Friday, May 9, 2008

An Alternative Plan for FSL in New Brunswick

Minister Lamrock has said everyone is complaining about his FSL plan but no one is offering an alternative. In reponse, Professors Joseph Dicks and Paula Kristmanson from the Department of Education at the University of New Brunswick have developed an alternative plan for French Second Language training in NB. Will Minister Lamrock consider this?

Below are a few excerpts. To link to their report click here.

The Government of New Brunswick has decided to make changes to its Anglophone educational system in order to (1) increase the percentage of students achieving a functional level of bilingualism, and (2) resolve the problem of students not achieving the desired educational outcomes. ...
... to resolve the problem of students not achieving the desired educational outcomes, has been immediately addressed [by Minister Lamrock and the Liberals] by deciding to eliminate Early French Immersion (EFI). We feel that this decision is extreme and unnecessary. The argument that streaming caused by EFI is the major cause of this problem is not supported by evidence. We do believe, however, that EFI should be made as inclusive as possible and we encourage and offer to assist the government of NB to take the measures that are require to make this happen.

All three options- Early French Immersion (EFI), Late French Immersion (LFI), and Intensive French (IF) offer unique opportunities for students to reach a certain level of bilingualism. However, because the government has made it clear that it will not support all three options, we feel obliged to propose an alternative plan.

This plan involves two programs – one leading to Intermediate proficiency and the other to Advanced proficiency. Both involve early exposure to FSL and continuation until Grade 12

Program A. Intermediate Proficiency
This route targets Intermediate proficiency according to the NB Oral Proficiency Scale or Level B1 of the European Language Portfolio (ELP).
Key Features:
1. An elementary core French program beginning at Kindergarten and continuing to grade 4 using a contextualized and interactive method such as the Accelerated Integrated Method (AIM).
2. An Intensive French semester at Grade 5
3. An enhanced middle years Intensive French follow-up from grades 6-8
4. A core French program from grades 9-12 that includes one basic French language course per year and an optional course for students who wish to further their French language proficiency.

Program B: Advanced Proficiency
This route targets Advanced proficiency according to the NB Oral Proficiency Scale or C1 of the European Language Portfolio.
Key Features:
1. A French Immersion experience in Kindergarten.
2. Early French Immersion at Grades 1 - 3 (90% in French).
3. EFI at grades 4 and 5 at 80%
4. EFI at grades 6-8 at 70%
5. Bilingual high school at grade 9 and 10 at 50%
6. French maintenance at grades 11-12 at 20%


Click here to link to their plan

1 comment:

Skinny Dipper said...

I think that these alternative plans are great for Core French and French Immersion students. These set out clear goals of levels of language proficiency; they set out ways to get students to learn French especially in Core French classes.

The primary grades are important in getting the students to want to learn French. By the time students finish French in grade three, they will have a good repretoire of vocabulary, be able to communicate independently simple sentences, and will be motivated to continue learning French.

In Ontario, most Core French students start French in grade four. Already, they have negative attitudes in learning the language. By the time they complete French in grade eight, they cannot speak simple sentences independently. They take French in grade nine in high school; they drop French in grade ten. Even the students who complete Core French in grade twelve cannot communicate at a basic independent level (B1).