B.C. backs off plan to devalue school French
November 22, 2011
Parents who support French language instruction in B.C. schools are celebrating with word that the education ministry has changed a plan that would have put French on the same level as other languages such as Spanish, Mandarin and Punjabi.
The original proposed change to the language curriculum made public in February was celebrated by leaders and educators in the South Asian community. But it upset the B.C. and Yukon chapter of Canadian Parents for French, said executive director Glyn Lewis.
“French is the second most spoken language in B.C. after English,” said Lewis. “A lot of that has to do with the number of kids taking French immersion over the years.”
Lewis said there currently are about 275,000 students registered in French immersion programs, and demand remains high in B.C. schools.
“We've actually had 11 straight years of growth in French Immersion,” he said.
The revised draft proposal spells out the importance and benefits of learning French and maintains its distinct status.
“It's a recognition by the provincial government that French is an official language of Canada,” Lewis said. “It's a building block of Canadian identity and should be recognized as such.”
The proposal would not affect the teaching of other languages in B.C. schools.
Source: CBC News