Evolving French Language Learning

Overcoming Obstacles and Building Bridges

The provincial government has committed that, in an officially bilingual province, all anglophone graduates of the public school system must have at least a conversational level of French.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development  accepted the 18 recommendations from the 2021 Review of the Official Languages Act of New Brunswick: Report on second-language learning to improve language learning frameworks in the early childhood sector and the public school system of New Brunswick.

Our vision is to provide all students with an accessible and equitable French second-language learning model.  The goal of this framework will be that all students achieve a conversational level of French proficiency or higher by the time they graduate from high school.

A conversational level of French would translate to a B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), or an Intermediate level of the New Brunswick Oral Proficiency Scale. This is our minimum target.

B1 (CEFR)
Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise when travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

We will work collaboratively with school districts, schools, Early Learning and Childcare Facilities, educators, stakeholders, researchers, experts, parents, students and the public to design a French language learning framework that will meet the needs of all learners.

We invite you to review the Consultation Strategy Paper for more information including the consultation process and timeline.  This process will be a collaborative one during which we will be gathering and analyzing participants’ input and diverse perspectives on a French language learning framework to help our design process.

We're encouraging everyone to participate. The voices and input of those who participate in the discussion will be at the heart and forefront of our new framework.

We look forward to engaging New Brunswickers in these important discussions. Together we will strive to build stronger connections, deepen respect for New Brunswick’s diverse cultures and strengthen our linguistic proficiency enhancing our province’s bilingual population.

Recent reports and recommendations

Auditor General recommendations

In a 2018 report, the Auditor General recommended that future changes involving French second language programming be carried out through detailed implementation plans with respect to timing, support from the department, including funding, and also comprehensive risk assessment plans.

We are committed to ensuring that the conditions for success are in place before rolling out a new project or initiative to address the needs of second language learners.

Report on second-language learning

In March, we accepted all 18 recommendations made in the Report on second-language learning in New Brunswick directed to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Recommendation #18 highlighted the need for EECD to create an authentic, immersive, language-rich French second-language learning program for all students which included eliminating the tiered structure currently in place.

 


  

Project Timeline

  

Prototypes initiative

Work to improve equitable opportunities for French second-language learning has been ongoing. In the 2021-2022 school year, 11 schools and two early learning centres rolled out new and innovative programming intended to increase French language proficiency for their anglophone learners.

We’ll continue to engage stakeholders on their experiences throughout the process. This includes a full report outlining the findings of the 13 prototype projects to be published late this summer.

So far, we’ve heard positive feedback from participants on the ground, and we’ve committed to ensuring there continue to be resources and funding available to support the projects.

Based on the recommendations by the Official Language Commissioners and the success of the initial 13 prototype learning sites in expanding conversational French, the government is extending and expanding the French second language prototype program for the 2022-2023 year.

This year’s participating schools and early learning centres, along with the respective names of their prototype projects, were:

Schools:

  • Blackville School: Oui!
  • Campobello Island Consolidated School: La route de briques jaunes
  • James M. Hill Memorial High School (Miramichi): Français Sans Frontières
  • Salisbury Middle/JMA Armstrong High School: Culture By/Par Conversation
  • Maplehurst Middle School (Moncton): Realize Your Impact
  • Mountain View School (Irishtown): Jasez!
  • Sir James Dunn Academy (St. Andrews): Notre rêve
  • Stanley Consolidated School: School Wide French Enhancement
  • Sunbury West School (Fredericton Junction): FLO
  • Tabusintac Community School: Fluid, Not Fixed
  • Vincent Massey Elementary School (St. Andrews): BL²

Early Learning Centres:

  • Angie’s Little Peeps Early Learning and Childcare Centre (Woodstock): Playing with French in the Early Years
  • Chatham Day Care Center (Miramichi): Comment puis-je dire?

 

  

Services linguistiques

Across Canada, education systems have faced challenges when it comes to the recruitment of French second-language teachers – especially here in New Brunswick where French language learning is in high demand.

New Brunswick has highly motivated, dedicated teachers who understand the value of lifelong learning and we are committed to providing them with the tools and resources they need and want to help support their professional growth while improving outcomes to students for years to come.  

Our anglophone sector has developed a new online platform that offers French second-language teachers and other employees of the anglophone school districts increased access to high-quality, supported, personalized professional development and learning opportunities.

The Services linguistiques (2021-2023) is a collaborative project involving the anglophone sector of EECD and the four anglophone school districts in New Brunswick, funded through the Government of New Brunswick and the federal Department of Canadian Heritage. The team consists of a project lead and five coaches. They will provide opportunities and services for pre-service and French second / additional language educators and school staff to enhance their French language and cultural understanding through a variety of different experiences: self-paced autonomous learning, courses, social and cultural events and resources. All services will be created to foster cultural and linguistic appreciation.

  

Contact us

Individuals and stakeholders who have questions or comments regarding French second language education can get in touch by:
- emailing to consultation.eecd.edpe@gnb.ca
- by mail to Department of Education and Early Childhood Development,
P.O. Box 6000,
Fredericton,
New Brunswick, E3B 5H1
attention: Evolving French Language Learning

All respondents should be aware that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) is subject to the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made during this consultation process. EECD will not disclose your personal information or personal identifiable information in your response unless consent is provided.