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Should all Québeckers be allowed to be educated in either French or English?

  • Yes, I am a Francophone from Québec

    Votes: 9 8.1%
  • Yes, I am an Anglophone from Québec

    Votes: 9 8.1%
  • Yes, I am a Francophone from Canada, outside of Québec

    Votes: 4 3.6%
  • Yes, I am an Anglophone from Canada, outside of Québec

    Votes: 30 27.0%
  • Yes, I am not Canadian

    Votes: 28 25.2%
  • No, I am a Francophone from Québec

    Votes: 8 7.2%
  • No, I am an Anglophone from Québec

    Votes: 2 1.8%
  • No, I am a Francophone from Canada, outside of Québec

    Votes: 2 1.8%
  • No, I am an Anglophone from Canada, outside of Québec

    Votes: 4 3.6%
  • No, I am not Canadian

    Votes: 15 13.5%
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SSLL
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I still find it shocking that Québec only allows Anglophones and those whose parents were educated in English to learn in English in public schooling. What does everyone else think?
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Growing number of francophones seek English immersion schools
Teaching the language to French children still strikes raw nerve in Quebec

By INGRID PERITZ
Saturday, March 26, 2005 Updated at 1:36 PM EST

DRUMMONDVILLE, QUE. -- The day Vision school opened its doors to children in Quebec City, provincial police had to be posted around the neighbourhood to watch for trouble.

What brought them there was the school's stated mandate: Vision was a private school to teach francophone children in English. For some, the concept was so controversial that they sent threats to the school's founder, Yvon Courcy.


"Extremists said I was an assimilator of francophones," recalls Mr. Courcy, who got the warnings by e-mail. "It's the traditional fear that if the children learn a new language, they'll lose their French.


"There are dogmas in Quebec that no one questions. But I knew that mentalities were changing."

No trouble came that day, 2½ years ago, but the teaching of English to francophone schoolchildren still strikes a raw nerve in Quebec. The issue is making headlines again since the Charest government announced last month it would start teaching English in public schools starting in Grade 1 next year, instead of Grade 3.


The change has raised alarms in the province, where advances for English are often viewed as potential setbacks for French. But for Mr. Courcy, the debate is, well, passé.


Ten years ago, frustrated by the choices available to their two children, Mr. Courcy and his wife, Diane Doucet, opened their first Vision school in a brick duplex in the overwhelmingly French-speaking city of Drummondville.


Since then, demand has grown at a phenomenal rate. Ten Vision schools now operate in Quebec; three opened last fall and four more are scheduled to open next fall. The private schools offer immersion classes from pre-kindergarten through high school -- not only in English, but in Spanish, too.


For the francophone parents who send their kids there, English has become less a menace than a must. Dissatisfied with the quality of English instruction in the public system, some are turning instead to private education.


Enrolment of students whose mother tongue is French in private English-language schools is growing steadily in the province, reaching 12 per cent of the student body last year, up from 9 per cent four years earlier, according to the Quebec Education Department.


And parents keep knocking at Mr. Courcy's door, willing to cover his school's annual student fees of $4,100 to $7,500 per child. They're people like Daniel Leclerc, a federal parole officer from Drummondville.


Mr. Leclerc recalls a family vacation in Florida when his son and daughter were in a hotel swimming pool and couldn't speak a word to the other guests. He resolved then to do something.


"You have to be open to the world, not closed," Mr. Leclerc said. "Look, I vote for the Parti Québécois. I believe in the French fact. But you can't be crazy and stay close-minded.


"Even [former PQ premiers] René Lévesque and Lucien Bouchard had to make deals in the United States and express themselves. Most of the population of the world is English."


Mr. Courcy says he's seeing more parents like Mr. Leclerc, people who are voting with their feet. Many came of age under Quebec's landmark French-language charter, Bill 101, and no longer view English a threat to their identity, he said.


"Parents want their child to learn English but still master French," Mr. Courcy said. "We're not just citizens of Quebec, but of [North] America and the world. The majority of people on the planet are polyglots. Being unilingual is the exception."


He says learning English hasn't come at the cost of the students' mother tongue, noting that Vision students score in the average on provincewide French-language testing.


Still, Mr. Courcy's "vision" of early, multilingual education clashes with deeply rooted fears in Quebec that French remains vulnerable in North America.


This week, PQ opposition leader Bernard Landry urged the Liberals to delay their plan to teach English in Grade 1 (the change would take effect in 2006 and involve teaching a total of one hour of English a week). The PQ's language critic, Léandre Dion, said the move jeopardized a quarter-century of efforts to promote French.


Some educators also question the soundness of teaching a second language too early. And teachers' unions have voiced worries about the symbolism for immigrants, who make up half of the public-school population in Montreal.


"Newly arrived immigrants will get the message that the two languages, English and French, are equal in Quebec," says Pierre St.-Germain, head of the Alliance des professeures et professeurs de Montréal. "It's the wrong message we're sending as a society."


The debate is lost on the children at Vision school in Drummondville. Mr. Leclerc's eight-year-old daughter, Alexane, says she's excited to be learning new languages (English and Spanish). She can speak to her friends in French but recently found an English book she can read, about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.


