FRENCH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE TEACHER SUPPLY AND DEMAND IN CANADA

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1 FRENCH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE TEACHER SUPPLY AND DEMAND IN CANADA CURRENT SITUATION School districts across the country find themselves struggling to maintain a sufficient supply of qualified French as a second language (FSL) teachers to respond to continually-increasing demand for French immersion programs as well as more core French and intensive French program options. After a brief period of over-supply from about 2008 to 2015 during which time some faculties of education in central and eastern Canada reduced the number of FSL teacher spaces, national government 3,4,6,20,23,25,26 and provincial/territorial Ministries of Education 7,8,9,10,12,22, school districts 13,14 teacher associations 1,15,16,17 and a number of FSL education stakeholders 2,21,24 began warning that FSL teacher demand would again exceed supply, beginning as early as Numerous reasons for the current teacher supply situation have been advanced: Too few FSL teacher spaces in some faculties of education to meet current demand and/or too few candidates applying to fill the existing spaces; Too few post-secondary students who meet the French-language proficiency requirements; Newly-graduated FSL teachers who couldn t find work in their field during the period of over-supply and have not returned to teaching despite the current, improved employment prospects; Too few FSL teacher education graduates willing to relocate within or outside of their home provinces or rural communities; FSL teachers moving to English programs in response to often difficult working conditions (burnout, lack of resources, expectations or increased workload in common assessment); Lack of awareness among some FSL graduates about the demand for FSL teachers and the attractions of an FSL teaching career. Lack of opportunities to address/advance proficiency for established FSL teachers to pursue specializations. Limited transferability of teaching certificates to enable easy movement to other P/Ts, and lack of short-term temporary letters of permission to facilitate opportunities to relocate. No national registry of newly-qualified teachers by program or specialization, of the number of teacher candidates enrolled in FSL teacher education programs, and of the number of faculty of education spaces for FSL teacher education has been developed 18, 19.

2 Lack of advertising or promotion, of a national communications plan with a set of strategies to help interested FSL teachers better understand the opportunities, requirements and application processes and a list of proven practices and employment tools for school board recruitment personnel to reach potential employees. A major challenge is the lack of information about the extent, location and the reasons for FSL teacher supply problems. Once again, data are sorely lacking, making it difficult to effectively address supply and demand issues. There appears to be limited or no research to document if any progress has been made in the FSL teacher supply and demand situation in recent years. Some of the following recommendations remain unchanged from the past, but we have compiled some new calls to action that we hope will yield results. CHALLENGES IDENTIFIED (from the Research) FSL graduates are often unaware of the demand for and attractions of becoming a FSL teacher. Government of Canada immediately establishes and implements a communications plan to help interested FSL teachers better understand the opportunities available across the country, along with associated contact and other information. Government of Canada increases its funding for the educational and professional development needs of French second-language teachers, including language and cultural exchanges, Ministries of Education and faculties of education offer incentives to encourage enrolment in FSL teacher education programs. Faculties of education provide scholarships and bursaries to attract FSL teacher education candidates. School boards offer incentives for FSL teachers to apply for specifiedterm appointments. Ministries of Education promote opportunities for Grade 12 FI graduates to pursue post secondary studies in French and post-secondary institutions and high school counsellors to promote careers in FSL education. Too small a population of French-speakers outside of Quebec to meet current demand for French second language teachers. CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

3 Federal Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship meet the provincial/ territorial premiers request that the level of francophone immigration outside Quebec be increased to 5%. Federal government maintains the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship s Express Entry system that now assigns additional points for candidates with strong French language skills. Universities Canada, Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne and Embassy of France in Canada implement and expand the new agreement to attract French citizens to Canada and encourage transferability of credentials. Mentoring and broad training support programs are established for internationally trained teachers to help them adapt and succeed in the Canadian FSL teaching context. Too few FSL teacher candidate spaces in some faculties of education to meet current demand. Too few applicants to fill the spaces in others. Post-secondary institutions promote opportunities for French as a second language teaching education in order to fill spaces within their own institution and elsewhere. Ministries of Education and faculties of education fund more spaces in those faculties of education that are filled to capacity. Each faculty of education provides guidance to those applicants who do not meet entry-level proficiency thresholds so that they can continue to develop their proficiency and re-apply in the future. Too few post-secondary students meet the French-language proficiency requirements of FSL teacher education programs. The Council of Ministers of Education Canada includes French-language post-secondary education in the next Official Languages in Education protocol for agreements for minority-language education. The Council of Ministers of Education Canada focuses on measures to encourage interprovincial/territorial mobility for students and graduates in the area of education; possible incentives such as financial measures to offset tuition fees for those entering FSL education programs, for those in-service educators seeking continuing professional education, as well as for those willing to move outside urban areas to teach. The Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne and its member institutions takes measures to increase the CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

