Diane Tijman, President of Canadian Parents for French British Columbia and Yukon, eloquently writes to the BC Ministry of Education calling for the inclusion of a language 11 course as part of the BC Graduation Requirements.
In her letter, Tijman reminds the Ministry that "[i]n a time of globalization, knowledge of a second language is an essential skill that needs to be in every graduate's toolkit." She also reports that Canadians who speak both of Canada's official languages "earn, on average, 10% more and have a 3% lower unemployment rate." Therefore, it is quite evident that learning an additional language can open doors to better job opportunities while facilitating future economic and social success for British Columbia.
CPF's letter of support is perfectly timed as it follows on the heels of two other recent requests to the Ministry seeking changes regarding the support and study of additional languages. On May 30th, 2017, BCATML wrote its own letter to the Ministry of Education lobbying for the inclusion of a Languages 11 credit for BC high school graduates. The following day, the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages released its report entitled Horizon 2018: Toward Stronger Support of French-language Learning in British Columbia. This report includes 17 recommendations on which the federal government should act in order to live up to its obligations under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and under the Official Languages Act. The report recommends the BC government, with federal government support, to work with French-language education stakeholders in order to improve and better support Core French, French Immersion and Francophone first-language programs.
BCATML is also expecting the Standing Committee On Language Articulation (SCOLA) to write to the Ministry requesting a Languages 11 course credit requirement for high school graduation. SCOLA represents post-secondary institutions of British Columbia.
BCATML hopes that the Ministry will be in favour of making policy changes regarding second language instruction in light of all the recent letters of support from a number of French-language stakeholder groups.
Senate Committee on Official Languages makes 17 recommendations to improve French programs in British Columbia
The committee proposes a series of recommendations and observations to the federal government in order to:
The report recommends that the BC government, with support from the federal government, should work with French-language education stakeholders to implement these recommendations.
Key recommendations found in the report
View all 17 official recommendations in full detail by clicking here.
Full details of the Senate Committee on Official Languages' report can be found by visiting:
Date: Friday, July 7 to Monday, July 10, 2017
Location: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Campus, BC
Eligible Candidates: The following individuals are eligible to participate in the program:
For the one-day workshop, we are pleased to welcome Ms. Stacia Johnson as our keynote presenter, who will discuss British Columbia's new curriculum. Following this, another session will be led by the Japan Foundation's newly dispatched Japanese Language Specialist, Mr. Yoshifumi Murakami.
The remaining three days are an "overnight camp" workshop, focusing on brushing up participants' Japanese skills using the Japan Foundation's textbook, Marugoto. Participants will get to try each level from A1 to B1, and through experiencing the different levels of Marugoto as "students" they will also learn about teaching using Marugoto. There will also be opportunities outside of the brush-up sessions to discuss language education in the 21st century.
Schedule: Please click here for the schedule.
One-day Workshop: Ms. Johnson's keynote session will be conducted in English and Mr. Murakami's session will be conducted in Japanese (but discussion in English is welcome!).
Brush-up sessions: conducted primarily in Japanese.
Grant Coverage: JFT will bear the following expenses in accordance with its regulations.
The participants will bear the following expenses:
Application Procedures: Applications should be submitted via e-mail to Ms. Noriko Saito (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Japan Foundation, Toronto no later than May 22, 2017.
SCOLA AGM 2017: BCATML presents its advocacy work and curriculum highlights relating to teaching languages
BCATML hosted another Twitter Chat to discuss the draft curricula for Second Languages (other than French). The entire chat can be read on www.storify.com or by visiting:
We remind teachers that to send in their feedback to the Ministry by emailing email@example.com.
The Curriculum Writing Team for Second Languages will meet again in early June 2017 to look at the initial feedback received by the province and begin working on the Introductory Language 11 courses.
There are three stories in the Bramble Berry Tales: The Story of Kalkalilh, The Great Sasquatch, and The Little People. All three stories are narrated in their original First Nations language of Squamish, Halq’emeylem, and Cree respectively, as well as in English, French, and Spanish. Just as the Brothers Grimm traipsed around Europe in the 19th century to capture and record oral stories to preserve them from being forgotten, so to has Rival Schools. With the support and voice of Squamish Chief Ian Campbell and Cree author Marylin Thomas, Rival Schools has managed to preserve these beautiful indigenous tales and languages from fading away by recording them forever with relatable and memorable characters.
Enter Lily, Thomas, Mooshum and Kookum, the main characters in the Bramble Berry Tales. Each story is told from the perspective of Lily and Thomas who embark on exciting adventures and learn from their loving Mooshum and Kookum the significance of Kalkalilh, Sasquatch and the Little People. Through their adventures, Lily and Thomas learn more about Aboriginal legends, beliefs and lessons with Mooshum and Kookum as their patient teachers. Readers will follow a series of stories that harbour a message from which all children undoubtedly can learn. The tales themselves have the right ingredients to capture young readers’ interest with just the right amount of scary bedtime appeal.
Most students today know how to navigate an iPad better than their parents, or teacher for that matter! Therefore, it makes perfect sense that kids are able to experience these stories through a familiar medium that engages them. Bramble Berry Tales is so aptly timed and takes the right steps forward in helping to protect, preserve, and expose rapidly disappearing First Nations languages to our students in the second language classroom. Students will surely be able to relate to each of the characters unique to all of the stories and be able to identify similarities and differences to other stories they may have heard or already know from other parts of the world, Canada or their own home even!
Bramble Berry Tales touch on many of the Big Ideas of the Core French and Spanish curricula and easily use stories to facilitate students’ understanding of them. Here are but a few:
I recently met with Rival Schools to discuss expanding the App’s functionality and to develop classroom-ready resources. Rival Schools would like teachers’ assistance in providing feedback with the App’s re-launch and use in the classroom. If you are interested in testing the App and providing feedback, please contact Rome Lavrencic at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Work has already begun on its expansion. Bramble Berry Tales is available both on iTunes and Google Play for androids. Each story costs $3.99 but is part of the Volume Purchasing Program. If 20 licenses or more are purchased through VPP, the cost of the App is reduced by 50%. For more details, please visit www.brambleberrytales.com.
How to post: