[Chronique de Jean-François Lisée] “Young Anglos and the French language”: The confession

It’s official, documented and counted: Quebec’s English -language education system has failed to provide more than a third of its students for the French -speaking labor market.

In other words, obtaining a diploma from an English -speaking establishment condemns at least one in three Anglophone youth to: 1) work only in a company where English predominates; 2) impose the English language on his co -workers; 3) go to Toronto, Calgary or New York to earn a living.

The problem is so serious, says the president of the Fédération des cégeps, Bernard Tremblay, that if English-speaking Cégep students are forced to take three of their standard French courses, “there are thousands of students who[seraient] can’t finish. We will be close, he told Homeworkthe “social crisis”.

According to him, the inability of Anglophone children, although educated in Quebec and living in an 80% French-speaking country, to speak French brings average failure rates to 35% in them.

Murder will reach 57% of those who wish to become nurses, therefore have an obligation to serve patients in French, and 86% of those who wish to educate children, many of whom will work in daycare centers if where, according to the latest news. , there are also young Francophone.

Mr. Tremblay did not say that these students would have difficulty taking the three courses (which will be in addition to the two French courses already provided in the program). He’s not saying their grades will suffer in second language learning. He says they will fail. It is therefore that they will also fail in the labor market. That they can’t understand the corporate executive’s sharp presentation on a new project to be undertaken. Unable to read a technical note, let alone write it.

Remember this is the cream of the students. Only the best high school graduates are accepted into CEGEP. This is even more true in English CEGEPs, where the choice is stronger. In other words, the third best is zero in French.

Spontaneous separation

These data contrast with the claim of the Quebec English School Boards Association (ACSAQ), whose president, Dan Lamoureux, told the National Assembly in September: “We guarantee the French success of all our students and prepare them to live and work with pride in Quebec. »

The fact is that the Anglophone institutions, the Quebec Ministry of Education and our successive governments, the PQ and Liberals, have been practicing deliberate blindness to this issue for a long time.

In 2009, a consultation conducted with Anglophone youth by the Quebec Community Groups Network reported that the average of young participants felt that they were “competent” in spoken French and that they could write “little” French. In other words, most can speak French fluently, “but not enough to work professionally or pursue higher education in French.”

It is written: not enough to work! Over the years, the Commission de l’éducation en langue anglaise, which advises the Government of Quebec, has regularly sounded the alarm, sometimes proposing to increase from two to four compulsory French courses for CEGEP speakers. of English, sometimes making summer job placements. in French to provide much -needed assistance to future graduates. The last census, in 2016, also informed us that, on the island of Montreal, 24% of Anglos aged 25 to 44 admit to not even speaking French. How, under these conditions, can they work with a McDo? (Note: only 20% of Franco Montrealers of the same age say they do not speak English.)

Last month a report of a round table on Anglos ’employment in Quebec was published, a report funded by the Quebec government. He indicates that, from now on, the median income of Anglo-Quebecers will be 10% lower than that of Francophones, including in the metropolitan area. A historic comeback. The cause of this difference? “English -speaking Quebecers face difficulties in adjusting to moving to a Francophone workplace. »

More specifically: “the expectation that workers will acquire the necessary French skills before entering the labor market in Quebec is a major factor in the current unemployment gaps”.

In other words, by not giving our young Anglophones real language skills during their studies, we condemn them for hitting the wall when they come to work.

The brightest will take a train or plane ticket for the rest of America or launch a Get started where only English is spoken, as we see more and more in Montreal.

Get the bull next to the horns

Faced with this observation that we can no longer deny, the Fédération des cégeps has found the solution: above all, do not ask for French courses for CEGEP students! Maintenance, therefore, is the linguistic failure machine.

I have been campaigning for ten years for us to take the bull by the horns. Let’s make CEGEP the point of passage that ensures Anglophones (and allophones) have real operational skills in French. That is, over a two-year cycle, a quarter of the first session will be devoted to improving French, with a third of the second being in French, like half of the third. After that all the students go to do their fourth immersion session in a French-speaking CEGEP.

That students from English-speaking universities are required to maintain their French proficiency during their studies and that passing a French exam is a requirement for graduation. I have no doubt that most Anglo-Quebec parents will be delighted, those who wish their children success and want to see them take root in Quebec.

Utopia? Talk to master’s students in history, philosophy or sociology at the French-speaking Université Laval itself, who cannot graduate without demonstrating advanced knowledge of English. Training is common in this part of the two isolations.

If we believe that Anglophone youth are fully Quebecers who deserve a real chance to succeed in Quebec and contribute to our common future, we should use this kind of solution. If we don’t care, we will continue to pretend that everything is fine.

jflisee@ledevoir.com
Blog: jflisee.org

To be seen in the video

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