charles Park (Richmond Hill, Ontario)
2nd place: Tanisha Gallichon (Gatineau, Quebec)
3rd place: Jenny Tan (Coquitlam, British Columbia)

 

Core Extended
1st place: Sarah Hillier (Amherst, Nova Scotia)
2nd place: Carly Welham (Gimli, Manitoba)
3rd place: Henry Annan (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

 

Late Immersion
1st place: Madeline Dodds (Mississauga, Ontario)
2nd place: Chuqiao Wang (Ottawa, Ontario)
3rd place: Gerianne Rowe (Carbonear, Newfoundland & Labrador)

 

Early Immersion
1st place: Hilary Ball (Fredericton, New Brunswick)
2nd place: Katrina Leong (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
3rd place: Scott Harvey (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)

 

Francophone
1st place: Yann Lacoste (Victoria, British Columbia)
2nd place: Alice Brun-Newhook (St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador)
3rd place: Amber O’Reilly (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories)

 

CPF acknowledges and thanks the following for their contributions toward the competition: the Government of Canada’s Department of Canadian Heritage, the University of Ottawa, Rideau Travel,Radio Enfant-Ado, the Rideau Centre, and individual donors.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Beyond Obligations: Canada's Responsibility

For immediate release May 27, 2010
OTTAWA—Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased with Beyond Obligations, the 2009-2010 Annual Report of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL). The report includes a wealth of information and recommendations for improving Canada’s linguistic learning opportunities.

“It is refreshing to see this report to Parliament point out significant limitations within one of our country’s most essential social services: public education,” says CPF Executive Director James Shea. “The Commissioner’s report rightly applauds the signing of the Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction for 2009-2010 to 2010-2013, which will better fund second-language instruction across our country. However, as the report points out, this Protocol currently has significant productivity gaps; commitments to stakeholder consultation are geographically inconsistent. Parents are stakeholders and they want to be consulted, and it is clear to us that OCOL is aware of the importance of groups like CPF.”

The report specifies a recommendation that “the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages actively encourage all provinces and territories to consult all concerned associations and groups” and CPF believes this consultation should be a requirement.

The report also recognizes the lack of accessibility to second-language education programs in school districts across our country. CPF President David M. Brennick agrees that this is a severe problem and notes that the idea is consistent with CPF’s position statements: “There are caps on immersion enrolment, lotteries that limit access, transportation roadblocks, admissions criteria and numerous other obstacles to families who want their children to learn a second language. Canada is a country with two official languages, and its government should guarantee the right for each and every student in Canada to learn his or her second official language through their program of choice.”

In addition to mandating students’ rights to FSL, a common framework for language learning should be adopted. Such a framework, also discussed in the report, would be useful in bridging the gap between the school system and the labour force; improving teacher and student mobility; informing parents of proficiency levels; and helping schools determine their students’ needs by implementing proficiency benchmarks across all school levels, from elementary to postsecondary education.

CPF is disappointed, however, in the report’s lack of attention given to the specific needs of immigrant families. “There is no real discussion in this report of the distinct needs of immigrant families, and this topic is current and is being readily addressed by researchers and second-language advocates around the country,” says Mr. Shea. “Allophone families are frequently discouraged from FSL programs, due to a lack of information, negative misconceptions about Allophone learning potential and a number of other issues fuelled by stereotypes and indifference. This has to stop. I hope that future reports will address this injustice.”

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Research report an important step in addressing students’ post-secondary linguistic needs

For immediate release October 30, 2009
OTTAWA—Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased with Two Languages, a World of Opportunities: Second-Language Learning in Canada’s Universities,the research study released yesterday by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) which reviews the current state of post-secondary second-language education in Canada. Results from the study confirm that there are too few second-language learning opportunities for students presently entering university in Canada, a view shared by CPF.

