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Pardon my French! Exploring the myths and realities of Second Language Education in Canada

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A considerable amount of current educational research highlights the value of taking seriously the ways in which students might leverage their multilingual competencies in all kinds of learning environments (García et al., 2017; Cavalli et al., 2009). One might think that such research is soundly implemented in a country such as Canada, which has two official languages (French and English) and is well-known for developing some of the earliest immersion programs in the cultural upheaval of the 1960s (Swain & Lapkin, 1982, 2005). It is not – at least not in a consistent and coherent way across the country. Our presentation will draw attention to glaring inconsistencies in Canadian language education policy that undermine the professed values of a bilingual country. We further highlight that, despite strong federal policy around our two official languages, the fact that education is a power devolved to provinces has resulted in a significant variation in the ways in which language education is conceptualized and enacted.

This talk is part of the Second Language Education Group series.

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