French Immersion

Resolution Number: 

2016-04
Resolution

WHEREAS the percentage of students on PEI in the French Immersion program is 24%, compared to the national average of 10%1, and

WHEREAS PEI’s population is projected to increase from 147,590 in 2016 to 161,792 by 20552, primarily due to net international migration, and

WHEREAS   the average percentage increase of students entering the French Immersion program on PEI over the last four years has been roughly 2% per year1, and

WHEREAS French Immersion offers unique enrichment opportunities that are seriously lacking on PEI, and

WHEREAS there is a tangible benefit of speaking at least one other language as regards global competencies, and

WHEREAS it is challenging to attract and retain high-quality French Immersion teachers to PEI and to maintain a sufficient pool of qualified French Immersion substitute teachers;

BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation request that the Minister of  Education, Early Learning and Culture acknowledge the importance of French Immersion on PEI and develop a strategy to address the increased growth and demand for French Immersion on PEI, specifically:

  1. Sufficient resources be allocated to support and augment the current recruitment program aimed at attracting and retaining high-quality French Immersion teachers to PEI;
  2. Ensuring that there is a sufficient pool of qualified French Immersion substitute teachers PEI;
  3. Existing French learning materials, including additional resources in school libraries and in the classroom, are augmented;
  4. Adequate training is provided for French Immersion teachers to maintain French proficiency.

BACKGROUND:

  1. Canadian Parents for French (http://cpf.ca/en/files/2014-Enrolment-Stats.pdf)
  2. PEI Statistics Bureau (http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/pt_pop_proj.pdf

Amendments: 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation request that the Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture acknowledge the importance of French Immersion on PEI and develop a strategy to address the increased growth and demand for French Immersion on PEI, specifically:

1.         Sufficient resources be allocated to support and augment the current recruitment program aimed at attracting and retaining high-quality French Immersion
             teachers and educational assistants to PEI;

2.         Ensuring that there is a sufficient pool of qualified French Immersion substitute teachers and educational assistants on PEI;

3.         Existing French learning materials, including additional resources in school libraries and in the classroom, are augmented;

4.         Adequate training is provided for French Immersion teachers and educational assistants to maintain French proficiency.

Consideration

Status: 

Passed with Amendments
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Destination: 

Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture
English Language School Board
Responses Received

Responses: 

Education, Early Learning and Culture:

1.  The Department works closely with the Human Resources staff of the Public Schools Branch to assess their staffing needs and if necessary, to recruit French teachers off Island. In 2015-2016, the Department has provided financial support to the Board for recruitment efforts in Nova Scotia and Moncton. The Department also works closely with UPEI to support the French BEd.  The Bachelor of Education in French at UPEI receives $380,000 annually to support the delivery of the program. A joint funding agreement between the provincial and federal governments is in place until 2017-2018. Twelve students graduated from the program in 2016 and 16 are now registered for 2017-2017. Many of these students are hired to teach in our schools.

2.  There are no specific initiatives that address the concern of French substitute teachers and EAs. However, French language is certainly an asset that is prominent in the database used to search for substitutes.

3.  A minimum of $200,000 of learning resources is annually put into our French Second Language programs. Schools that have seen large increases in the number of students can always apply for extra funding for school and classroom libraries.

4.  The Department provides bursaries for teachers wishing to further their study in French ($7000 in 2015-16). It also provides individual French language coaching for up to ten teachers a year through the Programme de Perfectionnement Langagier ($16,000 in 2015-16). The Department also provides bursaries for French Second Language teachers to attend out-of-province Professional learning sesions in French (2015-16, $6,000).