Core or Immersion? Canadian French-Second-Language Teacher Candidates’ Perceptions and Experiences of the Best and Worst Program Options for Students with Learning Difficulties and for English Language Learners
Responding to the needs of and/or including students with different need profiles has been an area of focus within Canadian French Second Language (FSL) education for many years. This study draws on quantitative data from two questionnaires (administered before and after Canadian teacher candidates in FSL education completed their practica) and on qualitative interview data from a volunteer sample of questionnaire participants. The purpose of the study was to explore how these participants viewed the best and worst FSL program options, among four choices, for students who had learning difficulties or who were English language learners, and to see the extent to which these views could be linked to their practicum experience. Though some participants did mention less common programs, most participants restricted their responses to the traditional FSL program dichotomy of core French and French immersion. We noted differences in the participants’ views according to the program of their student teaching practicum and according to the learning need under consideration. Implications for FSL teacher education and FSL education are discussed. In particular, we recommend providing research information to teacher candidates at the Bachelor of Education level in order to encourage teacher candidates to consider evidence as they move toward greater inclusion in FSL; given that these future teachers will need to support varying student needs in their career, this information should be included in their preparation.
Arnett, K., & Mady, C. (2017) Core or Immersion? Canadian French-Second-Language Teacher Candidates’ Perceptions and Experiences of the Best and Worst Program Options for Students with Learning Difficulties and for English Language Learners. Exceptionality Education International, 27, 17-37. Retrieved from http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/eei/vol27/iss1/2