CPFMagazine Fall 2019 Issue


A national network of volunteers, parents and stakeholders who value French as an integral part of Canada. CPF Magazine is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.

FALL 2019














By just knowing the proper letter-sound blends


readily read, write, speak and develop accurate fluency that results

in better comprehension skills just by knowing how to decode the language.

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decodes the language one sound at a time!



FALL 2019



Michael Tryon, Nicole Thibault,

Towela Okwudire, Denise Massie,

Marcos Salaiza


Chelsea Craig, Kate Peters, and

other authors and organizations,

as noted in their articles.


Marcos Salaiza


Stripe Graphics Ltd.


Trico Evolution


Canadian Parents for French

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(613) 235-1481, www.cpf.ca

Advertising: Cathy Stone

Canadian Parents for French

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of students learning French as a second

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school board or district staff, and provincial,

territorial and federal government staff

responsible for official languages education.


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FALL 2019

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



3 CPF EDUCATION Don’t Get Frustré!

Tips and Resources for Parents Helping

with French Homework


It’s Time to Modernize the Official Languages Act


35 Years of French Immersion in Flin Flon, Manitoba


The Language Portal of Canada


Odyssey Program


Linguistic Insecurity:

A Key Barrier to Second Language Learning



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

and advocacy.

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, dmurphy@cpf.ca and we will mail one to you!

on French magazines edited in Quebec

for your children

To subscribe:






Tips and Resources for Parents Helping with FrencH Homework

With back to school, many parents

will find ourselves back to

Homework Help!

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

their homework.

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

editing assignments.

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?

Homework Buddies

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


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

their newsletter.

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

post questions.

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.



A Gesture

for Life



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.


" Education is the most

powerful weapon which you

can use to change the world."


" 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 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

bone marrow).

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

one's organs.

rich and famous person has a greater chance of

receiving an organ if they need one.

A person can save several lives by donating

their organs.

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.



It’s Time to Modernize the Official Languages Act


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

their contribution.

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

individual experiences;

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.



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

Canada’s reality.


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

(Statistics Canada).

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

centres au

Canada !











Fier d’être une entreprise canadienne

Joignez-vous à la conversation !




Flin Flon, Manitoba


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.



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

learning French?

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

classes didn't.

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

it with.

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


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

life-long friendships.

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

learning experiences:

“ 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

with them…”

“ 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


Late Immersion

Mohamed Elnagary – Winnipeg, MB


n 62,000 students competed overall

at Concours across Canada.

n 47 high school students traveled

to Ottawa and participated at the

National finals.

n 6 categories based on level of French

language proficiency – new this year:


n 97% of participants enjoyed presenting

their speech.

n 88% of participants enjoyed getting

to know the other finalists.

n 97% of participants said that they would

recommend National Concours.








Impromptu Yi Fei Tao – Ottawa, ON

Francophone Xavier Champagne – Winnipeg, MB

Core/Basic French

Shubhneet Thind – Winnipeg, MB

Early Immersion

Tyler Woodburn – Gatineau, QC

Core Extended/Enriched Advanced

Angelina Shaw – Toronto, ON



in French


A Parent’s Perspective


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


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


Parent Involvement Leads to

Student Success



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

of Saskatchewan.

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



“ 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.”



at The Centre linguistique du Collège de Jonquière






— Youth

— Adults

— Customized

— Online





2, 3 or 5 week French immersion

Including workshops & socio-cultural activities

Homestays (3 meals day)



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.

Two Languages:

My story

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 :

mon histoire

Que signifient les deux

langues officielles du Canada

pour vous?

Célébrez 50 ans de bilinguisme officiel

en créant une courte vidéo et courez la

chance de gagner de l’argent et d’autres

prix excitants.

A project of

Un projet de

With support from

Avec le soutien de

In partnership with

En partenariat avec






campclarac.ca • info@campclarac.ca

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.


We are looking Odyssey francophone and anglophone

language assistants.

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).


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.


Linguistic Insecurity:

A Key Barrier to Second Language Learning



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



National office

1104 - 170 Laurier Ave. W., Ottawa, ON K1P 5V5

T: 613.235.1481

cpf@cpf.ca cpf.ca

Quebec office & Nunavut support

P.O. Box 393 Westmount, Westmount QC H3Z 2T5

infoqcnu@cpf.ca qc.cpf.ca

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)

info@cpf.bc.ca bc-yk.cpf.ca


211-15120 104 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB T5P 0R5

T: 780.433.7311



Northwest Territories

PO Box 1538, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2P2

cpf-nwt@northwestel.net nwt.cpf.ca


303-115 2nd Ave. N., Saskatoon, SK S7K 2B1

T: 306.244.6151 TF: 1.800.561.6151 (in Saskatchewan only)

cpfsask@sasktel.net sk.cpf.ca


101-475 Provencher Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R2J 4A7

T: 204.222.6537 TF: 1.877.737.7036 (in Manitoba only)

cpfmb@cpfmb.com mb.cpf.ca


103-2055 Dundas St. E., Mississauga, ON L4X 1M2

T: 905.366.1012 TF: 1.800.667.0594 (in Ontario only)

info@on.cpf.ca on.cpf.ca

New Brunswick

PO Box 4462, Sussex, NB E4E 5L6

T: 506.434.8052 TF: 1.877.273.2800 (in New Brunswick only)

cpfnb@cpfnb.net nb.cpf.ca

Nova Scotia

8 Flamingo Dr., Halifax, NS B3M 4N8

T: 902.453.2048 TF: 1.877.273.5233 (in Nova Scotia only)

cpf@ns.sympatico.ca ns.cpf.ca

Prince Edward Island

PO Box 2785, Charlottetown, PE CIA 8C4

T: 902.368.3703 glecky@cpfpei.pe.ca pei.cpf.ca

Newfoundland & Labrador

PO Box 8601, Stn A, St. John’s, NL A1B 3P2

T: 709.579.1776 ed@cpfnl.ca 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: info@campclarac.ca W: www.campclarac.ca

Canadian Parents for French – Saskatchewan

T: 306.244.6151 F: 306.244.8872

E: cpf.sk.ed@sasktel.net W: www.sk.cpf.ca

Centre linguistique du Collège de Jonquière

T: 418.542.0352 TF: 1.800.622.0352 F: 418.542.3536

E: immersion@cegepjonquiere.ca

W: www.langues-jonquiere.ca

CSDC des Aurores boréales

T: 807.343.4089

E: cavanrassel@csdcab.on.ca

W: www.ecolescatholiquesontario.ca

Historica Canada

T: 416.506.1867 TF: 1.866.701.1867

E: education@historicacanada.ca

W: www.memoicanada.ca

Oxford Learning

T: 519.473.1207

E: info@oxfordlearning.com

W: www.oxfordlearning.com

RK Publishing Inc

T: 416.785.0312

E: frenchtextbooks@rkpublising.com

W: www.rkpublishing.com

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

E: francine.proulx-kenzle@uregina.ca


T: 519.539.1902

E: jgray@watermelon-works.com

W: www.watermelon-works.com



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

in Nursing

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

Nurses’ Association.

Déposer votre demande en ligne dès aujourd’hui

Apply online today


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