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CANADIAN PARENTS FOR FRENCH
50 th ANNIVERSARY
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Table of Contents
4 Organ Donation Education… A Gesture for Life
10 Highlights from Concours
12 Inclusion in French Immersion:
A Parent’s Perspective
14 Parent Involvement Leads to Student Success
2 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
3 CPF EDUCATION Don’t Get Frustré!
Tips and Resources for Parents Helping
with French Homework
6 CPF ADVOCACY
It’s Time to Modernize the Official Languages Act
8 CPF INTERVIEW
35 Years of French Immersion in Flin Flon, Manitoba
16 CPF RESOURCE
The Language Portal of Canada
18 CPF RESOURCE
19 CPF LEARNING
A Key Barrier to Second Language Learning
20 KEY CPF CONTACTS ACROSS CANADA
20 OUR ADVERTISERS
This issue of CPF Magazine is printed
on 70lb Endurance Silk, using vegetable
based inks. The paper is FSC certified by the
Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), meaning
it comes from well-managed forests and
known sources, ensuring local communities
benefit and sensitive areas are protected.
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.
nce again, the fall season has arrived.
Time to get back into routines, register
for extracurricular activities, make
back-to-school purchases, and settle the
nerves of our students as they head back to
the classroom. Across the country, Canadian
Parents for French will host French Second
Language (FSL) orientation meetings, offer tips
for parents and students, and plan activities
where students have an opportunity to use
their French outside of the classroom.
Although there have been changes in FSL
programming in many areas across the country,
Branch and the National websites have resources
for those seeking information on FSL options
Canadian Parents for French has had many
successes this past year. Our Concours competition
saw a record number of participants. Many thanks
to those who provided prizes and to those who
adjudicated the competitions. This year marks the
50 th anniversary of the Official Languages Act. Many
consultations took place across the country to gather
information on potential changes and additions.
I am proud to say that Canadian Parents for French
participated in each of them and was acknowledged
in the summary report as well as at the Symposium
held in Ottawa this spring. Our FSL Awareness
Breakfast, held in Ottawa in April with representation
from Branches across the country, was well attended
by politicians and stakeholders. The breakfast
was followed by a number of meetings with
influencers where CPF had opportunities to present
our successes and concerns. It is hoped that the
Branches will host some sort of similar event in
the future. Our latest State of FSL Education in
Canada Report will be launched at our CPF Leader
Networking Event in October.
One of the issues that came out of the
consultation process was the concept of “Linguistic
Security”. Where do our FSL students and graduates
fit with respect to the francophone community? Do
they feel secure in speaking French outside of the
classroom? This subject is explored more fully in
one of the articles in this magazine. There are other
articles on Concours, the Official Languages Act,
and Parent Engagement that are worth reading.
I would encourage you to take advantage of
the opportunities that membership in Canadian
Parents for French provides. Enjoy this edition of
our magazine and please share it with others who
support French second language learning. n
Nancy McKeraghan, CPF National President
to CPF members!
Linguistic Duality Makes Canada Stronger
To celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, we have
released this poster by Marc Keelan-Bishop that illustrates 25 bilingual
exchanges between Canadians. If you want to receive a copy of the poster,
contact Debbie Murphy, email@example.com and we will mail one to you!
on French magazines edited in Quebec
for your children
2 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
Tips and Resources for Parents Helping with FrencH Homework
With back to school, many parents
will find ourselves back to
Although there is disagreement
around the topic, homework does teach
students to work independently and
develop self-discipline and responsible
character traits. It can encourage students
to take initiative and responsibility for
completing a task. And, it does allow
parents to have an active role in their
child's education and become familiar
with their child's progress. Research
has consistently shown that parental
involvement in a child's learning is a
key factor in that child's achievement in
school. Ideally, we, as parents, can use
homework time to focus on building
strong study habits.
Create a Learning Space
n Set up a quiet space that limits
distractions where your child can focus.
Collect and store some reference texts
like personal dictionaries and class
word lists ready for use.
n Create a schedule with your child to
develop a homework routine that is
realistic and fits around other afterschool
activities. Prioritize - It is
important to ensure that students are
not exhausted by the time they work on
n Time management is an important skill
for students to develop – eliminate
distractions for a given time period, plan
ahead, break things down into steps. Use
a calendar, an agenda and a checklist.
Make Connections by Asking
n Ask your child to explain what the
assignment is about; how it connects
to what is happening in class and then
help make connections to your family
life and community.
n Ask your child about the learning
strategies being taught and used in
the classroom and then offer reminders
of their use during the completion
of the assignment; strategies such as
activating prior knowledge, expressing
main ideas, asking questions and
locating facts, sequencing events,
summarizing key points, and visualizing
are all very useful.
Suggest and Use Support
n Sharing some go-to websites, online
tools can make a difference and save
time on researching, writing and
n Help your child consider multiple
sources and ask such questions as to
who is providing this information and
why? Is it a reliable source?
n Encourage your child to exchange
contact numbers with friends from
class so they can speak to each to
potentially help review together.
n Communicate with other parents
and the teacher to exchange ideas,
challenges and support each other. n
FRENCH HOMEWORK HELP SITES
Bescherelle is best known for its written
counterpart, a guide to hundreds of verbs in the
French language, but you don’t have to run to the
bookstore just yet. Bescherelle is also available online!
http://bescherelle.com. you can look up any
verb and find it in all verb tenses and participles. In
addition to the conjugator, the Bescherelle website
includes “dictées” to practice both listening and
writing skills, quizzes about verbs and their tenses
as well as other grammar points such as nouns and
adjectives. You may want to consider subscribing to
Larousse is a reliable French dictionary that’s also
available online, www.larousse.fr. You can search any
French word and get an in-depth look at its meaning,
with some context. It offers a monolingual French
edition as well as bilingual editions. It offers a verb
conjugator, an encyclopedia and forums for people to
Linguee, English-French dictionary, www.linguee.fr,
provides example sentences and recorded pronunciations.
