University of Western Ontario - Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Education

Supervisor

Dr. Farahnaz Faez

Abstract

Canada is perceived around the world as a bilingual country that embraces linguistic and cultural diversity. The purpose of this study was to examine French as a second language (FSL) teachers’ attitudes toward inclusion of English language learners (ELLs) and the contributing factors affecting teachers’ attitudes toward ELLs. The province of Ontario served as the context for this study and the participants were elementary core French (CF) (where French is taught as a subject) teachers. Theories of multilingualism and positioning theory were drawn on in order to understand CF teachers’ perceptions of ELL inclusion and the contributing factors affecting these perceptions. This work is situated within the literature of FSL education, ELL inclusion, teachers’ attitudes, and teachers’ sense of self-efficacy. The study utilized a mixed-methods approach and the data were collected from surveys (n=76) and interviews (n=9) with CF teachers. Data, during the analysis stages, were divided into sub-groups; the sub-groups included teachers who taught in high- and low-ELL regions (as determined by statistical information), teachers who taught in high- and low-ELL categories (as determined by the percentage of ELLs each teacher taught), as well as novice and experienced teacher groups. The purpose for these groupings was to determine the similarities and differences among and between groups. Overall findings suggest that while teachers, overall, demonstrate generally positive attitudes toward ELL inclusion in CF, they express many challenges, including, but not limited to workload demands, preparation time, ELLs’ use of L1, availability of appropriate resources, and ELLs’ grade entry level in CF. This research adds to the knowledge base of teachers’ perceptions of ELLs and offers new insight into the particularities of the Ontario CF classroom context.