CPF Magazine Winter 2020 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.










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Table of Contents


3 What Are Immersion Students?

Francophone, Francophile or “In-between”?

7 Parents as Multilingual Experts

10 Celebrating 40 Years of Canadian Parents

for French Saskatchewan

16 5 Ways to Achieve Total Immersion in a

Language Without Leaving Your House




Visit Museums from the Comfort of Home – In French!


Summary of the State of FSL Education in Canada

2019 Report – Focus on FSL Programs


Officially 50! A Conference Marking 50 Years of

Linguistic Duality and Education in Canada


My Experience with Encounters with Canada


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.



cross the country, we are in the midst

of winter. Many of our regions are

experiencing unusual weather

patterns. Unless we are avid sports enthusiasts,

most of us prefer to cocoon inside our homes

with a favourite beverage and a good book.

May I suggest that you consider enjoying the

latest issue of CPF Magazine? It is full of articles

that will inform you, perhaps have you thinking

a little differently, or taking up a challenge with

respect to FSL education and activities.

Last year was an exciting one for Canadian

Parents for French: CPF Saskatchewan celebrated

its 40th anniversary; many of our CPF members

were able to attend the Officially 50 Conference,

celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Official

Languages Act; our Branches and Chapters

continued to hold exciting events for students

and their families, they advocated for more

and better programs to serve the needs of

those wanting to learn and use French; a CPF

Leadership Networking Event was held in

October where we learned about governance

issues that will make us a stronger organization;

the latest report on the State of FSL was

launched at that event, it was wonderful to see

so many people willing and able to share their

experiences with other like-minded individuals.

Whenever I meet CPFers from across the

country, I am struck by their enthusiasm and

willingness to volunteer; attending meetings,

offering programs for students and advocating

on their behalf. I am grateful for the many

hours those volunteers share and spend on

behalf of our organization. If you don’t know

how else you could become involved in more

initiatives, speak to your Branch office or

your local Chapter. They will be happy to

hear from you! n

Nancy McKeraghan,

CPF National President





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What Are Immersion Students?

Francophone, Francophile or “In-between”?1


In 2017, the Régime d’immersion en

français 2 of the University of Ottawa

celebrated its 10th anniversary,

at which the Official Languages and

Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) organized

a symposium. All stakeholders were

present – professors, researchers,

politicians, administrators and students

– and a roundtable was organized where

four immersion students spoke about the

shaping and reshaping of their linguistic

identity. The discussion touched on the

confusion that often surrounds certain

key concepts linked to the identity of

learners of French as a second language

(FSL), not only for students but also for

their parents.

How does your child self-identify?

Does she see herself as an anglophone

learning French? Does he consider himself

to be a francophone, a francophile, or

perhaps an “in-between”? What about

the perception of others? The good news

is that concepts of identity are everchanging.

Your child will constantly move

between languages and cultures and be

the richer for it. The bad news is that

they may carry strong feelings about this

linguistic branding.


When the etymology of the prefix franco

is analyzed, it is clear that it indicates

either French ancestry or the use of

the French language, often in a specific

region. The suffix phone, which comes

from the Greek phôné, means voice or

sound (Le Petit Robert, 2003). Le Petit

Robert, a dictionary from France, defines

a francophone as a person who, in certain

circumstances, usually speaks French as

either a first or second language (Le Petit

Robert, p. 1125, 2006). This would include

all Canadian FSL speakers, regardless of

their school programs. According to the

Multidictionnaire from Quebec, where

language is a major political issue, a

francophone is someone “whose mother

tongue or language of use is French:

there are more than five million

francophones in Quebec” (p. 663, 2003).

This would exclude most FSL learners.

Finally, from a more official perspective,

Statistics Canada (2010) summarizes the

situation well:

There is no established definition

of Francophone. For historical

reasons, Statistics Canada has

generally used the criterion of

mother tongue, that is, the first

language learned at home in

childhood and still understood

at the time of the census.

Accessed August 23, 2018 at





As a result, FSL learners are sometimes

labeled Francophiles, which also causes

confusion. Le Petit Robert defines a

Francophile as someone who “loves

France and the French, supports French

politics "(p. 1124). The Multidictionnaire

broadens the definition to include the

love of francophones. Some academic

institutions have taken it to include FSL

learners. At the University of Ottawa,

a Francophile is defined as someone

who comes from the English-speaking

community, but enjoys both French

culture and language (Knoerr, 2016, p.50).

This entanglement of francophonefrancophile

affects not only FSL learners,

but also those who teach French. For

example, a Franco-Ontarian professor,

who is an established researcher in the


field of language policy, tells how her own

identity was shaken when she was told,

in a conference setting:

“Madame, you certainly don't expect

us to consider you francophone.

Francophile, yes, but you

are not francophone.”