Input a phrase, expression or sentence part and
several examples are provided, allowing you to choose
the best solution for your context. Very helpful for
technical or specialized vocabulary translations.
BonPatron is an online French grammar and spell
checker, https://bonpatron.com. It is a wonderful
resource for those who need a complete revision
of French written compositions and not just simple
word look-ups and verb conjugations. Created at the
University of Alberta by Terry Nadasdi and Stefan
Sinclair. Simply paste your finished written work into
the space, the checker identifies your spelling and
grammar errors, suggests corrections and offers a
short explanation for the mistake made.
Alloprof is a website from Québec, www.alloprof.
qc.ca, that offers students a wealth of resources including
personalized homework help with access to connect
directly with French educators. There is a text message
service where students can text their questions and
receive text message answers. The second service is
by telephone, where students call in their questions
and receive one-on-one over the phone support. Both
services are available Monday through Thursday, 5
p.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern time zone). The site also offers
tools such as exercises to review and practice grammar
and vocabulary skills, a virtual library and a forum to
communicate with other French learners.
CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019 3
ORGAN DONATION EDUCATION
HAVE YOU HEARD OF CHAÎNE DE VIE?
BY JUDITH ROHLF, CO-AUTHOR OF CHAÎNE DE VIE
Source : Canadian Blood Services
CHAÎNE DE VIE is an organization whose mission it is to educate
young people in secondary school about organ and tissue
donation and make them ambassadors of family discussions about
this subject. It also hopes to help them realize the importance of
a healthy body and appreciate the greatest gift of all —life. To
date, more than 100,000 young people have been reached by this
message of capital social importance.
It all began over 10 years ago with a spark by a student from
Rivière-du-Loup, a city 150 km east of Québec City. Then, over
the years, CHAÎNE DE VIE has grown and evolved thanks to a
competent and passionate team, whose patience and faith have
never waned, and to the financial support of several individuals
and organizations, including Desjardins. CHAÎNE DE VIE won
its spurs when it became a registered charity in 2017. The
Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup School Board and Transplant Québec
are its official partners. (Transplant Québec is the organization that
coordinates the organ donation process in Quebec.)
Founded by Lucie Dumont, a real ball of fire, CHAÎNE DE VIE
has expanded throughout Quebec and beyond! More than a
school project, it has become a true movement of solidarity
for life. In Canada, there will be pilot projects in Vancouver
and Prince Edward Island in the upcoming school year.
For CHAÎNE DE VIE, the stakes are high. Although the vast
majority of Canadians say they are in favour of organ donation,
many potential organ donations do not happen, often because
the family is unaware of their loved one's wishes. The medical
team always respects the family's decision. Signing your health
or donor card is not enough. You must talk about it.
By presenting the facts and real-life stories to young people
aged 15 to 17, CHAÎNE DE VIE raises their awareness about
organ and tissue donation and helps them make an informed,
personal decision about it. Then, they are invited to share this
decision with their parents. By debunking the myths that still
exist regarding organ and tissue donation, by encouraging family
discussions on the subject and by sharing our wishes with our
loved ones, more lives are saved. And, for those on the waiting
list for the transplant that will give them a second chance at life,
CHAÎNE DE VIE represents a true glimmer of hope.
Thanks to donations and an annual fundraising event,
CHAÎNE DE VIE can continue to spread its wings. The money
collected goes to training teachers, furnishing schools with
ready-to-use kits with quality material, developing new
educational tools, adapting the material to fit different needs
and promoting CHAÎNE DE VIE.
4 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
" Education is the most
powerful weapon which you
can use to change the world."
– NELSON MANDELLA
" Presently, nothing compares in terms of the depth of the contents for
students this age. CHAÎNE DE VIE is unifying, brilliant, current, and it
allows for language learning, while at the same time providing
reflection on a reality that can leave no one indifferent."
That CHAÎNE DE VIE be taught in all secondary
schools and its message reach the entire
population. This is no easy task, to be sure.
But, together, we can move mountains!
CHAÎNE DE VIE: AN ORGANIZATION
THAT HELPS SAVE LIVES!
CHAÎNE DE VIE brings together the fields of health and
education with a message of hope for those waiting for a
transplant. It allows young people to make an informed,
personal decision regarding this important issue in today's
society and encourages them to become our ambassadors of
family discussions about organ and tissue donation (including
We encourage CPF members to share this information
with your local school. CHAÎNE DE VIE resources are available
in both French and English – an excellent opportunity for
authentic language learning. n
Test your knowledge.
True or False?
about 1% of the population of Canada dies in
conditions that allow for the donation of their organs.
is no age limit for donating
rich and famous person has a greater chance of
receiving an organ if they need one.
A person can save several lives by donating
your consent to donate or signing your
health or donor card is all you need to do to be an
organ and tissues donor.
1. True. In Canada, this represents approximately 2,500 persons a year.
2. True. In Canada, the youngest donor was only 48 hours old and
the oldest was 92 years old.
3. False. People waiting for a transplant are placed on a waiting list. The attribution
of organs is based on various factors including blood type, tissue compatibility,
weight, size, urgency and the date of inscription on the waiting list.
4. T rue. A single person can save up to eight lives and improve the quality
of life of 20 others by donating their organs.
5. False. While this is the official way of expressing your wishes, you must
also let your loved ones know because the final decision will be theirs.
CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019 5
CONSULTATIONS, SYMPOSIA, AND REPORTS
It’s Time to Modernize the Official Languages Act
SUMMARY REPORT BY NICOLE THIBAULT, CPF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL
2019 marks the 50 th anniversary of
the Official Languages Act (Act). The Act
has undergone only one major revision
30 years ago, in 1988. The current Act
specifically outlines protections for the
minority language community. It should
play a key role in the lives of all Canadians
since its purpose is to:
n Ensure respect for English and French
as the official languages of Canada
in government and parliamentary
n Support the development and vitality of
official language minority communities.
n Set out the powers, duties and functions
of federal institutions with respect to the
official languages of Canada.
n Affirms the right in certain
circumstances to communicate with
and receive services from federal
institutions in the official language of
one’s choice and to work in English or
French in federal institutions.
The Act also gives individuals the right
to express themselves in the language of
their choice before the federal courts. It
promotes English and French and supports
the vitality of official language minority
communities across the country, so that all
individuals can enrich the country through
Yet, throughout the consultations
undertaken in 2018-2019, Canadians
identifying with the majority language
group do not feel they are directly
addressed. Modernizing the Act is an
opportunity to ensure that it meets the
needs of today’s diverse Canadian society,
responding to the increased demand for
French second language (FSL) learning
programs across the country.
As the Government of Canada has
set an ambitious target, to increase our
national bilingualism rate from 17.9% to
20% by 2036, Canadian Parents for French
offered five main recommendations
during the many consultations:
A. Incorporating a new section to establish
access to FSL education as a right or
guarantee for non-rights holders;
B. Broadening the definition of
“francophone” and of “minority linguistic
community” in Section 32(1)2(a) to be
inclusive of Canadians whose mother
tongue is not French but who are French
speakers and are interested in accessing
services in French;
C. Expanding the Act to be more
inclusive of and serve all Canadians,
by modifying Sections 43(2) and 45 in
order to guarantee consultation with
organizations promoting FSL education;
D. Expanding and strengthening the
mandate of the Minister of Canadian
Heritage (or designated Minister)
(Section 43(1)e) to require and assist
provincial governments to provide
opportunities for FSL; and
E. Officially recognizing the role
played by French speakers (rights and
non-rights holders) in the vitality of
minority language communities.
In May 2019, the Government of
Canada shared a Summary Document:
Engaging Canadians as a Step Towards
Modernizing the Official Languages Act.
Regional trends are noted, key themes
featured, with five broad areas
of consensus having emerged:
n The importance of including and raising
awareness among linguistic majorities;
n Official languages embodied in
n The value of Indigenous languages;
n The potential of technologies as a driver
of innovation; and,
n The place of culture in the Act.
6 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
In June 2019, the House of Commons
Standing Committee on Official Languages
released its final report, Modernization
of the Official Languages Act, which
examined three areas: the oversight
framework, Part VII which mandates
government departments to advance
English and French, and the impact of the
Act as a tool for social cohesion.
CPF National testified before the
Committee in April 2019, and our
Network positions are reflected in the
final report which puts forward 11
recommendations to modernize the Act
including a specific recommendation
that the new Act promote bilingualism
in Canada. The report shares interesting
reflections and commentary and urges
the Commissioner of Official Languages to
examine the definition of linguistic duality
with a view of renewing it to reflect
EXCERPTS FROM THE REPORT:
n For the Act to benefit all Canadians, the
Committee believes it must embrace
a new paradigm or way of thinking in
which all of its parts are based on a
new premise …
n A new definition of linguistic
duality must focus on common
ground between anglophones and
francophones, particularly bilingual
Canadians, and on reciprocity and
mutual benefit between the majority
and the minority …
n From a language rights perspective, a
new vision of the dynamics between
linguistic majorities and linguistic
minorities is needed …
n It is difficult to reach the linguistic
majority when the Act, a cornerstone
of the language regime, does not even
recognize the contribution of bilingual
Canadians – members of either
linguistic majority who have chosen to
learn their second official language.
n The increase in official bilingualism
among young people suggests greater
use of both official languages in
Canadian society in years to come
n Official languages should enable all
Canadians, regardless of their culture or
mother tongue, to participate actively
in Canadian society.
Overall CPF is pleased with the
results of the consultations, symposia,
and reports which puts forth
recommendations that will make the
Act far more inclusive and relevant for
all Canadians and we will continue our
involvement in this process in the year
to come as it relates to promoting and
creating opportunities for youth to learn
and use French. n
Lecture Écriture Maths Grammaire Techniques d’étude Aide aux devoirs Anglais
Plus de 123
POUR DE MEILLEURS RÉSULTATS
CETTE ANNÉE, IL VOUS FAUT
TOUS ÂGES. TOUS NIVEAUX. TOUTES MATIÈRES.
INSCRIVEZ VOTRE ENFANT DÈS MAINTENANT !
FOR BETTER GRADES THIS YEAR
YOU NEED OXFORD LEARNING
ALL AGES. ALL GRADES. ALL SUBJECTS.
Fier d’être une entreprise canadienne
Joignez-vous à la conversation !
CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019 7
35 YEARS OF FRENCH IMMERSION IN
Flin Flon, Manitoba
BY CHELSEA CRAIG, PROJECT COORDINATOR, CPF QUEBEC & NUNAVUT
On May 24th, CPF organized a 35th Anniversary Celebration of French immersion in Flin Flon. The event was held at the
École McIsaac School and involved entertainment, a student art auction, and a wonderful choral performance with the
K-5 students. There were many people to thank: from those bringing greetings to our bilingual emcee, to the CPF Flin
Flon Chapter – past and present – Executive, and to all the teachers, parents and students who came out to make the
evening an overwhelming success.
The celebration provided an opportunity to interview some of the graduates of the program. Andie Shaw, Haleigh
Belcourt, and Hanna Baynton shared their experiences with French immersion and their advice for other students.
How did your experience with French
immersion learning change your
perspective? In other words, what did
you learn about Canada and what did
you learn about yourself?
