[lg policy] Canada: Students split on extending language law to CEGEPs; Will propose better teaching of English

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 29 15:11:50 UTC 2011

Students split on extending language law to CEGEPs

Will propose better teaching of English

The Gazette April 26, 2011

A federation representing more than 60,000 CEGEP students has decided
not to support the proposed extension of the educational provisions of
Quebec's language law into the province's colleges. After lengthy
debate during a convention in Lac St. Jean on Sunday, no consensus
could be reached by the delegates representing the 23 student
associations included in the Fédération étudiante collégiale du

Instead, said FECQ president Léo Bureau-Blouin, the federation would
push for other means to promote the use of French. "We've been talking
about this issue for about a year and a half," Bureau-Blouin told The
Gazette on Monday. "And we've been having public meetings for the past
two months with our member CEGEPs."

The proposed change in the law was approved at a Parti Québécois
convention last week that saw PQ delegates vote to end freedom of
choice for francophones and allophones who might want to attend
English CEGEPs, professional training and adult education schools
after attending French elementary and high schools.

Bureau-Blouin said a vote on the issue saw delegates to the FECQ
convention "divided about 50/50" on the issue. "We haven't closed the
door on the idea," he said. "But for now, we'd like to proceed with
measures (to promote French) that are more consensual." Noting that
many francophone students were attending English-language CEGEPs in
effort to become bilingual, Bureau-Blouin said one way to reverse that
flow would be to improve the teaching of English in French-language

"We're also suggesting that the instruction of English be improved at
the high school level," he said.
Earlier this month, Quebec's Conseil supérieur de la langue française
recommended that free choice be maintained for entry into Quebec's
CEGEPs. It noted that new restrictions on English schooling could
spark a "backlash," breaking Quebec's delicate language balance.

Christine St. Pierre, Quebec's minister of culture and language, has
said that 96 per cent of French-speaking students and 63 per cent of
allophones choose French CEGEPs anyway.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Students+split+extending+language+CEGEPs/4673625/story.html#ixzz1KvQPYyAN

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