4 availability of programs and establish an infrastructure of specialized services to support students coming from FSL programs and schools. Faculties of education lower current French-language entry requirements and scaffold French-language-learning while teacher candidates are in FSL teacher education programs. Post-secondary institutions increase the availability of programs offering courses in French to support students coming from FSL programs who want to pursue their studies in French. School districts and high school counsellors encourage immersion graduates to pursue some or all of their post-secondary studies in French to maintain proficiency levels. Too few FSL teacher education graduates are willing to relocate within or outside of their home provinces. Ministries of Education and school boards establish an incentives program such as possible financial measures to offset tuition fees, and travel and housing reimbursement plans for those willing to relocate to rural or underserved areas for a set period of time, e.g., 3 to 5 years. Rural school boards offer relocation and accommodation subsidies in exchange for a commitment to stay in a teaching position for a specified period of time. FSL teachers move to English programs in response to often difficult working conditions. Ministries of Education and school districts provide more in-service professional development opportunities specifically designed for FSL teachers to enhance recruitment and retention; subsidy (to offset travel costs or registration fees) could be offered. Ministries of Education and school districts address the often-difficult working conditions (such as not having one s own classroom) by providing a dedicated teaching space to all French immersion and core French teachers. Canadian Parents for French develops information for parents to support their child s FSL teacher. School districts allocate some of their Federal French funding to encourage FSL teachers or those wishing to become FSL teachers to continue developing their French proficiency through district subsidy (e.g., for course fees, travel). CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

5 There is a lack of information about the extent and location of FSL teacher supply and demand problems. The Government of Canada includes a requirement that Ministries of Education include standardized FSL teacher supply and demand data in The Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction. Statistics Canada develops and maintains a national registry of newlyqualified FSL teachers/teacher candidates enrolled in FSL teacher education programs, and faculty of education spaces for FSL teacher education to provide better understanding of where the FSL teacher needs and gaps exist and enable more responsive actions. The Government of Canada establishes a comprehensive pan-canadian website (with input from each province and territory s Ministry of Education) for interested job seekers to register their profile and apply for openings for teaching positions available across Canada with a focus on FSL education. School districts begin to allow hiring short-term FSL teachers who hold a letter of permission. FSL education not a demonstrated priority by provincial/territorial governments. All provinces and territories have a dedicated senior staff/manager position for FSL education. All provinces and territories have a provincial FSL advisory group. This group would include stakeholders external to Ministry of Education, would have clear terms of reference and would conduct scheduled meetings with stakeholders to discuss FSL issues. (See ON and BC documents as examples.) Interprovincial agreements between the Ministries of Education are established to allow for the easy transfer and mobility of FSL teachers between provinces and territories. Canadian Parents for French urges all stakeholders to implement recommendations flowing from current and historical FSL teacher supply and demand issues and invites the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Council of Ministries of Education Canada to include measures to monitor progress via future Official Languages in Education Program agreements. CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

6 References 1 Canadian Teachers Federation (2000) CTF Survey of Canadian School Boards on Supply/Demand Issues, Economic Service Bulletin, Ottawa: Author 2 Canadian Parents for French (2002) FSL Teacher Shortage, The State of French-Second- Language Education in Canada, Ottawa: Author FULL.pdf 3 Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages (2015) Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages; House of Commons, Ottawa 4 House of Commons (2014) The State of French Second-Language Education Programs in Canada: Report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, Ottawa: Author 6 Service Canada (2014) Secondary School Teachers, Unit Group 4141, Ottawa: Author 7 Nova Scotia Department of Education (2012) Nova Scotia Public Education Teacher Supply and Demand, 2012 update, Halifax: Author 8 Yukon Education (2012) Yukon Education s Workforce Profile 2012; Yukon: Author ember_2012.pdf 9 Alberta Education (2013) A Transformation in Progress: Alberta s K-12 Education Workforce 2012/2013, Alberta: Author 10 British Columbia Ministry of Education (2016) Exploring Implications of the Increasing Demand for Education Programs in French in British Columbia, French Education Stakeholders Advisory Committee, British Columbia: Author /stakeholders_advisory_committee_report_spring_fall_2016_en.pdf 12 Prince Edward Island Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2011) Annual Report , Summerside: Author 13 Halifax Regional School Board (2011) The Delivery of French Immersion, Halifax: Author Immersion-Study.pdf 14 Limestone District School Board (2015) Limestone District School Board French as a Second Language Program Review Report, Executive Summary, Kingston: Author 20-%20Appendix%20A.pdf 15 Theriault, M. (2014) French Immersion: A Growing Concern with Growing Pains, Manitoba Teacher 92(4), The Manitoba Teachers Society, MB CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