Andie Shaw (AS): I was in my earlier years
of French immersion when I learned that
the two official languages of Canada are
English and French. I think this is great
because I believe that it is important
to have the knowledge of our nation's
official languages, even if it is only a little.
As for myself, I learned that I absolutely
love being bilingual and the fact that it
has opened more doors for me compared
to if I wasn't. I was fortunate enough to
be accepted into the world's top bilingual
university in our nation's capital thanks to
my decision to enrol and remain in French
immersion until the end of high school.
Haleigh Belcourt (HB): French immersion
learning changed my perspective by
showing me how big and diverse the world
really is. When I was younger and would
think about French, I always assumed it was
only common in Quebec and France. Being
in French immersion really opened my
eyes to the fact that French is everywhere,
especially in Canada. Not only learning this
in a classroom, but having opportunities to
meet new people and learn about where
they're from because I was fortunate
enough to learn a second language.
Hanna Baynton (Hanna): Being in
French immersion definitely gave me the
perspective of multiple cultures. In school
we didn’t just learn about Canadian culture
but also that of France and even the
culture of Quebec. I definitely think that
being in French gave me a different view of
the history of Canada because we looked
deeply into both the English side and the
French side. I don’t know if it’s something
I really learned about myself but being in
French immersion definitely challenged me
in ways that solely being in English would
not. My mom told me once that being an
English student would have been too easy
for me with the way that my brain works.
What skills do you think are required
to be successful at learning a second
AS: First off, I do believe that having a
great teacher makes a big difference.
Having a teacher who is passionate about
the language that they teach and who is
patient is very important in successfully
learning a new language. Second, I believe
that the famous statement, 'practice
makes perfect!' really is true. I'll admit, it
is easier said than done, but the more one
practices and speaks the language as much
as possible will eventually help the learner
to succeed and be worth it in the long run!
HB: I think that while learning a second
language is hard, anyone can do it.
Some skills that I think are helpful to be
successful at learning a second language
are being patient, being dedicated to
learning and practicing, and helping
others learn because it will help your
skills improve too.
8 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
This piece of art was donated by Aubrianna in Grade three: A huge cake on a table
with spoons, knives, forks, and plates, all outlined in sharpie.
This piece of art was donated by Matteo in Grade one: Beautiful Hydrangeas created using a bubble painting technique.
This piece of art was donated by Cynthia in Grade three: A poster for the
35th anniversary: I Love Speaking French.
Hanna: I think anyone can learn a
second language at any age if they have
determination and perseverance. There
are no specific skills required but you
definitely have to be willing to work at it.
What advice would you give to other
French Second Language students?
AS: Don't give up! Learning a second
language isn't easy. It can become very
frustrating and the thought of giving up
all together may cross your mind here
and there. But you just have to keep
telling yourself that this is worth it and
that you'll be happy when you are able to
speak with a person who is only fluent in
French, or you are hired into a position
that requires you to be bilingual. It is
always worth it!
HB: Some advice that I would give other
French Second Language students would
be to not second guess yourself, to not
be embarrassed to make mistakes, and to
not be afraid to use your second language,
especially with native speakers of that
language. It can be a bit intimidating to use
your second language with someone who's
been speaking it their whole life, but I can
assure you that they will appreciate that
you're trying to use their language rather
than assuming they'll speak yours.
Hanna: Incorporate it into your every
day life. Listen to French music, read
French articles/books, journal in French.
Surround yourself with it just as you are
surrounded by English otherwise you will
never continue to improve.
What is your favourite memory about
AS: My favourite memories are all of the
amazing teachers and professors I've had
over the last 15 years. They really make
all the difference in learning a second
language and I don't have a single bad
thing to say about any of them. Each and
every one has helped me to get to where
I am today. I also really enjoyed the trips
we would take as a French immersion
class, to places such as St. Boniface as
well as the special presentations and
guests we would have that the English
HB: When I think about my time learning
French, it's full of good memories. I guess
the times I think of first would be just
regular French classes in high school.
We always had lots of fun times. When
we would have group discussions, we'd
always be laughing and making jokes.
So I guess my favourite memory about
learning French is the people I learned
Hanna: I really enjoyed the fact that it
was like being in a family. Being in a class
with the same people year after year
meant that we really got to see each
other grow and become the people we
are today. We learned things about one
another that I don’t think is very normal
in English classes. We also got to enjoy
cool trips and events that were only for
French kids. n
CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019 9
À la proc
This past summer, Canadian Parents
for French, National, hosted the
17 th edition of the Concours d’art
oratoire National finals in which young
students from all across Canada once
again showcased their public speaking
abilities and put into practice their French.
This year for the first time in the
history of the competition, participants
from Ontario, Manitoba, and
Saskatchewan were able to be a part
of a National level Impromptu Contest
which added an exciting element to
the traditional contest. The Impromptu
competition was well received by
participants and it was a good first
experience as we continue looking for
ways to motivate young students to use
their French oral communications skills in
more spontaneous ways.
Like every year, besides competing,
students were able to enjoy a weekend
in Ottawa-Gatineau and experience
bilingual activities in the National
Capital Region. It is always important to
celebrate their many hours of hard work
with fun activities outside the classroom
or competition environment and to meet
other like-minded individuals motivated
to use French and perhaps even develop
Post-Concours, students completed
a survey for us to better understand their
experience and to improve the whole
process, from registration to travel to
activities. Overall participants agreed that
they feel that their French skills improved
by participating at Concours:
“ Doing the speech really allowed me to
improve on my French diction, grammar,
and pronunciation in a way that would
not have been possible otherwise…”
“ I’ve noticed a great improvement in my
public speaking abilities. I also used this
opportunity to use French more often, since
I was surrounded by French speakers for
most of this great experience…”
“ Speaking French is the most challenging
aspect of learning it, so it really helps to
have a competition where you must speak
and formulate responses in French…”
Participants all enjoyed meeting
fellow students from across the country
that have similar interests with whom
they were able to share their French
“ My favorite part of the weekend was
getting to spend a weekend immersed
in French and getting to meet like-minded
people who had similar interests. Also
getting to know French speakers from
all over Canada!”
