Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Letters April 29, 2008, Telegraph-Journal

Parent doesn't buy EFI study

In response to Mr. Willms' opinion of EFI, it is interesting to note that he fails to recognize the fact N.B. students score lower than other provinces that have EFI. I would think this means that there is something fundamentally wrong with New Brunswick's education system, period.

I disagree that "segregation" occurs with EFI. Children don't choose their friends based on whether they are in French Immersion or not. They are more likely to hang out with kids in their own class regardless of the language they are taught. So I guess we would have to put ALL children in the same grade in ONE classroom to avoid segregation.

I am particularly fed up with hearing about the socioeconomic class of children in EFI. My children are in the low socioeconomic group. I have made the choice, available to every parent, to enroll my children in EFI. My income had nothing to do with my choice. Why lower socioeconomic parents are avoiding EFI is perhaps a subject Mr. Willms can research.

It is highly unlikely that the parents who did not choose EFI for their children in the first place will encourage their children to learn the language in Grade 5, beyond which point the ability to choose will no longer exist. Nobody, children and adults alike, want to be told they must do something.

The "reason" for eliminating EFI has changed a number of times. I just wish we could know the real reason for this decision.


MASJ Inc. support early immersion

It is fundamentally important that all residents in New Brunswick be given the opportunity of becoming bilingual, especially in light of the fact that N.B. is the only officially bilingual province.

The early immersion program is one of the best methods of insuring that children in Saint John and N.B. continue to be given the opportunity of being able to communicate in New Brunswick and Canada's two official languages.

Many immigrants in Canada and Saint John speak more than two languages. They find it unusual that there could be any limitations on those who wish to become fluently bilingual. Many jobs in New Brunswick require bilingualism. There should be the best French immersion educational programs in place so as to enable our youth to gain employment as well as communicate with other Canadians whose mother tongue is French.

There should be no compromise. The continued prosperity and retention of our youth may depend on it.

MELANA IVERSON, Volunteer Executive Director
Multicultural Associaton of Saint John Inc

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