6 responses to “Rethinking French Immersion”

  1. Marie-Pierre

    Bravo! I will use your great inquiry to guide our district school board changes towards a more equitable and inclusive FI program. It is time to move forward and ground ourselves in Canadian research.
    Merci! Marie-Pierre L’Arrivée

  2. Yvonne Dawydiak

    Thank you Desiree for this thoughtful and vulnerable introspection into your own practice and French immersion more generally. As a teacher who worked in a dual (and even triple) track school for many years I have been on the receiving end of children who were transferred out due to behavioural and learning differences. I have been told by more than one teacher that “this child is more suited to your class because he can’t behave… has toileting issues… doesn’t listen etc” while I agree that, in the end, both the child and I (and my class) benefit from the child’s gifts, there is also a ghettoizing effect that occurs in the “other track/English track” or what I prefer to call the Neighbourhood school program. This effect can be damaging to children in both groups… creating a distinct otherness that is unnecessary and does not promote inclusivity. All the best on your important and hopefully valuable research. Please continue to share it!

  3. Kevin Yapps

    Bonjour Mme Dallaire.
    J’ai bien aimé l’article! J’ai cité certains des mêmes auteurs lors du développement du travail réflexif final de ma maîtrise à travers la BAFF à SFU. Mon cœur s’est même mit à battre plus rapidement à quelques reprises!
    Je me suis concentré plutôt sur les pratiques réflexives ainsi que l’habitus quant à la pratique enseignante individualisée. Mais, bref, je suis ravi de ta passion pour l’équité en immersion française.
    J’adore le fait que plusieurs experts/défenseur/etc se font entendre lorsqu’ils parlent d’une vision de programme d’immersion pour tous!

  4. Diane Tijman

    I am in awe of your wisdom and excited for your future as a result of your research. People like Shelley Moore, spirals of inquiry team, etc are awesome! As a former French teacher and language coordinator, I have seen kids fall through the cracks in French immersion due to lack of support, anxiety, etc and others who have overcome their challenges and thrived. It’s possible! Creating a positive mindset about inclusion in your school will go a long way to support success. Finding the time to collaborate and plan is essential. I also encourage you to reach out to parents and help them to understand how to better support their children. Canadian Parents for French is a great parent group that can help in this as well. Bonne chance!

  5. Cynthia Lewis

    Bonjour Désirée! Great article. Having been involved since the get go in French Immersion, starting in 1983, as a teacher of Early and Late, as an administrator and a researcher, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” springs to mind. We are unfortunately overly invested in a model we cannot sustain, and which can be challenged on its inability to graduate even half of the students who start. We need to rethink our assumptions that Fr Immersion is the only way. Intensive French is potentially more inclusive for sure. If pathways were different, and intensity continued TIL graduation, those students would also exit at B1 or B2.
    The model of “in or out” is indeed not inclusive, nor is it healthy for our bilingual multicultural society. Intensive French models could allow more students more positive experiences. Not to mention the cost to the system to try to maintain the teaching force in fr immersion.
    I enjoyed reading your article.
    Cynthia Lewis

  6. Perry Mikita

    Hello, one aspect that is not mentioned. Teachers, when they feel they are justified, will encourage, as in our case, our child in grade 2 to leave and enter the English Stream. Numerous meetings, and always the same, nothing positive. The teacher knows better. My wife and I feel like we are in a court and need to justify our decision to keep our child in the French Stream, every time there is a meeting. The teacher knows that my child will not be successful? Very unfortunate to have such an attitude. Fortunately, for us, we have a good support network for our child. So we feel she will be fine, and she wishes to stay in the French Immersion program.