In her view, in a franco-dominant

context, I had no right to call

myself francophone. 3

(Lamoureux, 2013, p. 124)

This example demonstrates the

confusion inherent to these terms. The

professor, born and raised in a French

environment, is a true defender of

her community’s rights. Some people,

however, dismiss her roots and identify

her as a francophile since her French is

not “good enough”. What does this mean

to FSL learners?


Immersion students can be defined as

being “in-between” two languages . Roy

(2010) and Lamoureux (2016) see them

as both anglophone and francophone.

However, FSL learners have a hard

time seeing themselves as bilingual; it

seems to be an inaccessible goal. Clearly

they cannot be solely anglophone or

francophone, so they are perceived as

anglophones learning French (Roy, 2010).

They inhabit "an in-between identity to

which are attached cultural values specific

to that space". (Lamoureux, 2016 p.549).

They are at a crossroads.


These three terms – francophone,

francophile and “in-between” – lead us

to the dual nature of identity. Fortunately

or not, one’s identity is not fixed. It is

formed and reformed along with one’s

environment. Identity is constructed at

school, through encounters with others,

and through learning, collaborating and

playing (Lamoureux & Cotnam, 2012).

This process continues in university and

throughout life. Moreover, the concept

of identity is twofold: however we may

define ourselves, others may define us

differently (Brosseau, 2018).

Language proficiency also affects

immersion learners’ identity (Séror and

Weinberg, 2015). When we speak a second

language, native speakers judge us and

decide whether or not we are legitimate

members of their community, adding to

the complexity of the identity problem.

The round table

At the round table on linguistic identity,

all of the concepts discussed in this article

surfaced repeatedly in the comments of

the four participants. They spoke of their

immersive experiences and how their

identity had evolved through school, work

and social encounters. The question was

put to them: How do you define yourself

linguistically? The overwhelming response

was that they strongly rejected all

labelling. Labels carry connotations, and

even those given with the best intentions

can actually have the adverse effect of

creating distance, or worse, exclusion,

from the French-speaking community.

It appears that the terms francophone

and francophile carry different meanings

depending on who assigns them or

receives them.

All participants mentioned tensions

surrounding their own linguistic identity

and their relationship to French. Through

family and school, they took advantage of

formal and informal learning opportunities

that gave them access to the Frenchspeaking

world. Over time, they gained

self-confidence. Their experience as

immersion students made them aware

that their identity had been transformed

and that they were ready to engage with

francophones. These participants now say

that they consider French as part of their

identity, in an inextricable way, beyond the

labels of francophone or francophile. One

of them said:

[RIF] gave me the confidence and

tenacity to keep trying. I can draw a

very straight although wiggly line from

the immersion program to my job right

now. I had a microcosm of that in

the immersion program or through the

immersion program, and that has had

a big influence on me. I’m now neither

francophone nor anglophone; I am me.

You might ask how I, as a French

professor, would define FSL learners.

My answer is that I don’t really know.

All of these terms are labels; some have

political weight and can ignite fierce

reactions. FSL learners should just be

proud of the fact that they know another

language. It’s a gift.

When we learn a language, we

take on a new identity. We appropriate

its sounds and its culture and learn

something of the values and norms it

conveys. The round table participants

showed how integral French can be to

the identity of FSL learners. Whether

francophone or francophile, it is up

to lovers of the language to adopt all

learners of French and to embrace all

those who identify with its culture.

This is in keeping with the vision of

Tahar Ben Jelloun, a French-language

Moroccan writer, who speaks eloquently

of the richness of knowing multiple


C'est mieux qu'un simple mélange ;

c'est du métissage, comme deux

tissus, deux couleurs qui composent

une étreinte d'un amour infini.

(It's better than a simple concoction;

it's a blending of two fabrics, two

colours in a embrace of infinite love).

(Le Monde diplomatique,

2003, p. 20). n

To see the complete list

of references, please

visit cpf.ca

1. To read more on the subject: Buchanan, C. E. (2018) (Re)Shaping Identities : The impact of higher education immersion on students’

sense of identity. In Knoerr, H., Weinberg, A. & Buchanan, C. E. Enjeux actuels de l'immersion universitaire / Current Issues in University

Immersion. (153-174). Montréal : Marquis

2. French Immersion Stream

3. « Madame, mais vous ne vous attendez certainement pas à ce qu’on vous considère Francophone. Francophile, oui, mais vous n’êtes

pas Francophone ». À ses yeux, dans un contexte franco-dominant, je n’avais pas le droit de me dire Francophone.



>in French!

For those winter days when it’s hard to go out or simply when you want to stay cozy

at home, many Canadian museums offer virtual tours in both English and French!

Not only are these museums fun and interesting, they provide a great resource to

experience French outside of the classroom, right at your fingertips.

Royal Ontario Museum – Toronto, ON

Canada’s largest museum and home to a collection of more than 13 million artworks,

cultural objects, and natural history specimens. You can take a virtual tour through

‘Google Art Project’ which lets you explore the different exhibition spaces and also offers

online exhibitions. While most of the museum tour is in English, the museum’s website

is fully bilingual and provides explanations in French about the current exhibits and galleries.