“This report is a confirmation of the fact that students in Canada need more opportunities to study the French language in an academic environment than the few that currently exist,” says David M. Brennick, CPF national president. “The transition from high school to university is a crucial time for program retention and with the lack of French-second language (FSL) programs available in universities, attrition at this time is extremely common.”

CPF notes particular points of interest in the content of the report, including the need for successful programs to be built “from the bottom up through community involvement,” and a recommendation that CPF “could work with governments, institutions and other organizations in each province and territory to encourage them to develop proposals tailored to their needs.” CPF looks forward to accepting this responsibility. “Collaboration in each community, between parents, teachers, students, school boards and community groups, is where the real work toward bilingualism is accomplished,” says Brennick. “CPF is pleased that OCOL looks to us for support. We very much hope that in the follow-up to this study, not only will governments look intrinsically at their policies toward addressing the need for a bilingual workforce at the university level, but activists will solidify their relationships with governments and educational institutions at all levels and policies can be generated through teamwork and mutual understanding.”

The report includes recommendations to document the “employer and labour market demand for knowledge of a second language” and the “additional data and information relating to second-language learning in university,” and CPF echoes these recommendations and hopes that the government of Canada will follow up with an action plan for post-secondary education that includes a discussion of students’ linguistic needs.

Along with the report, OCOL has also launched an online interactive map detailing the various pan-Canadian second-language university programs to help inform students of their options. “This is a useful tool for students and guidance counsellors,” says CPF executive director James Shea. “Knowing what opportunities exist beyond high school will encourage more students to continue in FSL education at the secondary level.”

For information on other events, or to request a media pass and/or weekend program book, please contact Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer, at 613-235-1481 x26.

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To access the study and interactive map, please visit www.ocol-clo.gc.ca.

Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French Mourns The Loss of Dr. Wallace Lambert

For immediate release September 10, 2009
OTTAWA, September 10, 2009 – It is with sincere sadness that we announce the death of world-renowned researcher Wallace (Wally) Earl Lambert on Sunday, August 23, 2009 as a result of complications from pneumonia.

Dr. Wallace was born on December 31, 1922, in Amherst, Nova Scotia and moved with his family to Taunton, Massachusetts during the Great Depression. He completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and went on to complete MA and PhD degrees at Colgate University and at the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Wallace was a professor in the Department of Psychology at McGill University from 1954 until his retirement in 1990, when he was awarded emeritus status. His ground-breaking research on the psychology of bilingualism earned him the title of ‘Father of Research on Bilingualism’.

His landmark study in 1960 represents a milestone in research into the cognitive effects of knowing two languages. It demonstrated that bilingual individuals could in fact outperform unilingual individuals on certain cognitive tasks- challenging earlier studies suggesting that the acquisition of two languages resulted in cognitive deficits. Dr. Wallace’s research on the attitudes and perceptions of bilinguals was even more influential, as these studies created an entirely new discipline of psychology; the social psychology of language.

Dr. Wallace went on, along with his McGill colleagues, to study the development of Canada’s first second language immersion program in St. Lambert, Quebec. The program was begun by Anglophone parents who wanted effective French-language education for their children, as they realized that the core French programming taught in Anglophone schools could not provide the desired level of French proficiency. Dr. Lambert’s early interest and research paved the way for French immersion to become the most carefully researched educational program. ‘The Bilingual Education of Children: The St. Lambert Experiment’ is one of the most widely cited studies in the field of bilingual education in history. Today, it serves as the handbook for numerous other experiments in bilingual education, not only in Canada, but worldwide.

Canada has truly lost one of its most dedicated and passionate minds; Dr. Wallace’s tireless efforts towards the promotion and progression of bilingualism will always be remembered and sorely missed.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently more than 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Canadian Parents for French Proudly Supports Signing of Official Languages in Education Protocol

For immediate release September 10, 2009
OTTAWA, September 10, 2009 - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Diane McGifford, Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy for Manitoba and Chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), announced on Friday, September 4, of the renewal of the Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction. Approximately $938 million will be invested over four years in provincial and territorial bilateral agreements, complementing the provincial and territorial investments in minority-language education and second-language instruction.

