Project Overview

Project status

Project manager or
resource person

Partner organization(s)

Department of Language and Literacy Education

Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT) / Association canadienne des professeurs de langue seconde (ACPLS)

Identifying Requirements and gaps in French second language teacher competency: Recommendations and Guidelines

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.

This project is being implemented in three phases: CASLT establishes a pan-Canadian overview of present practices and standards based on documentary research and data from stakeholders; analysis of the data collected to identify challenges and gaps in order to draft recommendations and guidelines to be shared with stakeholders for discussion; and production of final documentation and dissemination of results. Various partners have been identified, namely universities across Canada who are involved in the research component to gather information. Other stakeholders such as ministries of education, faculties of education, school districts, and language teacher associations are involved in round table discussions in order to provide feedback and ensure successful completion of the project. All partners are involved in different stages of the project for the promotion and dissemination of the materials.

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 is developing customized recommendations and guidelines to improve the expertise of FSL teachers based on the geographical location across Canada.

Targeted Results

Nationwide consultations in all provinces and territories contribute to the research and dissemination of the knowledge, methods and tools related to FSL teacher qualifications requirements (ministries of Education [13], faculties of education [80], school districts [380], language teacher associations [25], etc.).
A pan-Canadian perspective is shared to highlight similarities, differences, gaps, challenges and different opportunities pertaining to teaching French as a second language.
Stakeholders are aware and have a better understanding of the need to harmonize FSL teacher fundamental competencies.
Academic institutions refer to the recommendations and guidelines of FSL teaching competencies to guide curriculum development, language proficiency development and assessment.
Teacher accreditation bodies refer to the recommendations and guidelines for FSL teaching competencies to assess teachers recruited in other jurisdictions.
Academic institutions refer to the recommendations and guidelines for FSL teaching competencies to support teachers.
The number of professional development opportunities for FSL teachers is increased.
The number of FSL teachers is increased.

Main takeaways (learnings)

  • There are no guarantees that participation in surveys and focus groups—especially amongst school boards and teachers—will be adequate. It requires a lot of promotion.
  • Faculties of education seem interested in the project as well as discussing teacher training, research, recruitment initiatives, language competencies, and collaboration (ex.: forums, panels, etc.).

Potential/desired collaborations

Faculties of education, post-secondary stakeholders
  • To reach researchers
  • Once the study has been published, all stakeholders will be invited to discuss its conclusions and their applicability.
  • They will be encouraged to help disseminate the report and its conclusions.
School boards and districts
  • Employer support is crucial to new teacher onboarding, as well as their long-term success.
Teacher associations
  • To share information and encourage dialogue amongst membership.
Departments and ministries of education
  • To share information and encourage dialogue amongst stakeholders.

Digital platforms and documents for consultation or sharing

Digital platforms and documents for consultation or sharing

FSL Teacher Education Project—Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT)
Two documents have been completed, published and are available in the CASLT boutique:
1. Preparing for L2 and FSL Teaching: A Literature Review on Essential Components of Effective Teacher Education for Language Teachers
2. Second Language Teacher Attrition, Retention, and Recruitment: A Literature Review on Issues, Challenges, and Strategies for French as a Second Language Teachers