Canadian Museum of History – Canadian History Hall /

Salle de l’histoire canadienne – Gatineau, QC

The Canadian Museum of History is Canada’s most visited museum and one of its oldest

public institutions. The museum has 25,000 square metres of display space that highlight

the country’s history and of mankind. Through their virtual gallery you can explore in both

French and English the “Canadian History Hall” which opened in 2017 for Canada’s 150th

anniversary. It encompasses 3 galleries dedicated to Canadian history from its early days

to our modern era. www.museedelhistoire.ca/salle-de-lhistoire/visite-virtuelle

Canadian Museum of War – Ottawa, ON

Canada’s museum of military history in the nation’s capital has exhibitions that cover all

of Canada’s involvement in historic military past, and the role it has played in the world.

Besides having permanent galleries, the museum has special exhibitions throughout the

year, many of which are available online! Head over to this virtual tour whether you

want to learn about Canada’s role in the First World War, its naval history, or simply

the chronology of the country’s military history. Fully bilingual.


Virtual Museum of Canada

The Virtual Museum of Canada is a federally funded program managed by the

Canadian Museum of History that is working to build digital capacity in Canadian

museums and lets Canadians access different exhibitions across the country. This

museum has a great selection of exhibitions ranging from arts, history, nature, science,

among many more topics from different cities around the country. Fully bilingual.





The State of FSL Education

in Canada 2019 Report

In October, CPF launched the 2019

edition of its research series “The State

of French Second Language Education

in Canada Focus on FSL Programs”, this

was the third installment of the series

after Focus on FSL students (2017) and

Focus on FSL teachers (2018).

The 2019 edition offers a review

of current FSL education literature

conducted by Stephanie Arnott and

Mimi Masson to identify key research

findings by FSL program and provide

insight into pedagogical hallmarks and

potential lessons that can be learned

from studies across different programs.

Key themes that are described include

literacy instruction, grammar instruction

and inclusive practices. Particular

attention was paid to research in core

French contexts, especially areas where

innovations could inform other FSL

programs, such as French immersion. Two

such areas were: arts-based instruction

and instructional experimentation.

Given that the three FSL programs

with the most amount of students are

core French, intensive French, and

French immersion, the report also

includes articles for each of them in

an ‘interview’ format with researchers

from each program:

n Focus on Core French:

Sharon Lapkin and Stephanie Arnott

underline the need to infuse new life

into core French programs, calling for a

‘revolution’ entailing a reconsideration

of student motivation and alternative

distributions of instructional time for

this FSL program that serves most

Canadian students.

n Focus on intensive French:

Wendy Carr reviews the history and

successes of intensive French programs,

emphasizing how a literacy-based

approach along with some intensity

of instructional time can provide a

solid foundation for bilingualism.



n Focus on French immersion:

Roy Lyster highlights findings from an

extensive review of French immersion

programs, pointing out strengths and

areas for improvement identified

through research. He summarizes

his ‘counterbalanced approach’ to

immersion instruction and outlines

three key ingredients for successful

FSL programs.

Also in this report, an update

shares how the Diplôme d’études en

langue française (DELF) is being used

across Canada as a common standard

for describing and measuring French

proficiency across FSL programs. A list

of recently published documents for

further reading was gathered including

publications from the Council of Ministers

of Education of Canada.

With this report, CPF wants to inform

decision makers, federal and provincial/

territorial authorities on the importance

The 2019 report takes an

in-depth look at contemporary

FSL research findings with a

focus on the evolution of core

French, French immersion and

intensive French as well as

trends in literacy instruction,

grammar instruction, and

inclusive practices.

of equality of access for all students

wishing to enroll in FSL programs and

reinforce the role of education leaders,

school jurisdictions and the government

in assuring student achievement in French

as a second language programs.

The CPF recommendations include

investments in official language research

such as studying various delivery

models, programmatic innovations and

pedagogical strategies, in supporting

preservice and inservice teacher

education, and funding official language

proficiency assessment practices such

as DELF testing.

We encourage our members to

use this report to continue optimizing

our credibility as a research-informed

organization and also by influencing

the FSL research agenda with factual

information. To download a copy of

the report, visit cpf.ca n

Parents as



Leveraging families’ cultural and

linguistic assets in the classroom


Reprinted with permission of Education Canada. First published in

December 2017, Vol. 57 (4) – https://www.edcan.ca

Linguistic diversity has become a defining feature of Canadian

classrooms today. Multilingual students, who speak different

languages at home and at school, have become the norm

rather than the exception, particularly in major urban centres.

Take the Toronto District School Board and the Vancouver School

Board: they both report over 120 languages spoken by their

students and their families. It’s not uncommon for teachers today

to have classes filled with students who speak many different

languages at home. At a time when people are constantly on

the go and technology makes it relatively easy to communicate

around the globe 24/7, researchers have observed that children

navigate their different language and literacy practices with

natural ease; they have grown up in a world that depends

on flexible language and literacy practices. Many teachers,

however, don’t share students’ diverse linguistic backgrounds or

experiences with growing up in a digitally mediated world. And

teacher preparation programs often offer little required work with

English learners and their families. Yet as classroom populations

continue to diversify, the need to develop inclusive multilingual

pedagogies also grows.