“ I made so many amazing friends this
weekend and it was awesome getting
to spend some time just having fun
“ I met a lot of people who were excited
about French and that has motivated
me to continue learning and practicing…”
CPF National thanks all participants,
parents, judges, sponsors, and volunteers
that were able to join us for the 2019
edition of the Concours National
Finals. Your support is instrumental
in promoting French second language
learning and the importance of linguistic
duality across Canada. n
Mohamed Elnagary – Winnipeg, MB
BY THE NUMBERS
n 62,000 students competed overall
at Concours across Canada.
n 47 high school students traveled
to Ottawa and participated at the
n 6 categories based on level of French
language proficiency – new this year:
n 97% of participants enjoyed presenting
n 88% of participants enjoyed getting
to know the other finalists.
n 97% of participants said that they would
recommend National Concours.
10 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
FIRST PLACE WINNERS
Impromptu Yi Fei Tao – Ottawa, ON
Francophone Xavier Champagne – Winnipeg, MB
Shubhneet Thind – Winnipeg, MB
Tyler Woodburn – Gatineau, QC
Core Extended/Enriched Advanced
Angelina Shaw – Toronto, ON
CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019 11
A Parent’s Perspective
BY KATE PETERS, CPF NATIONAL, DIRECTOR AT LARGE
There was never any question that Nicholas would be enrolled
in a French immersion program. Learning French was one
of his family’s core values – his sister had been through
immersion, his father was bilingual, and his mother believed in the
importance of learning Canada’s official languages and the benefits of
bilingualism. But from the very beginning, Nicholas was discouraged
from continuing in the program. In his first year, and every year
thereafter, his parents were advised to remove him from French
immersion. They knew he had some learning challenges, but it took
years to get the school to have him tested. Once diagnosed, they
found that the supports and accommodations Nicholas needed to
be successful were unavailable. Teachers and administration alike
seemed unable to help.
But today, Nicholas is bilingual and enrolled in French courses
in high school. His story confirms research that shows that learning a
second language is beneficial for all, improving literacy, self-efficacy,
executive functioning, and even skills in science and math. Research
also shows that with the right accommodations, all kids can be
successful in learning French. The struggle of Nicholas' parents to
keep him in French immersion is a case study in another documented
phenomenon: French as a Second Language (FSL) classrooms are not
always inclusive of students with learning challenges. The situation is
challenging for students, parents and teachers. Parents may struggle
to navigate the system and to know who to trust when teachers
and administrators advise them to remove their children from the
program. Parents of children with challenges need to become strong
advocates to support their success, and especially to keep them in FSL
programs. Here are some tips.
What parents can do outside school – Reflecting on ten years of
navigating the system to keep their son in immersion, Nicholas’
parents believe that what Nicholas did after school was just as important
as what happened in the classroom. “We found places where he
could excel” they explain. He always loved sports, so soccer became
a focus. Winning on the field was an important counterbalance to
his struggle in the classroom. They also built a web of supports for
both Nicholas and his family. Mentorship was valuable to Nicholas,
who saw that there were many ways to be successful that weren’t
academic; and it shored up his parents, who learned from other
parents who had been through the same sorts of challenges.
What parents can do within the system – Families whose children
are struggling academically are often encouraged to withdraw their
child from the FSL program and place them in an English stream
program or school. Teachers and administrators believe that if a
student is struggling, for instance due to a learning disability, then
the best option is a program where more supports are available.
Parents faced with these pressures and the advice from teachers
and administration may feel like they have to make a choice
between the opportunity for their child to learn French, and
programs which meet their child’s specific needs. It is not surprising
that researchers have identified in this situation an equity issue
in French immersion and special education in Ontario (Arnett &
Maddy, 2010). So what can parents do to advocate for their child
within the system?
Engaging early and often – Nicholas’ parents describe how each
year, they would start anew with teachers who sometimes lacked
training on how to accommodate students’ learning needs. In their
experience, the burden of the accommodation was often placed
on the family. This burden was both emotional and financial – they
were expected to pay for assessments or specialized materials to
12 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
accommodate alternate learning in reading or math. They found that
teachers sometimes couldn’t help, and lacked training or knowledge
on how to accommodate. That said, there were some teachers in
Nicolas’ journey who made extraordinary efforts to support his
needs. Nicholas and his parents were able to work with these
teachers to find the best way for him to be successful.
Getting the right support for your child – Another consequence
of the system’s culture is that outliers have often been streamed
out of programs leaving students who are more academically
successful. Countering this inertia required that they start as early
as August or September each school year, asking for supports and
accommodation. They would meet the teacher and administration
and explain their expectations.
Information gathering was also a challenge as they would
have to rely on Nicholas to let them know what he had been
offered in terms of alternate activities. They found it was difficult
to obtain fully transparent information about the measures being
implemented to support their son. They tried to email every time
Nicholas reported that an accommodation wasn’t offered.
Advocacy – Ask and you shall receive – Nicolas and his parents
needed to become strong advocates, both with the teacher and
with the school. This can mean conflict with the school, not taking
no for an answer, and finding others to advocate with you. Effective
advocacy can also mean going beyond the teacher and school
administration, to superintendents, and jurisdictional and provincial
elected officials. This can be difficult for parents, especially if they
are unfamiliar with the school or education system culture. Nobody
likes to be in conflict when their child is involved. Nicholas’ parents
asked for help, developed their own support network of friends,
fellow parents and colleagues, and made a folder with all of the
information about Nicolas’ needs and their advocacy efforts.