7 16 McIntyre, F. (2012) Now What? Professionally Speaking, Ontario College of Teachers, Toronto 17 Ontario College of Teachers (2016) Transition to Teaching 2016, Toronto: Author /media/pdf/2016%20transition%20to%20teaching%20study/2016t2tmainreporten.pdf 18 Canadian Parents for French (2004) Provincial and National French Second-Language Education Stakeholder Consultations: Pan-Canadian Report, Ottawa: Author 19 Universities Canada (2017) New agreement to enhance student mobility, address need for French-language teachers, Ottawa: Author House Standing Committee on Official Languages (2016) Toward a New Action Plan for Official Languages and Building New Momentum for Immigration in Francophone Minority Communities, Ottawa: Author langrp03-e.pdf 21 Canadian Parents for French British Columbia and Yukon (2017) Open Letter re: French Teacher Shortage to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Vancouver: Author 64CB&ID=E9285AE0D12DC9E6&temp=False&tx=0 22 The Council of the Federation of Canada s Premiers (2016) Growing Canada s Economy (2016) Whitehorse: Author growing-canada-s-economy 23 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (2017) Express Entry improvements: Spring 2017: Backgrounder, Ottawa: Author 24 L Association canadienne des professionnels de l immersion (2016) Consultation pancanadienne de l'acpi, Premier jalon : le sondage, Ottawa: Author 25 Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages (2015) Aiming Higher: Increasing Bilingualism of Our Canadian Youth, House of Commons, Ottawa: Author 26 Standing Committee on Official Languages (2014) The State of French Second-Language Education Programs in Canada, House of Commons, Ottawa: Author CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

8 PROVINCIAL AND TERRITORIAL INITIATIVES TO MEET DEMAND STAKEHOLDERS INITIATIVE (Evidence-based Information) Faculty of Education Initiatives: British Columbia - Locally-developed & administered proficiency assessments [GONE]. Now only international credential (DELF or DALF). Admission requirements - Rethink teacher proficiency standards as a work in progress rather than a destination (once attained doesn t change which is not the case). - (proposed) B1 vs. (current) B2 for French Immersion elementary program entry threshold is being piloted, with language support. Pilot project in 5 major school districts. - Incentivize ongoing Pro Development (encourages more teachers to complete) - CPF encouragement for ongoing language development for teachers as well as learners. - Broadening Faculty of ED proficiency requirements so that strong core FR. Candidates (B1) can undertake French immersion elementary practice with language support during B.Ed. year and early career (same as above?) - BCTF and school districts exploring incentivizing French immersion hiring - Multi-stakeholder Min of Ed Steering Committee - Ministry Task Force with multiple stakeholders (same as committee above?) - Senate Standing Committee report calls for 17 recommendations for improvements to francophone/francophile education - Universities are using DELF and Language portfolio to better support developing FSL teachers. - - Yukon CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

9 STAKEHOLDERS INITIATIVE (Evidence-based Information) Northwest Territories Alberta - Faculté Saint-Jean initiative to double the number of graduates from their education program. - There has been a community consulation forum hosted by ACFA. Ministers of Education, Advanced Education and Culture now being approached. - $ 1,000 bursaries for students taking at least three (3) courses in post-secondary in French. - CPF AB is working with Faculté Saint-Jean to initiate research into teacher availability. - DELF is being looked at as part of the complete curriculum redesign taking place in Alberta, going beyond current local initiatives, to be used as the standard proficiency test in AB because the current Provincial Achievement Tests in grades 6 and 9 do not include an oral component. DELF is used extensively through Alberta s FRIM high school programs with over 800 grade 12 students attaining mostly the B1 or B2. CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