Are there ways to bridge this divide? How can teachers draw

on students’ diverse cultural assets and build on the linguistic

expertise that students bring into today’s classrooms, rather than

constraining it? Surely, all students should leave school with more

expansive linguistic repertoires rather than losing their home

languages in the process of acquiring the language of instruction.

Further, how can teachers engage parents in their children’s

language and literacy development if parents don’t speak the

language of instruction? Teachers, naturally, don’t speak all

of their students’ home languages!

Multilingual learning

Dr. Jim Cummins has advocated that teachers engage

multilingual students in the creation of what he calls “identity

texts”: students are encouraged to use their home languages

and cultural understanding alongside the language of instruction

to produce multimodal texts for academic purposes that reflect

students’ identities in positive ways. [1] Over the past decade,

researchers and teachers across the country have been putting

this idea into practice through the creation of a range of

continued . . .



dual-language books, documentaries, installation art exhibits

and dramatic performances.

Beyond the ESL classroom, identity text work can offer

mainstream teachers a powerful strategy for building all students’

appreciation of linguistic diversity and for leveraging students’ and

their families’ multilingual literacy expertise. Over the past seven

years, I have collaborated with classroom teachers across English

and French schools in Canada, France and the U.S. to explore

the affordances, challenges and outcomes of engaging students

collaboratively in multilingual project-based learning (MPBL). Most

recently, I’ve partnered with elementary teachers in Toronto in

English, French immersion and French language schools, as well

as a private school, to design and implement MPBL across content

areas such as social studies and science. [2] Over a two-year period,

we worked with children in Grades 4-6 to produce collaborative

multimodal and multilingual books using English, French and

students’ home languages. Examples of students’ work can be

seen on the project website: www.iamplurilingual.com.

Across these school partnerships, five principles emerged

that can guide teachers and administrators seeking to cultivate a

multilingual orientation and to design collaborative multilingual

inquiry projects to enhance learning and to build social

understanding of linguistic diversity:







on the diverse languages of the school community, including

but not limited to incorporating students’ home languages, local

Indigenous languages, and the language(s) of instruction. Even

if your student population does not include many speakers of

other languages, teachers can always incorporate Canada’s official

languages – English and French – local Indigenous languages

and other languages represented across the wider community.

Investigate language resources in your community so you can

cultivate a rich language ecology in your classroom.

parents, families and community members to contribute their

language and cultural expertise to help students bridge diverse

home, school and community language and literacy practices. Parents,

grandparents and other family members may be hesitant to volunteer

in a school where they don’t speak the language of the classroom. Invite

them in to share their languages and experience as multilingual role

models, not only for their children but also for the entire class.

students of different language backgrounds to work

collaboratively on content-based projects, as a context for

developing language and literacy skills along with content

knowledge and understanding. While having students who

speak different languages work together may seem counterproductive

at first, keep in mind that the goal is not that they

become fluent in all of the languages represented, but rather to

develop a welcoming curiosity about languages and one another.





students’ metalinguistic awareness explicitly by actively

comparing different languages and how language(s) function, and

identifying patterns for cross-linguistic transfer. Draw students’

attention to how languages work and how they are related. Bridge

from what students already know in their home and community

languages to the language of instruction.

collaborative multilingual projects for authentic audiences

through an end-of-project celebration, and through the use of

technology to reach broader audiences. Celebrate students as creative,

multilingual producers rather than consumers. Plug into other schools,

community groups and families to share the multilingual work that

students generate to extend it beyond your classroom and to receive

feedback and inspiration to keep on.

Students’ reflections about themselves and their work speak to

the importance of inviting students’ languages into the classroom.

One student said about her group’s multilingual book, “No one

knew I can speak Swahili before. It’s like now they know me for

real.” Another student commented, “My work makes me feel

original. I am the only person in the class who can read and write

these three languages and that makes me special.” And yet another

student remarked, “Before this project, I never liked reading and

writing. Now I think I like it!” These powerful identity statements

highlight how supporting students’ use of their home languages

within the classroom increases their engagement; consequently,

they produce high-quality work in which they take pride.

Engaging parents

Beyond the students’ positive responses, teachers consistently

report that doing multilingual work with students shifts

how they see culturally and linguistically diverse parents.

MPBL creates an authentic opportunity to invite parents into

the classroom and the school as language and literacy experts.