Conclusion – No one who hears Nicholas speaking French would
guess that his journey had been so turbulent. Tall, athletic, confident,
well-spoken, and funny, you wouldn’t guess when you speak
to him that he has struggled at all. His success is proof that with
the right supports, all students can succeed in French immersion
programs. This is a very personal journey for parents, families and
teachers. There has been some evolution in terms of the supports
available, and teachers are starting to access more training on
accommodation and supports. But there is still significant resistance.
Resources are lacking, and teachers and administrators who want to
help, may not be able to provide the necessary supports.
The good news is that Canadian Parents for French can help
in at least three different ways. First, they can offer resources and
advice on how to advocate within the school and with the local
school board. Second, CPF can provide research-based evidence so
that parents can enter conversations with teachers and administration
with arguments to support their child’s best interest. Finally,
CPF can connect parents to a support network that will shore up
their reserves so they can continue to challenge authority and fight
for the accommodations their children need. n
CPF-SK, a proud member
of the SCBScN Bilingual
Option Advisory Council
CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019 13
Parent Involvement Leads to
NOTES FROM A CPF WORKSHOP PRESENTED BY NICOLE THIBAULT
AT THE CASLT LANGUAGES WITHOUT BORDERS CONFERENCE, MAY 2019
Creating a Place for All Parents
Partnering with the school gives parents and educators a better
insight into changes in the education system. Parents need to
be seen as a vital asset to success in education and need to be
respected as collaborators.
Yet at times, parents feel a need to ‘speak the language
of education’ for their children to succeed. This school-centric
perspective centres on how parents can serve the school and
support the existing, and long time, accepted school structure.
Times are changing, and schools need to change too. Education
specialists now speak about family-centric school practices and
of embracing a philosophy and pedagogy of ‘walking alongside’
at the heart of working with, and being inclusive of, all families.
This approach recognizes parents as the individuals who
began their children’s education at birth and who continue
to educate them throughout their lives. These teachers see
themselves in a relationship accompanying the parent on this
journey, and recognizing their capacity and parental knowledge
of the child.
This approach goes beyond the traditional ‘Meet the
Teacher’ night and moves toward a more community-based
approach where teachers go to homes and community centres
to meet families and to learn with and from them. This can take
the form of a community walk or drop in visits, but in all cases
the one-way relationship becomes more reciprocal and inviting.
Creating a welcoming and safe environment at the school for
parents and community members to visit is a first step. From
there, schools are reflecting on how to respond in culturally
diverse ways, working to give parents an authentic voice.
For more information on the ‘Walking Alongside’ pedagogy
of working with parents and families, see the work of Debbie
Pushor, PhD, Department of Curriculum Studies, University
A Strategy for Success
I. School Climate – Welcoming, Connecting in the Community
II. Eliminate Barriers – FSL is for ALL Students
III. CPF Parent Outreach: Information, Tools, Supports
Parents often feel unable to support their children’s education in French immersion
because their own French skills are inadequate or non-existent. This can keep parents
from enrolling their children in French immersion, or lead to unnecessary withdrawals
from the program.
• Parents do not need to possess French-language skills
themselves in order to support children in learning FSL.
• Skills developed in learning one language are transferable
to the learning of others.
• Students are more likely to be motivated, to earn higher grades, to have better
behaviours and social skills, and to continue their education to a higher level when
their parents are actively engaged in supporting their success at school.
“ When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children
tend to do better in school, stay in school longer and like school more.” – Anne T. Henderson
14 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
PARENT ENGAGEMENT MATTERS
“ Influential in shaping attitudes and values, parents can help their children set goals and look to the future. Parental interest can be a significant
factor in motivating students to continue their FSL studies throughout high school and into post-secondary studies. High levels of engagement by
adult role models – whether parents, family or community members – in the school, highlight for students the value that is placed on learning
additional languages.” – Ministry of Education, Ontario, “Parent Engagement”
A Strategy for Success
I. Volunteering at School / Helping from Home
II. Learning at Home
III. Community Outreach: people, resources, opportunities
Schools must now consider new definitions for some commonly-used terms such as:
n “Volunteers” to mean anyone who supports school and program goals, children’s
learning in any way, at any place, and at any time – not just during the school day
and at the school building.
n “Homework” to include interactive, shared activities with others at home or in the
community, linking school life to real life.
n “Help” at home to mean encouraging, listening, praising, monitoring, sharing.
• Student achievement improves when parents play an active role in their
children’s education, and that good schools become even better schools when
parents are involved.
• Students succeed in a language-rich environment in the home: exposing them
to French through television, movies, and cultural events; seeking opportunities
to make connections with French-language communities.
• There are considerable benefits in making French come alive through authentic
French-language-experiences beyond the school (Mady & Arnott, 2010).
Wherever possible, parents and community leaders can help establish,
coordinate and communicate volunteer opportunities, cooperative education
work placements, after-school camps, exchanges as well as local cultural
initiatives including French movies and theatre. n
“ Parents need to hold high aspirations and
expectations for their children, and schools
need to work in partnership with parents so
that the home and school can share in these
expectations and support learning.”
COME LEARN FRENCH
at The Centre linguistique du Collège de Jonquière
CULTURE IN A
2, 3 or 5 week French immersion
Including workshops & socio-cultural activities
Homestays (3 meals day)
CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019 15
The Language Portal of Canada
The Language Portal of Canada offers a wide range of writing tools, quizzes and links to help your children improve
their second official language skills. This year, the Official Languages Act turns 50 and to celebrate this unique anniversary,
we have put together a few questions from the Portal to test your knowledge of Canada’s official languages!
