Log Cabin Chronicles

Why, in Quebec, would you assume that your English teacher
can speak the language?

John Mahoney

JOHN MAHONEY

Here's the latest weirdness from la belle province, a lovely place of great thinking from people in high places whom you would assume could do better.

Wrong, again.

The Minister of Education, François Legault, discovers that young francophones are being 'taught' English by teachers who aren't fluent in English.

He says he is shocked, that something must be done, and quickly. Globalization, the Internet, way of the future, and all that...

Not so fast, says the head of the largest teachers' union. There are teaching jobs at stake here.

In a perfect world, says union spokester Jean Laporte, the teachers who teach English to young French-Canadians in Quebec would be able to speak English fluently.

Know their subject, if you will.

However, there is a problem with this solution, he says.

"It's a matter of job protection. If we suddenly say all English courses should be taught by specialists, do we tell the other teachers to stay home?"

Forget about the kids -- schools are there to create jobs for teachers.

Young francophone students are introduced to English in the third grade; young anglophones are introduced to French in kindergarten or the first grade.

Young anglophones can freely attend public schools run by French-language school boards.

Young francophones are not allowed to attend public schools run by the English school boards unless one parent was schooled in English in Quebec.

Young immigrant children must attend French-language schools.

Oh, yes, and then there is Law 101 and the infamous language of signs and business cards provisions.

You have to love it...


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Copyright © 2000 John Mahoney/Log Cabin Chronicles/02.2000