Oh là là! Responding to the Globe and Mail’s criticisms of French immersion (by Stephen Davis)

I have come to know French immersion deeply over the years as a student, teacher, and researcher in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Throughout my life, this instructional program has been a source of tremendous enrichment, as it has been for millions of Canadians before me since its beginnings in 1965. Moreover, the benefits of French immersion have been documented extensively in peer-reviewed research, which include strong French proficiency, positive cultural identity, and social closeness to native French speakers. Nevertheless, writers for the Globe and Mail have repeatedly cast French immersion in an uncharitable light. I would like to respond to two relatively recent and especially erroneous articles: French immersion could do with a dose of reality (Gee, 2016) and There’s just one problem with French immersion… well, several, actually (Wente, 2016). Continue reading

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Seeking enwhitenment: Reflections on a year of being a “typical Canadian” (by Stephen Davis)

My first year in Montréal, Québec, has been full of learning and adventure.  My coursework in the Master of Arts in Second Language Education program at McGill University has expanded my knowledge of the developmental stages of language acquisition, the types of corrective feedback most conducive to students’ learning, and how to think critically about the social contexts surrounding second language education today.  Beyond the classroom, I’ve prepared for my thesis research, improved my snowshoeing abilities, and have thus far evaded the clutches of death whilst navigating Montréal’s bike paths.  But perhaps the most interesting lesson this city has taught me came in the form of a self-discovery.  This year, I learned that I am a “typical Canadian.” Continue reading

Parc Jarry: Parler comme un ballophone (by Stephen Davis)

 

Dribble, dribble, dribble.

Hey, tu veux jouer?

On cherche un troisième

Qui peut bien shooter.

 

C’est nous contre eux,

Les trois gars là-bas.

On joue jusqu’à onze.

Check the ball déjà.

 

Hey, je suis libre,

Passe-le moi down low!

Vas-y vite, écoute-moi,

Run the give-and-go.

 

Reste sur tes pieds,

Don’t fall for the pump.

Tu peux pas me bloquer –

White men can’t jump.

 

Man, c’est une faute,

Tu me frappes chaque fois!

Touche-moi encore

Et je dunk sur toi.

 

 

Hey, t’as un accent,

Tu viens pas d’ici?

Ok, bienvenue,

Now get back on D.

 

Donne-moi un pick,

Check mon fadeaway.

Si tu ne m’arrêtes pas,

I’ll hit that shot all day.

 

Dribble, dribble, dribble.

C’est fini après mon score.

On change les équipes,

Or do you want some more?

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Vive l’Acadie! Sociolinguistic reflections of a « tête carrée » (by Stephen Davis)

We are thrilled to have our first guest blogger, Stephen Davis. He is a student in the Master of Arts in Second Language Education program at McGill University. He has taught in a French immersion program in Saskatoon, SK, and volunteers with non-profit organizations in Canada and internationally. His research interests include multilingual education, French immersion, and language education for newcomers to Canada.
Continue reading