Fifty years after the birth of Canada’s first French Immersion program on Montreal’s South Shore, Vanier College will be hosting a day-long conference on Friday, November 18th, 2016, to re-examine the state of French-as- a-second-language programs and their outcomes for Anglophone youth in Quebec.

The conference will feature guest speakers, various presentations on existing research, and two panel discussions. Some of the topics that will be covered include the program in a French immersion class, attitudes of English students towards the study of French, and the place of English speaking youth in Quebec. David Johnston, Quebec Representative, Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages will deliver the opening remarks.

The afternoon panel discussions will address the questions of how to make French immersion better and whether we are asking too much of schools and what role can the community play. Participants on the first panel will include Martine Delsemme, Ph.D. in FSL Didactics and certified translator; Dr. Caroline Erdos from the Montreal Children’s Hospital and McGill University Health Centre; and Marc-Albert Paquette, Association canadienne des professeurs d’immersion who is a guidance counsellor for the Lester B Pearson School Board. The second panel participants will include Paule Langevin, from the Community Learning Centre Initiative; Jennifer Maccarone, from the Québec English School Boards Association; Sylvia Martin-Laforge, from the Quebec Community Groups Network; and Marylène Perron, from Parkdale Elementary School.

“We are very excited about this conference,” said Vanier French teacher Philippe Gagné. “It is the first time we have people from all three levels of education, elementary, secondary and Cegep, discussing the teaching of French as a second language.  It’s also the first time we have representatives from all the concerned parties involved: teachers, parents, the government, school boards, counsellors, universities and community organizations.”

Sessions begin at 9 am on November 18th, in the Vanier College Auditorium, A-103. To register please go to: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/perspectives-davenir-looking-ahead-what-now-for-french-immersion-tickets-27675059849

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