School boards struggle to meet growing demand for French immersion
By Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC News Posted: Nov 30, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 30, 2017 5:37 AM ET
The supply of French immersion teachers in Canada is not meeting a growing demand, educators and advocates say, and it’s a “chronic” problem that school boards and governments are struggling to manage.
The persistent challenge was highlighted recently in the Toronto area when parents pleaded with their school board to save their French immersion program. Staff had recommended it be phased out because of a “French teacher staffing crisis” across Ontario.
In the end, trustees didn’t accept the recommendation and voted to maintain the program, to the great relief of parents who wanted it.
The debate that played out at the Halton Catholic District School Board is one experienced by many others across the country as they try to meet an increasing interest in French immersion in recent years.
Wendy Carr, associate dean of teacher education at the University of British Columbia and a researcher on French education, said the shortage of French teachers is becoming “more and more pressing.”
“That shortage of fully prepared French immersion teachers is chronic in Canada,” said Carr, who is also a board member of Canadian Parents for French, an organization that promotes French education. Read the full article.