Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More excellent letters in NB newspapers

Find educational solution amenable to all
Published Wednesday May 14th, 2008 --Telegraph-Journal

My husband and I moved to New Brunswick almost two years ago to raise our family. In Calgary, we heard the public relations of Premier Lord and Premier Graham to come to New Brunswick. We were willing to accept the lower salary for a better life.

I graduated from early French immersion in western Canada and have enjoyed many advantages during travel, in employment opportunities and in friendships made with Canadians of francophone descent. I never thought to be concerned with this program option's availability in New Brunswick when we were making our decision to relocate.

I still cannot believe that this province will follow through with such a poor decision as the elimination of early French immersion and rob anglophone children of the opportunity to achieve an advanced level of bilingualism. I have refused to lose hope that saner minds would prevail. How can French immersion be so successful in western Canada and determined to be such a failure in New Brunswick?

I don't want to uproot my family again but one of the most important parental responsibilities is to ensure their children's education. The cognitive benefits of early second language learning matter to me.

Mr. Lamrock, your plan is not going to deliver what I want for my children nor will it deliver what you say it will. My children are my first responsibility. Take the time for consultation with the prime stakeholders in children's education - the parents - and allow for processes to find solutions amenable to all.

ERIN LUKIE, Morrisdale

Why can Yellowknife have French immersion and not N.B.?
Published Wednesday May 14th, 2008, Daily Gleaner

While browsing through a recent edition of your classifieds section, an ad caught my attention.

Apparently, the Yellowknife Catholic School board is looking for a teacher in French immersion (kindergarten to Grade 8).

I checked its website and apparently they offer French immersion to Grade 12, so the children graduate with a bilingual certificate.

I find it strange indeed that in Yellowknife they can offer French immersion starting at a very young age, whereas in New Brunswick they just scrapped that idea.

Perhaps the premier and the minister of education should have a look at the website.

By the way, in Calgary, French immersion has been the norm for many years. In fact, when one of my sisters moved out there back in the 1970s (thanks to the separatists who were, and sadly to say, are still stirring things up in Montreal), one of the first things they did was to enrol their children in French immersion.

It certainly didn't hurt the children any, as one of them eventually graduated from university as class valedictorian. The others are also university graduates. Three or four summers ago, many of Calgary's parents and children were lined up almost a city block, trying to get their children enrolled in the French immersion courses.

As far as learning a second language, children (as in Europe) should be taught several languages from an early age. Even U.S. President George W. Bush is fluent in Spanish.

Joseph A. Cyr, Fredericton

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