10 STAKEHOLDERS Saskatchewan Manitoba INITIATIVE (Evidence-based Information) - FI high schools should be provided with info about university teaching programs sooner, as in Grade 10 or younger - $7,000 in student scholarships is available to SK students enrolled in the BAC program. However, this perk is not well known. CPF-SK will help to advertise and let high schools know. - Met with U of R to let them know/inform them that no University in SK offer Concours scholarships. Have a meeting with U of R to plan to develop scholarship for SK: Keep and attract top Concours students to study in SK. - BAC program at U of R is at 150 students 8% growth/year. Can grow to spots, so lots of potential. - No standard proficiency testing in SK (except for DELF) so pressure to establish something like Common European Framework to develop a culture of benchmarking oneself along the way. - CPF-MB awarded funding to rejuvenate the I m Teaching French/in French CPF promotional campaign from 15 years ago. - Man. School Board Association has developed a website for job postings - Univ. St-Boniface is looking at its language proficiency requirements and at offering more spaces - (EFM) Enseignants Franco-Manitobains: is considering giving classroom presentations to promote the profession. The Ministry is developing a provincial communications strategy highlighting the job opportunities for aspiring French teachers in Ontario. Ontario - To support this plan the Ministry will also work with the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to develop information campaigns that inform internationally educated teachers about the opportunities for teaching in Ontario. CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

11 STAKEHOLDERS INITIATIVE (Evidence-based Information) - To create bridging programs to help newcomers adjust and prepare for teaching in Ontario, and mentorship opportunities to help them excel once in our Ontario schools. - Working with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), to streamline evaluation of credentials for internationally educated francophone teachers. - Working collaboratively with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and the Deans of Education in our universities, to expedite the development and delivery of flexible teacher education models that will increase access to the profession for mature students and students who do not live in close proximity to a Faculty of Education. - In addition, working with the Deans of the Faculties of Education on how to better align candidates with demand, so we can be more focused on priority areas such as French. - To pilot a program for our existing teachers, that will provide direct financial support if they take Advanced Qualifications and/or Advanced Basic Qualifications courses in priority areas, such as French. - To create a new supply and demand forecasting model over the coming months, to be more responsive to emerging teacher supply issues in the future. - To better improve collaboration within the education system, a new FSLTeacher Supply Working Group will be established to foster greater collaboration within the system and to inform the next steps. Canadian Parents for French (Ontario) will have a seat on the Ministry s FSL Teacher Supply Working Group. - The Ontario Public School Boards Association is undertaking a Labour Market Partnership project (inclusive of all English school boards in the province). Year one of the mandate is focused on research and gathering data. CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

12 STAKEHOLDERS Quebec Nunavut INITIATIVE (Evidence-based Information) FSL Teachers in Quebec are Anglophones; Francophones teach in French, all subjects and do not become FSL teachers. There may be a requirement to improve their linguistic competence. - Working to establish a common framework across school boards (quality, level of competence in French). - Proactively determine and create links with FSL consultants/ stakeholders at the ministry / Faculties of education to better understand the challenges / opportunities. 133 students are enrolled in core French (1.4% of eligible enrolment) in Iqualuit. This has risen in the last few years. There is currently sufficient teacher supply for the one school. New Brunswick CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

13 STAKEHOLDERS Nova Scotia INITIATIVE (Evidence-based Information) - (#3) Univ Ste-Anne fills their classes, but other institutions lack candidates. - The four years of undergrad study is where they lose French. Students with a DELF B2 could attend French university. - with our orientation counsellors: Not only do counselors undermine our FSL programs in high school, they do not play an effective role in encouraging students to consider a career in French (especially as a FSL teacher). - : need immersion students to take Math & Science in French at high school level, so that they can continue post-secondary & B.Ed. - For NS, U Ste-Anne is key: Expand spaces for teachers. Have a strategy to transition present teachers in FSL positions. - Action o CPF-NS to talk to Hughie Batherson, Univ. Ste-Anne o Meeting with Minister of Education to ask for expansion of university & strategy to counter FSL teacher shortage. - Newfoundland & Labrador Prince Edward Island - Mentoring (peer based) program for teachers - Grade upgrading teachers (in the system) language skills, UPEI BEd program - French speaking substitute-shortage: applied for $ to bring current French speaking people up to substitute teaching standards - Core Café: FI with Core French Teacher -social evening - New Dept. hire working with new French teachers. CPF Public Policy Support Paper November

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