_____ first established English and French as
Canada’s official languages:
a) Official Languages Act
b) British North American Act
c) Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
la Loi, les Canadiens et Canadiennes _______
(avoir, présent) le droit de recevoir des services
du gouvernement fédéral dans la langue officielle
de leur choix.
a) ont eu b) ont c) avaient eu
2011, how many people in Canada considered
themselves bilingual in English and French?
a) 4.8 million b) 5.8 million c) 6.8 million
The French translation of "Official Languages Act" is _________.
a) Acte concernant les langues officielles
b) Charte relative aux langues officielles
c) Loi sur les langues officielles
_________ (se joindre, impératif présent) à nous pour
célébrer cet important jalon de notre histoire.
a) Joindrez-vous b) Joignez-nous c) Joignez-vous
1- B: Section 133 of the British North America Act, passed in 1867, established English an French as Canada’s official
languages. The Official Languages Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were passed much later.
2- B: Ont is the present conjugation of the verb avoir “to have”. Section 20 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
indicates that the federal government must provide services in both of Canada's official languages. The services
provided must be of the same quality in English and French.
3- B: Between 2006-2011, the English-French bilingualism rate within the overall population went from 17.4% to 17.5%.
Quebec accounted for 90% of this net increase
4- C: The French title of the Official Languages Act is Loi sur les langues officielles. The word acte is used for certain treaty instruments
and international accords but rarely for Canadian legislation. The English equivalent of the word charte is "charter."
5- C: Joignez-vous is the imperative conjugation of the verb se joindre, to join. “Please join us in celebrating this important
milestone in our country! Organizations across Canada will continue to hold events in the fall, in English and French, to
mark the 50 th anniversary of the Act.
What do Canada’s two official
languages mean to you?
Celebrate 50 years of official
bilingualism by creating a video for the
chance to win cash and other exciting
Deux langues :
Que signifient les deux
langues officielles du Canada
Célébrez 50 ans de bilinguisme officiel
en créant une courte vidéo et courez la
chance de gagner de l’argent et d’autres
A project of
Un projet de
With support from
Avec le soutien de
In partnership with
En partenariat avec
16 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
AUSSI LE CAMP
CAMP MÈRE CLARAC - SAINT-DONAT
campclarac.ca • firstname.lastname@example.org
819 424-2261 • 514 322-6912 sans frais
A Program that Allows You to
Explore Canada and Learn French
Odyssey is a paid, professional work experience that
gives participants the opportunity to travel across
Canada to work as language assistants with students
for nine months, and share their culture. For participants
working as English assistants that means traveling to a French
speaking community in Quebec or New Brunswick; and for
those who would like to teach French, it would be the
opposite with the chance to work elsewhere in the country.
There is no age limit for the Odyssey program, but
participants need to meet all eligibility requirements.
Under the supervision of a teacher, Odyssey language
assistants use games and other activities on a daily basis to
motivate students to learn more about English as a second
language, French as a second language, or French as a first
language, based on their assignment.
As an Odyssey language assistant, participants will have
the opportunity to share their culture, drawing from their
personal experiences. They will also share the unique linguistic
features of their home region through art, music, stories, local
expressions, and humour, and make a difference in the lives of
youth. By the end, an assistant will have helped young students
to broaden their knowledge of Canada and develop a passion
for language learning, all while having fun!
The Odyssey program not only benefits the students,
but it will help the assistants grow and learn as well. For
an English speaker, part of the experience is to live in a
francophone community where English is likely to be the
minority language, which will give them a chance to develop
French fluency as they interact with the community. Beyond
learning the language, the program will help provide a
different perspective about the different cultures that
make up French Canada while also building skills that
are transferable to their career or their lives.
For francophones or for participants with strong French
proficiency, the program gives them an opportunity to work
in an anglophone community where French is minority
language and strengthen their fluency in English as they
interact with the community.
DID YOU KNOW?
We are looking Odyssey francophone and anglophone
The Odyssey salary has increased to $25,000 from
$18,500 to cover the employment period from the
beginning of September through the end of May.
Participants could also receive allowances for two
return trips between their home province or territory
and their assigned community if they have to move
more than 200 km away from their home province
or territory to work.
In order to qualify for the Odyssey program, participants must:
n have solid English-language skills, both oral and written. English proficiency must
be as strong as if it were their first language, to be an English language assistant;
n have solid French-language skills, both oral and written. French proficiency must
be as strong as if it were their first language, to be a French language assistant;
n be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada (those studying in Canada
on a student visa are not eligible);
n have completed, by the start of their work term and within the last 10 years, at
least one full year of post-secondary studies, college, or university. If a candidate is
completing studies in Quebec, they must have completed two years of college-level
studies or one year of university within the last 10 years. For studies done outside
of Canada, participants also need to submit a formal assessment of their academic
Interested candidates do not need to be bilingual to apply for the Odyssey program,
but some basic oral and spoken skills in their second official language are a great asset.
A driver’s license is not a requirement for selection. However, in some regions, having a
license is preferable. n
For full details please visit myodyssey.ca
Published in partnership with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).
18 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
For French second language learners in Canada, linguistic
insecurity can be a key barrier to language learning – even
our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed insecurities
about, and been criticized for, his French language skills. Linguistic
insecurity stems from different sources including the social hierarchies
that we’ve set up that presuppose that one type of French or
one type of accent is better than the other. It can also manifest when
someone makes a comment about our language skills, or switches to
English when they hear an accent. Often, linguistic insecurity is also
internal, stemming from the fear we experience of being judged or of
seeming ridiculous in front of our peers.
Not only does linguistic insecurity feel rather unpleasant, but it
can lead a learner to limit what or how much they say, to spend their
time over-correcting or selecting words, or to silence themselves
altogether by choosing not to speak. In this way, linguistic insecurity is
one of the key barriers to French second language learning in Canada.