This positioning of multilingual parents as having valuable

language expertise allows parents who might otherwise feel

marginalized because they don’t speak the language of the

classroom, to feel welcome into the school. Furthermore, when

teachers host celebration events to present students’ multilingual

work to their families, teachers have noted that they have greater

turnout and that in many cases, parents and extended family

members have come to the school for the very first time. As

one teacher explained, in reference to newcomer families:

“ I’ve seen a greater confidence of parents in school… the fact

that we valued their home language and culture within our

French class allowed parents to be involved in the learning of

French in some way. Even if it may seem paradoxical, the fact

that we purposefully drew on their family’s language created a

reassuring context for engaging in learning. They knew that we

were not trying to exclude their culture or their identity.”


In my interviews with parents, I’ve found myself surprised by

parents’ expressions of appreciation that the school affirmed to

their child the value of their family’s home language and culture

through MPBL. The sense that has emerged is that MPBL builds

reciprocal relationships among teachers and families. One mother,

for example, who had compared trying to get her daughter to

learn Farsi to forcing her to eat her vegetables, recounted:

“[My daughters] weren’t curious about this ‘other’ language

for a long time and the writing the translation in Farsi was a

good thing and [my daughter] was happy that I could actually

do it for her… it kind of opened up the door a little bit. Like

she now thinks she’s more interested in the language.”

When schools affirm students’ home languages and cultures,

parents become language and literacy experts in the eyes of their

children, and multilingual parents are empowered to actively

participate in their child’s learning at school and at home.

Another parent further explained how valuable it is for parents

to have their children’s home languages affirmed by the school:

“ I think the project has been good for [my daughter] because I

think sometimes you need to mirror back to a child what they

have… It hasn’t been apparent to them as a gift possibly and

so having the school… pay attention to that is a way of saying

to them, ‘You guys have gifts! [It’s] a really lucky thing that you

have access to another language!’ It’s also powerful when it

comes from teachers… As a parent when you hold the mirror up

to your child to say, ‘This is the wonderful gifted person I see you

are,’ it’s like, ‘Whatever, Mom.’ I think [kids] dismiss it. I think

they’re pleased on one level but you as a parent sometimes

don’t have as much weight. But when an external person

validates that, it gives them a level of thoughtfulness about

themselves that they don’t necessarily get when it’s just a

parent mirroring back… When it’s valued elsewhere it’s a

solid reinforcement!”

My current research investigates MPBL as a school-wide

strategy for building multilingual language awareness and

intercultural understanding with a local elementary school in

Madison, Wisconsin. In this work, parents’ reflections about

their children’s collaborative multilingual work continue to

affirm that teachers and parents must be partners in raising

children to become thoughtfully engaged citizens in our diverse

world. In closing, listen to the responses of parents following

the creation of multilingual class books with five Grade 1

classes as part of a science unit about plants:

“I was so pleased with the book I was almost brought to tears.

Particularly considering the xenophobia in our culture today, it’s

a wonderful way to promote the inclusion of different languages

and cultures. Thank you!”

“I think it was great to have [children] working on something together.

This book is definitely something we will keep and reflect back on and

share with other family members.”

“We wished we could have contributed with a foreign language of

our own! [ Our son] can recognize the different languages (mostly)

on sight. He was very proud of being able to say a few sentences

in Arabic.”

“My sense is that seeing… languages together in the book gives

children the visual reminder of other classmates’ perspective. This

project seems original, creative and useful!”

Around the world where racial, linguistic, religious and political

differences threaten to divide communities, the need to build bridges

among teachers, students and families from diverse backgrounds is

critical. Affirming and leveraging students’ cultural and linguistic assets

helps move towards building more inclusive schools and gives students

an opportunity to learn how to work together across their differences,

within the microcosm of their classrooms. n

This parent’s reflection highlights that MPBL can forge

mutually beneficial relationships among teachers, students

and parents that multiply opportunities to affirm children’s

identities as they integrate creatively their home and school

language and literacy practices.

[1] J. Cummins and M. Early, Identity Texts: The collaborative creation of power in multilingual schools (London: Trentham, 2001).

[2] This research was generously supported by a Joseph Armand-Bombardier Canada Graduate scholarship (2010-2013) from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council.



40 Years of

Canadian Parents for French



In August 2019, Canadian Parents for French Saskatchewan

formally celebrated its 40th anniversary with a President's

Reception. Supporters gathered for an evening of music and

camaraderie. The mood was light and friendly, the hors d'oeuvres

were plentiful and delicious, the beverages were refreshing, and the

crowd mixed and mingled and shared stories. What a lovely evening

it turned out to be!

Janet Loseth, the incoming Branch Board President, welcomed

the guests by saying, “We are immensely pleased to see so many

people here. There are representatives from government attending

and from our Francophone partners. There are current and former

members present. Hélène Grimard, our Volunteer of the Year

recipient for 2018-2019, is here. For a period of time which spans

36 years, Hélène has been a judge at the Provincial Final of Concours

d'art oratoire. She is a shining example of our greatly appreciated

volunteers. We would never have gotten to this milestone, the

40th anniversary, without the Hélène's of this world ... the many,

many, many dedicated volunteers, staff, partners, supporters,

funders, who helped to get us to this day."