The protocol paves the way for bilateral agreements on official-languages education. Under the protocol, the federal government will invest more than $1 billion over a four-year period in the provinces’ and territories’ delivery of minority-language education and second-language instruction (English in Quebec and French in the other provinces and territories). The protocol, which extends from 2009–2010 to 2012–2013, reiterates the objectives pursued in past protocols and includes, for the first time, an outcomes framework that will serve as a basis for the development of performance targets and indicators in provincial and territorial action plans. This framework will enable governments to provide relevant and timely public information on the outcomes of this intergovernmental collaboration.

"This agreement marks another important step in our Government’s plan to ensure that both our country’s official languages are promoted and respected,” said Minister Moore. “Having studied in an immersion program from elementary through high school, I can personally attest to the value of having the opportunity to learn in one’s second language. I’m proud that our Government is standing up for second-language and minority-language education by making such an important investment.”

The Government of Canada’s investment in official languages education comes, in part, from theRoadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future. The Roadmap is an unprecedented, government-wide investment and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to linguistic duality and to the vitality of minority official-language communities.

This promising news coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, which came into effect September 9, 1969, and ensured that both French and English have equal statuses as Canada’s languages of government and justice. The Act expanded the scope of the constitutional guarantee regarding the use of French and English in Parliament and federal courts (set out in section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867) to cover all federal institutions, including federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations as well as quasi-judicial bodies and administrative agencies.

Canadian Parents for French is extremely pleased to support the signing of Official Languages in Education Protocol, and looks forward to the promising opportunities it presents to Canadians.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently more than 26,000 members across Canada.

Information/Renseignements:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer/Agente de communication
Tel/Tél: 613.235.1481 x26 Email/Courriel: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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Allons en France 2009 contest awards three students a trip to France

For immediate release June 2, 2009
Ottawa – Canadian Parents for French (CPF) and the Embassy of France are pleased to announce theAllons en France 2009 contest winners who have won a 10-day trip to France. The winners are Katie Chung of Prince of Wales Secondary School in Vancouver, BC; Sandra Uwase of St Paul High School in Ottawa, ON; and Meriam Hurmiz of Holy Names High School in Windsor, Ontario. Also winning the grand prize to France is teacher Ana Baptista, who teaches French at Blessed Mother Theresa Secondary School in Scarborough, Ontario and who was chosen in a random draw. “This contest gives many students the chance use the French language creatively,” says CPF president David M. Brennick. “The theme this year was urban arts and culture, which is a genre of art that really speaks to today’s youth. By giving FSL students an opportunity to use French not only outside the classroom, but also within an art form that is so widely embraced by many youth in Canada, students have the chance to see the fun side of French, the playful side, the side that helps them really test their vocabulary in ways that are new and exciting.” Students were asked to submit a piece of literature in French, using 10 words provided, that illustrates the future and is written within a medium of urban arts and culture. Each submission was evaluated based on originality, French language quality, and content development. “The French language transcends national boundaries, and that’s why it’s so wonderful to be able to bring international students together in celebration of the beauty that is français,” says Etienne Manuard, Education Attaché with the Embassy of France. “The Embassy’s partnership with CPF is important, and not just because Canadian parents care about French, but also because Canadian students should have the opportunity to truly understand Canada’s place in the global French-speaking community. We are honoured to work with CPF to make this happen for the talented students who have expressed a gift and a love for French.” The prize consists of a 10-day trip to France which will take place in July. The prize package includes travel, accommodation, activities and insurance. - 30 - Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently more than 26,000 members across Canada. Information: Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer Tel: 613.235.1481 x26 Email: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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$20,000 Scholarships Awarded to Five Canadian Students for Excellence in Public Speaking

For immediate release June 2, 2009
Ottawa – Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s national Concours d’art oratoire, held at the University of Ottawa on Saturday, May 30.

