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.
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