The Honourable Gordon Wyant, Deputy Premier and Minister

of Education, could not attend but did prepare a letter which

Ms. Loseth read out to the crowd. In part, his comments included,

"On behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan, I would like to

commend Canadian Parents for French (CPF) Saskatchewan on

celebrating 40 years of furthering bi- and multilingualism in our province

and country. The opportunities provided by your organization

to not only Saskatchewan's youth, but all citizens of this country, is a

beaming indication of the cultural growth and diversified success of all

those who call Canada home. After four decades, CPF Saskatchewan

can proudly assert that they have done an outstanding job in supporting

our students and citizens as they learn the French language."

Derrek Bentley, Vice-President of the National Board of

Directors, brought greetings on behalf of Canadian Parents for

French. National Board Director Richard Slevinsky also attended.

Kelly Block (Conservative Member of Parliament for Carlton Trail -

Eagle Creek) and Sheri Benson (New Democratic Member of

Parliament for Saskatoon West, at the time) spoke to the contributions

made and the role the organization has and is playing in

fostering support for official bilingualism. Ms. Benson presented

Ms. Loseth with a framed commemorative certificate.

Denis Simard, President of the Board of Directors of

l’Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise, congratulated the

volunteers and staff, and remarked, in part, "Canadian Parents for

French has played one of the most significant roles in changing

attitudes, influencing decision makers and molding public opinion

facing our bilingualism."

In conclusion, Ms. Loseth added, "For 40 years, Canadian

Parents for French Saskatchewan has been an informed and

passionate advocate for all who value Canada's official bilingualism.

The organization has used solid research to educate the populationat-large

about the value of bilingualism within the multilingual and

multicultural tapestry that is Canada."

After the program, guests stayed and continued to enjoy the

musical styling of Crestwood, the food and the company. n


The efforts of CPF Saskatchewan truly do help to bring

a positive change to our communities as we come

together to broaden our linguistic opportunities. I would

like to applaud you for your on-going and dedicated

work in supporting the French language in our great

province, and Canada as a whole. Best wishes for a fun

and exciting event, and congratulations on 40 years

of excellence.

The Honourable Gordon Wyant, Deputy Premier and Minister of Education,

Government of Saskatchewan




A Conference Marking

50 Years of Linguistic Duality

and Education in Canada

Je suis fier d’être un canadien bilingue


I was fortunate to be invited to speak at this conference held in Gatineau, November 21-13, 2019, co-hosted by the Association for

Canadian Studies, Canadian Parents for French and the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The event brought together

different public sectors involved and concerned with Canada’s two official languages.

It was a unique opportunity where, not only educators, but civil servants, policy writers, university students and researchers were able

to speak together about Canada’s linguistic duality, Canadian perceptions about language learning and official language bilingualism.

DAY 1 The first day of the conference started with a keynote

presentation by Matthew Hayday, history professor at the

University of Guelph, who started by saying that he was also

present 10 years ago at the 40th anniversary of the Official

Languages Act and added that “so little has changed in

regards to second language education”.

Hayday noted the main challenge for immersion education

is finding qualified, trained, bilingual teachers – those who

have an understanding of immersion and second language

pedagogy, are knowledgeable about the subject matter they

are teaching and are also able to speak French fluently.

Prof. Hayday emphasized that research points to the fact

that students can learn in an immersion program to the same

extent that students can learn in an English program, but that

adequate support and resources need to be in place to support

struggling learners. If adequate supports are not provided,

teachers will struggle to accommodate all learners, students

will leave the program and the myth perpetuates itself.



Nancy McKeraghan, CPF National President

Prof. Hayday also spoke about

what it means to be bilingual and

how Canadians in different parts of the

country view bilingualism. Definitions are

changing. In some instances the word

Francophone now is meant to include

all people who speak French and or live

in the French culture. This brought an

interesting perspective to the ensuing

discussions. As someone who does not

speak French as a first language, can one

or does one consider themselves to be


One participant working in Quebec

identified as a Franco-Ontarian. French

was her first language. She felt that

although she was perfectly bilingual

and working in Quebec, she was still not

integrated into Quebec’s society and

culture. She was proud of her “identité

de francophone minoritaire” and hopes

that in speaking to people in Quebec

they grow to realize that there are many

Francophone people living outside the

province who speak French as their

primary language of communication.

DAY 2 The keynote speaker,

multi-disciplinary Franco-Ontarian

artist/musician Yao, born in Ivory Coast,

informed us that the largest French

speaking city in the world is now Kinshasa

in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He stated that when he is in Africa, he

identifies simply as a man. In North

America he first identifies as a black man,

then as a black man from Ontario who

speaks both French and English. Labelling

who we are becomes an issue, but as

language learners, identity is an issue. One

Indigenous participant reminded us of our

euro-centric viewpoints, and that both

English and French were the languages

of colonizers. The Official Languages Act

does not consider indigenous languages,

although we are beginning to accept

and appreciate the importance of these

languages to the Canadian mosaic. We

speak about a linguistic duality, but there

are so many perspectives and definitions

that we need to broaden our understanding

of the plurality that is Canada.

