(April 26, 2023) - The Ministry of Colleges and Universities of Ontario and the Government of Canada are combining efforts to support the growth of Francophone and bilingual education at Laurentian University with funding of over $5 million.
The funding will go towards supporting two significant initiatives, both at the core of Laurentian’s bilingual mandate, and aligned with the Action Plan for the Canada–Ontario Agreement on Minority-Language Education and Second Official-Language Instruction.
“The first initiative will see the maintenance and development of university programs that serve students for whom French is a second language, such as bilingual programs and linguistic support programs in a context of bilingual education. The second initiative aims to create a language laboratory and a conversation workshop that supports second language learning and the development of language skills,” said Roch Gallien, Special Advisor of Francophone Affairs at Laurentian University.
The language laboratory will be delivered in multiple formats:
- Free self-learning: free access to learning activities (library of tutorials and various resources) to sharpen language skills;
- Guided self-study: the learning activities are determined jointly by the student and an instructor trained in language teaching and to the use of digital resources;
- Integrated self-learning: the activities are part of the tasks of the students in their university courses or the use of the laboratory is integrated in the lessons.
“We are thankful to our government colleagues for working with us through the funding process, our efforts are fully aligned and we are eager to advance Francophone and bilingual education at Laurentian University,” said Charlotte Primeau, Director of Partnerships & Collaborations, Francophone Affairs at Laurentian University.
The aim of the funding is to increase the number of French-speaking students, the number of bilingual or French programs, and the number of bilingual or French courses. Currently, there are 1,700 students at Laurentian University taking courses in a French program, representing 23% of the total student population. In 2022-2023, Laurentian offered 400 unique courses in French and saw 280 students graduate with a Certificate of Bilingualism, an increase from the previous year.
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