Current Practices and Emerging Trends in FSL Teacher Training
Showcase Meeting 5: Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Finding solutions to the FSL teacher shortage requires re-thinking current practices in teacher training. Many projects are underway to reinforce the competencies and the confidence of FSL teachers. This showcase meeting looks at projects that are assessing teacher training both within universities and in the workplace while improving competencies.
- Stephanie Arnott, Associate Professor and Interim Director – Teacher Education, University of Ottawa – Identifying Requirements and Gaps in French Second Language Teacher Competency: Recommendations and Guidelines – Report from the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT)
French second language (FSL) teacher training programs in postsecondary institutions vary both in language proficiency requirements and in pedagogical content. Furthermore, they are frequently not aligned with teacher hiring requirements in school boards and provincial ministries of Education. Additionally, hiring requirements for FSL teachers can vary between provinces and territories, between ministries and school boards. When education graduates do not meet school board or education ministry standards for language proficiency and/or second language pedagogical competencies, it negatively affects the pool of available FSL teachers. FSL teacher retention rates are also negatively affected by the misalignment between second-language teacher training and employer needs and expectations, as teachers that lack proficiency in French and specialized second-language pedagogical training are more likely to quit teaching French.
To counter the teacher shortage in immersion and in French as a second language programs, CASLT is providing a pan-Canadian perspective in order to highlight similarities, differences, gaps, challenges and different opportunities. Through this project, CASLT has developed customized recommendations and guidelines to improve the expertise of FSL teachers based on the geographical location across Canada.
2. Eva Lemaire, Associate Professor and Director of Education Programs, Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta, Enhancing the Education Program at Campus Saint-Jean
In Alberta, there is a shortage of qualified teachers to teach in French Minority Language schools (FML) and in French Immersion and French Second Language programs (FI and FSL). One of the main recommendations for addressing the problem is to improve the quality of education or teacher training programs. As noted in a recent market study conducted for the University of Alberta, “new graduates are not sufficiently well prepared to face the realities of Francophone and Immersion schools in Alberta.”
This project aims to enhance its teacher preparation program, (1) to improve the Education Program courses to make them more practical and better aligned with the Teaching Quality Standard (TQS), and (2) to better support students in the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) and Bachelor of Education/After Degree (B.Ed./AD) Program with targeted initiatives and activities. Furthermore,the student population has become much more diverse over the last 15 years. This project therfore seeks to respond to their needs by allowing for better professional integration once they enter the teaching profession.
3. Laun Shoemaker, Vice-President, Canadian Parents for French – Newfoundland Branch, and Treasurer, Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association Second Language Council (SLC), Deft with the DELF: Certification for French Immersion and FSL Teachers in Newfoundland and Labrador
Twenty tenured, contract or substitute teachers came together virtually to prepare and write the DELF B2 certification exam. The goal was to increase confidence, self-efficacy, and relationships between teachers and to give substitute and contract teachers the necessary qualifications to apply for French teaching assignments.
LINKS TO PRESENTATIONS
1:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)
Stephanie Arnott - uOttawa and Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT)
Questions from participants
Eva Lemaire, Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta
Laun Shoemaker, CPF - NL and Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association (NLTA) SLC
End of showcase meeting