French im­mer­sion di­vi­sive

Toronto Star - - WORLD -

Re Break­ing the spell of French im­mer­sion,

opin­ion, Nov. 9 I am sad­dened to see that the writer of this nar­row-minded ode to dumb­ing down in ed­u­ca­tion was writ­ten by some­one who, ac­cord­ing to the brief bio, will be one of those shap­ing poli­cies in On­tario. In case the writer hasn’t no­ticed, Canada has two of­fi­cial lan­guages.

Im­mer­sion is, I have long ob­served, more “dip­ping” than “im­mer­sion.” If core French were taught prop­erly, and if it were com­pul­sory right through high school, im­mer­sion would be un­nec­es­sary. The writer is also wrong about elitism. French im­mer­sion classes I have been in, both as a par­ent and as an ed­u­ca­tor, at­tract all kinds of par­ents, many of whom sim­ply want their child/ren to know both of­fi­cial lan­guages of the coun­try they live in. The spell that needs to be bro­ken is the ob­ses­sion among ed­u­ca­tors to chip away con­tin­u­ously at ed­u­ca­tion. Ju­dith Co­hen, Toronto French is dead. If it was im­por­tant, the feds could have put up learn­ing French TV chan­nels with no op­po­si­tion. It is an of­fi­cial lan­guage, but will never be a na­tional lan­guage. John Stark, Richmond, B.C.

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