A Key Barrier to Second Language Learning
BY SOPHIE WERTHEIMER, PROGRAM MONITORING, EVALUATION,
AND REPORTING MANAGER, CPF NETWORK
If you’ve ever tried to speak in a language that isn’t your first, then you’re probably familiar with the
concept, and feeling, of linguistic insecurity. Linguistic insecurity is the fear or anxiety of being judged
or criticized for our accent or language skills (not finding the right words, not addressing someone
politely enough, not being able to communicate ideas eloquently, etc.).
In a context where we want to encourage our children, family
and community members to speak French, here are a few tips to
keep in mind to help limit linguistic insecurity.
n Take a linguistic risk – order a meal in French or pay a visit to a
local Francophone organization. Learning a second language
means putting ourselves out there and even if it’s scary and
difficult, it will only become easier with time.
n Remember that everyone has an accent! Avoid commenting on
someone’s accent or language skills – meet them where they’re
at and encourage them to keep learning and speaking.
n Don’t switch to English! If you’re a French speaker and someone
addresses you in French, then keep speaking in French. Whether
or not they have an accent or speak a bit more slowly, this is a
great opportunity to refine language skills and to foster an
environment that says Oui to French! n
Réputée pour sa qualité d’enseignement
Résultats scolaires supérieurs
Le plus haut taux de diplomation en Ontario
Le choix de sept parents sur dix
Recognized for its quality of teaching
Superior academic results
Highest graduation rates
The choice of 7 out of 10 francophone parents
CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019 19
KEY CPF CONTACTS ACROSS CANADA
1104 - 170 Laurier Ave. W., Ottawa, ON K1P 5V5
Quebec office & Nunavut support
P.O. Box 393 Westmount, Westmount QC H3Z 2T5
British Columbia & Yukon
227-1555 W 7th Ave., Vancouver, BC V6J 1S1
T: 778.329.9115 TF: 1.800.665.1222 (in BC & Yukon only)
211-15120 104 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB T5P 0R5
PO Box 1538, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2P2
303-115 2nd Ave. N., Saskatoon, SK S7K 2B1
T: 306.244.6151 TF: 1.800.561.6151 (in Saskatchewan only)
101-475 Provencher Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R2J 4A7
T: 204.222.6537 TF: 1.877.737.7036 (in Manitoba only)
103-2055 Dundas St. E., Mississauga, ON L4X 1M2
T: 905.366.1012 TF: 1.800.667.0594 (in Ontario only)
PO Box 4462, Sussex, NB E4E 5L6
T: 506.434.8052 TF: 1.877.273.2800 (in New Brunswick only)
8 Flamingo Dr., Halifax, NS B3M 4N8
T: 902.453.2048 TF: 1.877.273.5233 (in Nova Scotia only)
Prince Edward Island
PO Box 2785, Charlottetown, PE CIA 8C4
T: 902.368.3703 email@example.com pei.cpf.ca
Newfoundland & Labrador
PO Box 8601, Stn A, St. John’s, NL A1B 3P2
T: 709.579.1776 firstname.lastname@example.org nl.cpf.ca
TF: 1.877.576.1776 (in Newfoundland & Labrador only)
Camp Mère Clarac
T: 819.424.2761 (21) F: 819.424.5771
E: email@example.com W: www.campclarac.ca
Canadian Parents for French – Saskatchewan
T: 306.244.6151 F: 306.244.8872
E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.sk.cpf.ca
Centre linguistique du Collège de Jonquière
T: 418.542.0352 TF: 1.800.622.0352 F: 418.542.3536
CSDC des Aurores boréales
T: 416.506.1867 TF: 1.866.701.1867
RK Publishing Inc
University of Regina
Liaison – Bilingual Option SCBScN
Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Faculty of Nursing
T: 306.533.3965 F: 306.585.5183
20 CPF MAGAZINE FALL 2019
Professeurs adjoints bilingues en sciences infirmières
Vous êtes une infirmière ou un infirmier enseignant(e) et
chercheur bilingue qui se passionne pour l’enseignement,
l’apprentissage et la recherche. Vous avez un côté aventurier et
vous êtes prêt à apporter votre contribution aux communautés
francophones minoritaires. Vous avez envie de découvrir la
richesse et la diversité des Prairies.
Alors pourquoi ne pas venir vous joindre à nous en
Saskatchewan, Land of the Living Skies? www.fransaskois.sk.ca.
La Faculté des sciences infirmières de l’Université de Regina
offre, en partenariat avec Saskatchewan Polytechnic, un
programme de 1er cycle d’avant-garde. Plus de 1 300 étudiants
sont actuellement inscrits au Baccalauréat conjoint en sciences
infirmières de la Saskatchewan (SCBScN). Nous offrons
maintenant au sein de ce programme une option bilingue
(langue française). www.uregina.ca/nursing
Nous invitons donc des candidats bilingues, en voie d’obtenir un
doctorat, à considérer des postes de professeur adjoint à Regina.
Veuillez noter que les candidats doivent pouvoir s’inscrire auprès
de l’Association des infirmières et infirmiers autorisés de la
Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association).
Bilingual Assistant Professors
Are you a bright, creative, and bilingual nurse educator and
researcher who has a passion for teaching, learning and
research? Do you have a sense of adventure and a willingness
to contribute to francophone minority communities? Do you
want to discover the rich diversity of the Prairies?
Then join us in Saskatchewan, the land of the living skies!
The University of Regina’s Faculty of Nursing offers a
leading-edge undergraduate program in partnership with
Saskatchewan Polytechnic. More than 1,300 students are
currently enrolled in the Saskatchewan Collaborative
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) program. We now
offer a bilingual (French language) option within the
SCBScN program. www.uregina.ca/nursing
We invite bilingual PhD prepared applicants to consider
Assistant Professor positions in Regina. Candidates must be
eligible for registration with the Saskatchewan Registered
Déposer votre demande en ligne dès aujourd’hui
Apply online today