Government unveils the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future
The British Columbia Association of Teachers of Modern Languages (BCATML), a Provincial Specialist Association of the BC Teachers' Federation, welcomes the Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future, unveiled yesterday by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future is the Government of Canada's official languages strategy for the period from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2023. It outlines the Government of Canada's vision for supporting official-language minority communities and promoting our two official languages. This plan is inspired by public feedback provided during cross-Canada consultations between June and December 2016. BCATML's Trish Kolber (French Language Representative) and Rome Lavrencic (President) co-authored a BCATML Report that was presented to the Senate Committee on Official Languages on October 5, 2016 in Vancouver, BC.
The Action Plan reveals the Government of Canada's goal to raise the national bilingualism rate of 17.9% to 20% by 2036. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau stated that the Action Plan "reflects our government's broad vision of a strong Canadian Francophonie, of Quebec's vibrant English-speaking communities and a bilingualism that encourages exchange and recognizes our English and French linguistic heritage." The Action Plan builds upon the legacy of the Official Languages Act (1969) introduced by former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who said: "We believe in two official languages and in a pluralist society not merely as a political necessity but as an enrichment."
The Action Plan for Official Languages delivers an investment of $499.2 million over the next five years and outlines new initiatives to support Canada's two official languages. The Action Plan for Official Languages is based on three pillars:
Among the $499 million, over $100 million of new funding will be invested in promoting a bilingual Canada and in teaching and learning French and English as second languages. Some of these investments will go to address the current shortage of French as a Second Language teachers, inciting youth to pursue post-secondary education in French, as well as the creation and enhancement of other educational-related services shown in the table below.
Highlights of the new funding for the enhancement of the Official Languages Program:
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Just in time for Spring Break, SPEAK! BCATML's quarterly newsletter is now ready for members. Take this opportunity to renew your creative ideas, and get inspired with some great classroom activities, field trip excursions and professional development initiatives from your BCATML Executive and fellow language teachers.
In this issue, members will find an update regarding the new Core French Introductory 11 Ministry approved course.You will also find information about CASLT Chez Vous with Sylvia Duckworth, on May 12th. Register early as this event is sure to fill up! If you are interested in presenting at our Fall Conference, Celebrating Languages 2018, please have a look at our Call for Workshop Proposals. We also encourage you to fill out a brief survey about our first published Cultural Calendar for 2018, which all members received in the new year.
Members can download a free pdf copy of the Newsletter by clicking on the link below and entering the website password. If you have forgotten the password, please contact Antonella Garcia, BCATML Secretary and Membership.
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BCATML is proud of its first Cultural Calendar for 2018! This informative calendar highlights the advantages and benefits of learning different languages. It includes innovations and contributions for each language as well as items unique to that language or culture. We have also showcased some of the more well-known celebrities and role models who speak those languages; including artists, musicians, writers, athletes, activists, actors, indigenous leaders, politicians, and more!
Only current BCATML members received this gorgeous calendar in our January mail-out. BCATML would like to thank all of its members for their continued support. This is just one of the many benefits that membership provides!
BCATML plans to create a another calendar for next year to distribute at our fall Celebrating Languages Conference. We seek your input in order to improve next year's calendar. We invite you to complete this short, 2-minute survey:
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BCATML's Executive members can add news items here. Please email BCATML president at firstname.lastname@example.org or your Language Rep with a news item or pro-d opportunity that you would like to share.