DAY 3 This day began with a viewing

of parts of the film “Bi” a Radio-Canada

documentary about bilingualism in our

country. Although about bilingualism,

the film could not be made bilingually,

or even sub-titled in English, because

Radio-Canada would not fund the project

if there was too much English content.

Yao also referred to this challenge in

the artistic community. If a French

artist works with an English artist and

there is too much English content then

funding is not available to support

the project.

Media personality Tasha Kheiriddin,

reinforced the idea of the two solitudes

within the journalism profession

in Canada, with very few journalists

understanding and working in both

English and French. Producers are

often not interested in looking at

projects from outside of the majority


The film pointed out some of

the challenges in immersion education,

but unfortunately did not look at the

many positive stories from across the

country, where a young population of

immersion students are changing the

definition of what it means to be

bilingual in Canada. I felt the film,

although raising many significant

issues with regards to bilingualism,

immersion education and identity,

lacked a perspective from Western

Canada, particularly Manitoba and its

many successful immersion programs.

In a panel discussion following

the film, Graham Fraser, former

Commissioner for Official Languages,

spoke about the success of the French

immersion program, but also about

the challenges of immersion educators

responding to the needs of all children.

I asked him if he was familiar with Tara

Fortune’s work “Struggling Learners and

Language Immersion Education”, an

excellent resource for all educators

which dispels so many myths about

second or additional language learning.

French immersion educators must

work diligently to dispel myths about

immersion education and advocate for

increased supports to help all students

with their learning.

I am grateful to have had the

opportunity to be part of such dynamic

and relevant discussions about

bilingualism, identity and Canada’s

linguistic duality/plurality.

“ Si on me donnait un seul vœu, ce serait

de parler toutes les langues qui existent

et qui ont existé à travers les années.

Juste à cause de la richesse culturelle

que tu pourrais acquérir. »

– Yaovi Hoyi (Yao)



Didn’t We Learn This Already?

Fifty Years of Official Languages, Bilingualism and Education


Matthew Hayday


u In preparing my notes for my talk this morning, I realized

that had spoken at a similar conference organized by the

Association for Canadian Studies ten years ago, on the

occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Official Languages.

u I am a historian who has studied official languages,

bilingualism, and second language learning in Canada

over the past twenty years, and it absolutely gob-smacks

me that so little progress is made on some of these fronts,

and how much we see repeating from the past.

u Which is what inspired the title of my talk: Didn’t we learn

this already?

New Threats and Opportunities

u We are facing a deeply fragmented landscape at the

provincial level when it comes to the questions of

bilingualism and FSL and the will of provincial

governments to take positive initiatives.

u Recall that when it comes to polling data, Canadians

tend to be most open on this issue of language learning

opportunities for children – when it comes to the scope

of various language-related services – things get more

difficult as you progress into other sectors, and to services

that are more explicitly targeted at francophones alone.

Where Do We Go from Here?

u A large part of the work for organizations like CPF and the

OCOL, and the many francophone associations across

the country is going to have to be about protecting what

programs and rights currently exist against hostile regimes.

u The short-term challenge is going to be to maintain pressure

on Ottawa to continue its funding and advocacy role in this

sector, much as we might have hoped that the provinces

would have fully taken this on decades ago.

u The longer-term challenge is to address the issue of bringing

the mass of English-speaking Canadians – not just French

immersion parents – back around to the perspective that

second-language learning for themselves, and two official

languages for the country as a whole is an asset for them

personally and the country

u Currently, there is clearly a demand – and one that goes well

beyond government-based jobs – for people with language

skills – in both French and other languages.

u The challenge is conveying to Canadians the idea that learning a

second language isn’t just something that you do if you want to

work for the federal government or teach – but that it will have

a much wider-based applicability and usefulness in their lives.

u I think it’s important to realize that the context in which we are

living has changed in some substantive ways from when the

official languages regime was created and stabilized. n


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We all know that the best way to learn a new language is to immerse ourselves in it. But going

back to school or traveling to a foreign country isn’t always possible. Here are five surefire ways

to help you learn French or English without having to leave the comfort of your home.


Change all your technology

settings to French or English

Standard ways of learning a language

include going to a classroom, getting a

tutor, and doing a bunch of drills and exercises. In other

words, it usually requires some form of repetition and

practice. In reality, most people tap out after a few hours

of study, since studying is not exactly an activity they can

do the entire day. You can, however, switch your smartphone,

TV or computer settings to French or English and devote an

entire day to using these devices in your second language.

That means every time you look at your screens and interact

with them, you’re building new language muscles with the

neurons in your brain in a manner that requires your utmost

attention. Now, what was second nature, such as sending an

email or text, browsing the web, or watching your favorite

TV show, begins to require a concentrated effort to formulate

and understand words.


