CANADIAN PARENTS FOR FRENCH, NATIONAL was pleased to work with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the elaboration of the study, Accessing Opportunity, released today in Vancouver, BC.
The increased awareness of the cognitive, cultural, economic, social and employment benefits of learning French as a Second Language (FSL) has contributed to the rising enrolment in FSL programs. Canadian parents expect their children to be able to fully participate in the public and cultural life of our bilingual country.
CANADIAN PARENTS FOR FRENCH has long monitored the struggles of school jurisdictions across the country in maintaining a sufficient supply of qualified French as a second language (FSL) teachers to respond to continually-increasing demand for French immersion, core French and intensive French program options.
The federal government’s Action Plan for Official Languages, Investing in Our Future 2018-23 stated that between 2003 and 2013, Canada saw a 52% increase in French immersion enrolment, although access is unequal across the country. An investment of $31.29 million was earmarked to recruiting and retaining teachers for French immersion and French as a second language programs.
CANADIAN PARENTS FOR FRENCH has promoted the benefits involved in pursuing a career in FSL teaching and the importance of opportunities for teachers to maintain their language proficiency and linguistic confidence. As stated by Dr. Wendy Carr, CPF National Board Director, “Becoming a French teacher is an amazing option, but it is not the only one for bilingual immersion graduates. Given the study findings that Core, Extended and Intensive program graduates are equally drawn to teaching French, let’s encourage graduates of all FSL programs to consider this exciting career option.”
The Commissioner’s recommendations to ensure the best strategic use of these funds by establishing a coordinated national strategy, and emphasizing greater efforts for collaboration among the provinces and territories in consultation with FSL stakeholder associations, faculties of education and school jurisdictions are fundamental.
CANADIAN PARENTS FOR FRENCH looks forward to working with OCOL and interested stakeholders in putting into action viable long term solutions to retaining FSL teachers and improving access to quality FSL programs for all Canadian students, and urges the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Council of Ministries of Education, Canada to include measures to monitor this progress via future Official Languages in Education Program agreements.
For more information, please contact: Nicole Thibault, Canadian Parents for French, National Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Parents for French is a nationwide, research-informed, volunteer organization that promotes and creates opportunities to learn and use French for all those who call Canada home.