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Francophone Education

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Fusion - page de couverture
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FUSION - I’m with you 2: Raising a bilingual child in a two-language household - Glen Taylor

 
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Fusion - Table of Contents
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Table of contents  FOREWORD	VII  TABLE OF CONTENTS	VIII  WELCOME TO FUSION	1 What you’ll find in this book	2 Un mot aux parents francophones	3  1.  EXOGAMY	5 What’s in a word?	5 How do you pronounce that word?	7 “But what if I don’t like that word?”	8 Using that word	9 Why such a fuss over a simple word?	10  2.  FAMILY TIES	13 Take time to talk	13 More about language	16 Culture and exogamy	19 “What’s best for our child?”	24  3.  GROWING UP	29 An a-maze-ing story	29 As for mixed couples	32 Language use and identity	34 Yo! We’s chattin’… ’bout chattin’!	39 Language use	41 Language, intelligence and literacy	46 Children with francophone roots	48  4.  FOCUS ON FRENCH	53 Pots o’ gold	54 Speaking of bilingualism	58 Building a framework 	61 Filling the “Family Life” pot	64 Reading	72 Topping up the pot 	80  5.  EDUCATION	83 French-language education	84 French immersion	85 Core French	85 Section 23	88 A brief history of French-language education	96 The French-language school	101 Espace institutionnel	112  6.  GOING TO SCHOOL	121 Focus on French—again	121 Working together	125 Volunteering in the classroom	129 In parents’ own words	133 Homework	139  7.  THE FRANCOPHONIE	145 The international Francophonie	145 A look at Canada	145 The impact of exogamy	147 THE CANADIAN FRANCOPHONIE	151 Alberta	154 British Columbia	156 Manitoba	158 New Brunswick	160 Newfoundland and Labrador	162 Northwest Territories	164 Nova Scotia	166 Nunavut	168 Ontario	170 Prince Edward Island	172 Saskatchewan	174 Yukon	176  BIBLIOGRAPHY	179  INDEX	187

 
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Fusion - Exogamie
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Why such a fuss over a simple word?  We’re making all this fuss in order to make a couple of points. First of all, exogamy is often used—and misused—as a simple word, whereas in fact it describes a highly complex reality. Considering that the very notion of francophone is increasingly open to interpretation, a word like exogamy, with its imperfect definition, should be used with care. The decision to form a mixed couple, and then a family, can be more complicated than one might think. In the past, it was often greeted with dismay, disappointment and even hostility from people on all sides. It can still elicit similar reactions today, though they seem to occur much less frequently. Gone are the days when people wouldn’t dare venture outside their own village, community, clan or tribe!   While exogamy makes life interesting in a hundred ways for couples as well as their immediate and extended families, the growing number of mixed households is also having a significant impact on French-language schools and francophone communities across the country.

 
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Fusion - An a-maze-ing story
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An a-maze-ing story  Imagine a vast maze made up of virtually limitless channels that wind around, double back, crisscross, and come together at every conceivable angle and from every possible direction. Now add a steady stream of vehicles of every size and shape, driven by single-minded (if not crazily obsessed) individuals, each with one goal: to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.  As you might expect, all this frenzied activity has a major impact on the maze: certain routes get widened into freeways to accommodate heavier traffic flow, timesaving shortcuts are opened up between other channels, and less-travelled lanes eventually become dead ends. Now, some of you might think we’re describing Toronto’s road system. Not so! Rather, this is an illustration of what’s happening inside your child’s brain as he or she grows. Babies are born with billions of neurons—cells that transmit information throughout the body’s nervous system [ … ]

 
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Fusion - Pots o' Gold
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Pots o’ gold  Researchers sometimes illustrate the relative influence of English and French in a minority setting by drawing a balance that resembles a seesaw or teeter-totter. Now, it just so happens we renewed our poetic licence the other day, so let’s put it to use by describing what this research-inspired image is all about… Imagine your child perched on a seesaw that has a heavy pot of gold at one end. That pot represents the amount of English your child is exposed to from birth until he or she is old enough to vote. The sheer quantity of gold it contains means that your child will be able to understand and speak the language without any problem whatsoever.

 
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Fusion - Immersion française et français de base
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French immersion  French immersion is designed for children who don’t have francophone family roots. The goal in an immersion program is to learn French as a second language. French is the language of instruction for a significant portion of each school day, although the amount varies from one program to another. Immersion begins with a focus on language acquisition so that students can learn to speak and read French well enough to study other subjects in that language. They also take the English Language Arts curriculum and other courses in English. When they complete an immersion program, students can expect to be functionally fluent in French (able to live, work and pursue postsecondary studies in French). In addition, they’ll have gained an understanding and appreciation of francophone culture. Core French  Like immersion, “core French” or “basic French” instruction is designed for children with a family heritage other than French. In this program, however, French is taught as a subject, like math, social studies, English and science. French is used in the classroom as the main language of communication, and students develop their knowledge and abilities through different themes or projects.

 
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Fusion - Homework
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Homework  When asked about the challenges of having their children attend a francophone school, many non-French-speaking parents immediately answer “homework.”   There’s no denying that French-speaking spouses are generally better able to help with homework. This is something both parents should realize before enrolling their children in a francophone school.  And yet… and yet… non-francophone spouses can help much more than many of them realize. The old standbys  First, let’s trot out the old standbys: Math and English. Take a few minutes to learn how to say numbers and some mathematical operations in French, and you’ll be able to help your kids for a few years without having to return to school yourself. After a while, though, you might have some difficulty—as will more than a few francophone parents, since the teaching of math is constantly evolving.  As for English, if it’s your mother tongue, it’s probably one of your children’s mother tongues, too. You have enough material right there to be happily busy helping them for as long as they’re in school.  There, we’ve covered the two subjects that come up whenever non-francophone parents ask how they can get involved in their children’s homework. But make no mistake: with effort and dedication on your part, those two subjects can keep you busy for a long time.  Now for a deeper look at this question…

 
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Fusion - In your child's shoes
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One of the most basic things parents can do is take an active interest in their children’s education. It sounds too simple, but the effects of encouraging—or not encouraging—children are deep and long-lasting.  Keep this story [on page 122 in the book] in mind when you’re wondering how to get involved in your child’s schooling; it might be easier than you think to have a positive impact!  In your child’s shoes  By now, you probably have an idea of what to expect if you enrol your child in a francophone school. For example, you likely know that all the instruction takes place in French except for English Language Arts and other language courses. But what exactly does that mean for your child? Let’s try on his or her shoes… Children attending a francophone school need to master French because that’s the language in which they’re taught. Their education is also geared not only to academic success but to the development of a francophone identity.  If you were in your child’s shoes, how much French would you want to know? To help you answer, we’ve prepared a little exercise: it’s a table for you to fill in, followed by a brief explanation of what the three categories mean.

 
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Fusion - Drapeaux francophones du Canada
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Au sujet des drapeaux…  Dans FUSION, j’ai promis de présenter sur mon site web, en couleurs, les drapeaux francophones des provinces et territoires canadiens (hors Québec, puisqu’il s’agit des communautés francophones en milieu minoritaire). Les voici, en ordre alphabétique : Alberta  Colombie-Britannique  Île-du-Prince-Édouard  Manitoba  Nouveau-Brunswick  Nouvelle-Écosse  Nunavut  Ontario  Saskatchewan  Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador  Territoires du Nord-Ouest  Yukon

 
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