CPF and the University welcomed 35 students to the nation’s capital on Friday, for the renowned speech contest held every year by CPF. Contestants compete in five categories to win the first-place spot, which grants eligible students a $20,000 scholarship to the University of Ottawa. The national participants come to Ottawa from all across the country, having won already at the school, regional, and finally provincial/territorial levels.

“It is no small feat for these participants to have made it to the national finals,” said CPF president David M. Brennick following Saturday’s competition. “Having come this far is in itself an extraordinary accomplishment, and all the students who competed today deserve recognition for being talented public speakers in French.”

The national competition has five language categories: core French (basic French), core extended, late French immersion, early French immersion, and Francophone. In addition to the five grand prizes of a $20,000 scholarship, the University of Ottawa also offers each of the 35 finalists a $2,000 entrance bursary.

The winners of the core French category are:

1st Place—Suhani Thakore, Burnaby, BC
2nd Place—Carolina Crescenzi, Winnipeg, MB
3rd Place—Kimberly Martin, Gatineau, QC

 

The winners of the core extended category are:
1st Place—Matthew Blackshaw, Owen Sound, ON
2nd Place—Anja Bielefeld, Port-Aux-Basques, NL
3rd Place—Regina Prost, Yorkton, SK

 

The winners of the late French immersion category are:
1st Place—Khue-Tu Nguyen, Burnaby, BC
2nd Place—Stephen Spence, Rothesay, NB
3rd Place—Suganya Kandasamy, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC

 

The winners of the early French immersion category are:
1st Place—Naomi Francis, Delta, BC
2nd Place—Anton Stefani, Rothesay, NB
3rd Place—Joe McGrade, Toronto, ON

 

The winners of the Francophone category are:
1st Place—Sandra Uwase, Ottawa, ON
2nd Place—Imane Habi, Pierrefonds, QC
3rd Place—Emily Briand, Mainland, NL

CPF acknowledges and thanks the following for their contributions toward the competition: the Government of Canada’s Department of Canadian Heritage, the University of Ottawa, Bank of Montreal Mosaik Mastercard, Voyages Rideau Travel, Radio Enfant-Ado, the Rideau Centre, Cineplex Odeon, and individual donors.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently more than 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x26 Email: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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"One Common Space" an Important Goal for Canada’s Future

For immediate release May 26, 2009
Ottawa – Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is very excited to recognize that the 2008-2009 annual report released by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Two Official Languages: One Common Space, is in line with CPF’s advocacy position statements.

Two Official Languages: One Common Space, which serves as the annual report for the year that represents the 40th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, is the third such report released under current Commissioner Graham Fraser. Fraser’s educational recommendations are to secure access to second-official-language education for all students studying in Canada.

"Commissioner Fraser's recommendations are a reflection of CPF’s position that every child should have equitable access to French-second-language educational programming," CPF president David M. Brennick stated in response to the document, which is being launched today. "We are pleased with the recommendations for action and the strengthened commitment to enhance this fundamental Canadian right for all students. We further recognize the need for an advocacy strategy targeting post-secondary opportunities for students."

CPF is also pleased that the Commissioner recognized both the organization’s contributions to language learning in his report and the overall contributions of all the associations making up the FSL Partner Network. "The recommendation for the Minister of Canadian Heritage to coordinate mechanisms bringing together all partners involved in English- or French-second-language learning in Canada is anticipated and welcomed," notes CPF Executive Director James Shea. "We are extremely pleased that the Commissioner’s report recognized the FSL Partner network as a significant partner group working towards official language representation."

There are five groups working together within this network to coordinate efforts into FSL education. Along with CPF, they are the Canadian Association of Immersion Teachers, the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers, the Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada, and French for the Future.

CPF is first mentioned in the report on Page 6, with references to Pat Webster and Jos Craven Scott, two exceptional volunteers instrumental in founding the 32-year-old association with a membership that has grown exponentially over the years.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently more than 26,000 members across Canada.

