An “Intranational” Teacher Education French Immersion Experience: Looking to the Past, Informing the Future

By June Zimmer, Stephenie Leitao Csada and Jean Dufresne.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Baccalauréat en éducation program at the University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, is a teacher education program offering training in French to those seeking future employment in Francophone or French Immersion schools as well as in Core French programs.

A major component of this 4-year teacher education degree program is a one-year “intra” national French immersion experience at Université Laval, our partnering university situated in the predominantly French speaking city of Québec, QC, Canada. The Université Laval has, for a long time, been interested in understanding the role of the French language and culture across Canada in minority contexts, making this institution a natural fit for partnership with the Baccalauréat en éducation program, a program situated itself in predominantly anglophone Western Canada.

This partnership has been in existence for over 20 years, and has served to enrich the educational experiences for many of our undergraduate teacher education students. From an academic programming perspective, the purpose of this immersion experience has been to facilitate an authentic linguistic and cross-cultural French experience for our undergraduate teacher education students.

As trends in education shift and reform continues to influence many teacher education programs, we feel that the time has come to review our own teacher education practices as they pertain to this particular immersion experience from an academic, linguistic, and cultural perspective. This paper will outline the rationale and history of our “intra” national French immersion teacher education experience, highlighting the successes and challenges that have occurred along the way, with the intention of informing future practice in the area of teacher education.

Keywords: Language Education, Second Language Education, Teacher Education, Immersion Experience, Inter-university Collaboration, French Education, Second Language Teacher Education, French Immersion, Core French

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp.263-272. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.217MB).

Prof. June Zimmer

Seconded Professor, BAC Program, Faculty of Education, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

June Zimmer is a seconded professor and doctoral candidate in the Baccalauréat en éducation program, Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada. June teaches and researches in the area of French Immersion education.

Prof. Stephenie Leitao Csada

Seconded Professor, Baccalauréat en éducation, Faculty of Education, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Stephenie Leitao Csada is a seconded professor and teaches in the Baccalauréat en éducation program, Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada. She teaches in the area of Minority Language Education, with research interests in French Immersion teacher training, arts education and creative and cultural dance. She is also currently a doctoral student at the University of Regina, Faculty of Education.

Prof. Jean Dufresne

Seconded Professor, Baccalauréat en éducation, Faculty of Education, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Seconded professor Jean Dufresne has been working in the field of French Immersion since 1987. Jean has taught at the high school level, worked for the provincial government to develop French Immersion Curricula and he is currently teaching at the University of Regina in the Baccalauréat en éducation program.

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