Listen to songs in your

target language

Most people listen to music, as it is one of the

simple pleasures of life. It can change one’s

mood and act as a bridge of communication between different

cultures. To have a fully immersive experience, only listen to

songs in your target language (French or English). You may not

understand the words being sung, but you’ll feel the emotion.

Later, you can look up the translated lyrics and keep repeating

the process.


Listen to a radio station in

your target language

Is there a radio station you like to listen to? What

about a French or English radio station? Try listening

in your target language as you go about doing your daily chores

and tasks. You may not catch every word, but you’re subconsciously

absorbing all the new information. Certain words,

certain sounds, certain feelings will pop up, and you’ll be able to

make associations. As your knowledge of your target language

grows, you’ll make more associations, because you’ve heard a

word before but now it has meaning.



Read books in French

or English

Read books in your target language.

Depending on your ability, you can read

anything from children’s books to full-length novels. Books tell

stories. Stories have emotional, meaningful events that allow

them to be memorable to us. When you experience stories in

a new language, you’ll have an easier time recollecting your

vocabulary because of the events associated with the words.

With these five methods, you’ll be well on

your way to speaking French or English with

ease and without having to leave your house.

How about you? Are you trying to learn, or

have you learned, a new language? If so, do

you have any tips or strategies that you’d

like to share?


Speak out loud

to yourself

Speak out loud to yourself if there’s no one

to practise with. When people move to

foreign countries, they have to speak in order to accomplish

anything. If you’re at home watching a show or movie, reading

a book, or listening to music, and you hear or read a phrase

that you like, try repeating it and using it in as many contexts

as possible. The next time you’re able to speak to a native

speaker, try it on them and see what happens! n

The article was first published on April 29, 2019, in the Language Portal of Canada’s Our

Languages blog. A Translation Bureau initiative, the Language Portal provides Canadians

with a wide range of resources to help them communicate more effectively in English and

French, and publishes weekly articles by language lovers on the Our Languages Blog.





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My Experience with Encounters with Canada


Looking for an amazing, one week trip to the nation’s capital, to explore potential

career options, try new things, with kids aged 14-17, from coast to coast to coast,

for under $1000? Then Encounters with Canada, Canada’s largest youth forum,

located in Ottawa, Ontario, is the place for you. I knew that once I heard about the

program, from my high school in Delta, British Columbia, I had to apply!

What better way to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people than with

this program. As an aspiring journalist, looking to get a degree in communications, I

chose the week of “Media and Communications”, to further my understanding of the

field and learn if I am truly interested in pursuing this career. When I arrived at the

Vancouver airport on Saturday morning, I was alone and nervous to start my week.

In less than an hour of waiting to take off, I had made 15 new friends from my own

province, who were equally excited to begin the adventure. By Sunday night, I had

gotten around to knowing the name of a vast majority of the people here and learning

more about the culture outside of the west coast. Growing up just outside of a big city

like Vancouver, I am used to the hustle and bustle of downtown Ottawa. It was such

a cool experience to be with kids who had never had the exposure of being in a city as

fast-paced and exciting as this one. Each person that walks through the doors of the

Historica Canada Centre has their own story to share, and by learning more about others,

you begin to appreciate even more the beautiful country of Canada.

In addition to the wonderful people at Encounters, we get the opportunity to

participate in many cultural and theme-specific activities, meaning that the activities

you do will correspond to the week you selected during the application. For my media

and communications week, we were involved in many social games and activities. My

personal highlights were attending a youth summit on violent extremism online, which

took place at the Hilton in Gatineau, Québec, and creating a professional web video at

the CBC radio headquarters in Montréal, Québec.

These 2 programs and workshops gave me the chance to challenge myself as an

individual. While at the conference, I had the opportunity to discuss my opinions and

ideas on how hate speech and negative comments influence our views on the world.

Cyber bullying is a very relevant problem in this generation, and we are always looking

for new ways to prevent it. At the summit, I was able to talk about how I think we should

address such issues, with professionals who are looking for a teen’s perspective. At CBC

radio, I opted to participate in an all-French workshop, because I am a French immersion

bilingual student, and am always looking for new ways to practice my second language.

This was very challenging for me, as my French is strong in a classroom, but not so much

in a less formal and more conversational setting. Throughout the day, I became more

comfortable with my own speech, and I picked up a thing or two, as most of my group

was from Québec. These 2 activities were so amazing to be a part of, and I would have

probably never had the option to do either had it not been for Encounters.

I left Ottawa with nothing but positive memories, new friendships and the

reassurance that journalism and communications is the thing for me. We live in the best

country in the world, and I have never been more proud to be Canadian! n






U N I V E R S I T É D E S A I N T - B O N I F A C E



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Winnipeg, Manitoba

Western Canada’s only







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)

February 3-7, 2020



Education Week

50 years of French


d'immersion française

50 years of the Official

Languages Act/ans de la Loi

sur les langues officielles



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