Information:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x26 Email: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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CPF Video Promotes a Healthy Bilingual Identity

For immediate release March 18, 2009
Ottawa – Canadian Parents for French (CPF) will launch a new video promoting French-second-language (FSL) education among Canadian youth this Friday.

The seven-minute video, called I Want to Become Bilingual Because and produced by Collings Media, includes a set of interviews with FSL students across the country. The students range in age from primary to high school level and they all answer questions about why it’s important to them to learn French.

“This video puts forth the image of a type of student that is growing demographically in all of our provinces and territories,” says CPF executive director, James Shea. “A student that learns French proudly, not reluctantly. A student that is aware of the opportunities and careers that will be open to him or her because of a working competency in French. A student that, in many cases, has made these realizations before middle school has even begun.”

The video will be available for download at www.cpf.ca following the lunchtime launch. CPF members can also receive a free hard copy by contacting the CPF national office in Ottawa at 613-235-1481. The DVD will include a slightly edited version of 1995’s Proud of Two Languages, CPF’s most recent video prior to I Want to Become Bilingual Because, as a special feature.

The launch will happen this Friday at 11:00 am, in the library of South Hull School, 86 Crescent Drive, Gatineau, Quebec. Two South Hull students are featured in the film. To obtain a media pass to this event, please contact Nicole Chatelain at 613.235.1481 x26.

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently more than 26,000 members across Canada.

 

Information:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x26 Email: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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40 years of bilingualism represents a right, not a burden

For immediate release February 4, 2009
Ottawa – With four decades and six Commissioners of Official Languages under its belt, Canada’s Official Languages Act (OLA) has proven to be a successful initiative in advancing the rights and opportunities of individuals across the country—and according to Canadian Parents for French (CPF), it’s an initiative best honoured by guaranteeing its continued development.

This year, the OLA celebrates its fortieth anniversary. Introduced under the parliament of Pierre Elliott Trudeau in 1969, the OLA protects all Canadians’ rights to access federal services in the official language—English or French—of their choice. And while some may argue that the OLA is no longer necessary or relevant in this time of economic instability, CPF President David M. Brennick reminds Canadians that bilingualism is not only a cherished element of the Canadian identity, but also a genuine component of the national demographic.

“Through the Official Languages Act, millions of Canadians have been able to exercise autonomy and real choice in accessing, interpreting and delivering the federal services that keep us united,” Brennick stated Friday. He added that in the midst of a global recession, it’s important to increase the overall accessibility of essential public services rather than financially limiting programs that do not relate directly to fiscal development.

“This is no time to say that language rights issues are inferior concerns to industry bailout or job creation plans. Language rights are an essential part of ensuring the widespread functionality of those very systems; the government must be responsible for each of its citizens in each part of this diverse and multilingual country.”

CPF believes an anniversary is not only time for celebration, but also for innovation and reflection. The next 40 years will round off the first half of the 21st century, sure to be a time of social progress and advancement, and it is the hope of CPF that governments will use this time to expand and enhance Canada’s internationally renowned French immersion programming. “French immersion needs redefinition in our public consciousness as a universal, non-elitist program,” declared CPF Executive Director James Shea. “Our research indicates, time and again, that students with learning disabilities—as well as students who are learning French as a third or even fourth language—can be just as successful academically in an appropriate French-second-language program.”

Current Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore is the first Anglophone-born Canadian to hold the position in the federal cabinet. “Minister Moore is an ideal personification of the success of FSL programs,” noted Shea. “He holds the highest position in the country responsible for honouring Canadian culture and identity, and his personal commitment to bilingualism represents a significant sociological shift.”

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Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians. There are currently more than 26,000 members across Canada.

 

Information:
Nicole Chatelain, Communications Officer
Tel: 613.235.1481 x26 Email: nchatelain@cpf.ca

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