Monday, June 9, 2008

Science, not pseudo-science

Published Monday June 9th, 2008

It seems that when you don't have science on your side, you turn to pseudo-science.

Kelly Lamrock's French language instruction plan has been given the thumbs-down by a long line of language learning experts, including the two who devised the Intensive French program on which he is banking so heavily.

Now the Minister is attempting to buoy his sinking plan by announcing that "People have missed the plan's ‘hidden X factor,'" in two parts.

First, "integrating more conversational French opportunities into school life" — something that will be hard to do in the only province in Canada whose elementary school setting will not offer a single hour of French language instruction.

The second element is "events that introduce students to the bilingual and French culture in New Brunswick."

Indeed, listening to Acadian stories told in English for half an hour a month will do much more for our province's understanding of French than actually learning the language.

Education is no different from health and finance: when it comes to making plans for our future, the province's citizens expect something better than "X factors."

We'll settle for nothing less than a plan devised by experts.

Sarah Wilby

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