Canada: French-language education in minority settings: National body of teachers urges for changes to curriculum development

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed May 28 13:34:47 UTC 2008

French-language education in minority settings: National body of
teachers urges for changes to curriculum development

OTTAWA, May 27 /CNW Telbec/ - A Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF)
report released today calls for significant changes in the manner in which
curriculum is developed to close the gap that currently exists in elementary
and secondary school curriculum with respect to minority French-language
education. The CTF recommendations, stemming from a series entitled "Knowing
one's community" (, were developed following
years of analytical research, credible studies and input by key education
    "The realities of living, learning and teaching in minority communities
differ substantially from those who live in majority settings," says CTF
President Emily Noble. "Francophone minority schools have a dual mission --
they must provide all the basic educational experiences and they are expected
to be the mainspring of survival and development of the Francophone
    For his part, Paul Taillefer, Chair of CTF's Advisory Committee on French
as a First Language, adds: "According to our research, many of the provinces
and territories simply translate the English curriculum into French thereby
generating an educational vacuum for students in minority Francophone settings
whose realities and culture are not mirrored in the curriculum or proposed
delivery. Although minority Francophone teachers feel strongly committed to
inspiring their students with the love of learning in French and a sense of
belonging to the Francophonie, the report concludes that resources and support
for teachers are sorely lacking as this dual mission translates into a number
of workload challenges in the classroom.
    We hope the information provided in the series will give decision leaders
and policy-makers ideas for adopting new approaches and courses of action that
will contribute to our common goal, which is to provide students with the best
possible French-language education," concludes Taillefer.
    The project was developed by CTF in partnership with the University of
Ottawa's Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities
(CIRCEM) and thanks to financial support provided by Canadian Heritage.
    Among others, recommendations include:

    - a call for a national research on the integration of culture and
      identity building in teaching through curricula;
    - the development of an educational resources development strategy to
      help build identities among students and provide classroom support to
    - the need to clearly define an image of the Francophone community that
      can be conveyed to students, along with suggestions on how to transmit
      this image to students at every grade level, in every subject matter;
    - a call for provinces and territories to assist teachers with delivery
      of the curriculum by providing them with ideas, examples, activities
      and references.

    The recommendations ( were released
today in Ottawa at the Federation's May 26-27 National Symposium attended by
approximately 60 educators, teachers and education partners from across the
country. This year's symposium will also feature a special video that will
launch a discussion on teenagers in Francophone minority settings, the theme
and focus of this year's event.

    CTF speaks for 220,000 teachers in Canada as their national voice on
education and related social issues. CTF membership includes Member
organizations in every province and territory in Canada as well as an
Affiliate Member in Ontario. CTF ( is also a member of
the international body of teachers, Education International

For further information: Comments: Paul Taillefer, Chair, CTF's Advisory
Committee on French as a First Language, (613) 292-5860 (cell); Information:
Ronald Boudreau, Director of Services to Francophones, (613) 899-4216 (cell);
Media contact: Francine Filion, Director of Communications, (613) 688-4314

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