The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association awarded a $5,000 grant to Tyndale University’s Education Department for a French Language Proficiency Assessment project that will better prepare teacher candidates when applying for jobs.
The project, funded by the Government of Ontario and the Department of Canadian Heritage, aims to develop a framework for shared standards of French language assessment among faculties of education and school boards. This will help French as a Second Language (FSL) teacher candidates prepare for employment and reinforce the functional second language communication skills needed to teach well.
“Elementary and secondary students will be the ones who ultimately benefit from this project,” says Dr. Rob Foster, Assistant Professor of Education at Tyndale University. “For French to persist as a valued second language in our country, we need to prepare passionate and competent French language speakers and second language advocates for our school systems.”
Dr. Foster initially applied for the grant last year out of his concern about the lack of coordination between FSL programs and boards of education in terms of standards for French teaching. He also wanted to improve the available support to help French teachers not only when applying for jobs but also throughout their first year of teaching.
“This project will generate more opportunities for our teacher candidates to be connected before they graduate with one or more school boards through French facilitators and recruitment personnel,” says Dr. Foster, who plans to publish the project findings to benefit Canadian French teacher preparation programs. “Our hope is that we will foster French teacher readiness through our program and that they will have a streamlined, consistent experience as they move through grade levels.”
Tyndale’s Education Department will complete the project by the end of 2021.
For more information on Tyndale’s Bachelor of Education program, visit www.tyndale.ca/education.