Alexane wants to visit Mexico and Spain, where she can converse with the locals in Spanish, and see some English-speaking countries, too. Her dream is to become a language teacher of English, French and Spanish.


"The possibilities," the Grade 3 student said, "are endless."


Meanwhile, in a classroom at the school, a handful of bantam-sized pupils were going through their paces with their prekindergarten teacher. She was holding up flash cards and speaking slowly in English.


"This is a canoe. Where does it go? On water!" she said brightly. The children fidgeted, and repeated the words slowly. In any language, it was all news to them.
 

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When i first came to Canada, i couldn't go to an english school, i had to do a couple of year of private schooling first and then get into an english school, i don't think ppl can do that anymore. I think that sucks, ppl should have the right to choose weather they want to be educated in english or french.
 

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Were one fucked up province, with fucked up people living here. As a citizen of Canada and of the free world, none of us should be dnied our basic human rights. No Francophone Quebec or immigrant should be banned from going to English Public schools. Unfortunatley, that is exactly what has happened in the province since 1977.
 

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Nid de Poule
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I had to go to french school until Sec.5
Then I went to an anglophone cegep (Vanier)
Then I did university in spanish;

I hadn't realised until now the advantages of knowing more than one language, and I don´t understand why politicians in Quebec (PQ mainly) try to avoid that
(Except for their own children: remember Parizeau? He's son studying in
England IN ENGLISH!)

English is an official language in Canada, therefore anyone should be allowed to go to English school from grade 1 if they want.
 

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Nid de Poule
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SnowMan said:
Even Kentuck fried Chicken (KFC) became Poulet Frit de la Kentucky(PFK)...They hate everything which is English...
Imposing a language is never good;

Avoiding to learn English in Quebec is bad, and avoiding to learn French in Quebec is also bad.
 

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English is the language of the world economy whether "les Quebecois" realize it or not. It is because of these laws that Montreal commerce and industry has been gutted since the 80s. Idiots.
 

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They should be educated in any language they chose. I didn't vote as it shouldn't matter where I'm from!! People would just use that as an excuse to deny the Quebecers their civil rights. Freedom of choice is universal. Quebec isn't exactly the back woods of the communist world. Its an individual right and the government shouldn't be allowed to forbid freedom of choices. Gee, what next? Lets ban non-catholics? LOL
 

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I too had to complete high school in french befoire going to an english college. I was lucky though to study in a new "experimental" english immersion class in high school with a truly anglophone literature teacher.

Heck even the literature teachers I had in college were not as good and motivated as him.

Had I not have him as a teacher, I would probably be just "able to go by" in english. Face it, you can't live a truly fulfilling life if you just speak one language. Two is the strict minimum, three is nice :) (and that is also true for anglophone people).

To respect someone, you must not fear him. To not fear him, you must understand him. To understand him, you must understand his culture and where he's from. To understand that, you gotta be able to at least communicate, and to understand the details, you have to know his language.
 

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Tosco said:
Hey! that's what I studied too (1993-1997)
who do you have has teachers? Robert Brown? Peter Naylor? Dona tolmach? Surridge?

Ya, i have Peter Naylor, and Surridge aswell... I do not have Dona Tolmach yet, 2nd year :)
 

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SnowMan said:
Even Kentuck fried Chicken (KFC) became Poulet Frit de la Kentucky(PFK)...They hate everything which is English...
Even the French do have a nasty habbit in translating everything.
The weirdest example is probably this one:
copy centre is in french : centre de traitement du document :laugh:
 

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Nid de Poule
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samsonyuen said:
I find PFK funny. In France it's KFC, and my French friend thought PRK was seriously odd. I guess it's a lack of self-confidence.
What about the STOP sign?? (Arrêt)

In France it's STOP, in the rest of the world its STOP!
 

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SnowMan said:
Even Kentuck fried Chicken (KFC) became Poulet Frit de la Kentucky(PFK)...
I dont think the government forced them to change the name from KFC to PFK ??? I dont think they can ??? I thought this was just a good business decision to appeal more to french canadiens (quebecers)... I think you guys are reading to much into this.

SnowMan said:
They hate everything which is English
Wich brings me to my next point, who does "they" refer to ?
 

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Lp_Verdun said:
I dont think the government forced them to change the name from KFC to PFK ??? I dont think they can ??? I thought this was just a good business decision to appeal more to french canadiens (quebecers)... I think you guys are reading to much into this.

Yeah, it's such a stupid accusation against Quebec. There are so many businesses which choose to keep their English names in Quebec like Future Shop, Burger King the list goes on and on. There are also businesses which choose to change their names into French. Like Shoppers Drugmart is called Pharmaprix here. It's just their decisions. I suggest people to check their facts before painting Quebec as a totalitarian state.

Tosco said:
What about the STOP sign?? (Arrêt)

In France it's STOP, in the rest of the world its STOP!
The rest of the world it's stop? I'd like to see proof about it. I doubt people would stop their cars when they see a "stop sign" in China. LOL
 
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