Adapted from: https://www.surreyschools.ca/NewsEvents/Posts/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=659
The Dhahan Prize Youth Award is the only one of its kind in B.C.. It aims to encourage storytelling and experience-sharing by students, not only to promote literacy and strengthen the Punjabi language among Canadian-born youth, but to foster tolerance and understanding.
The contest invites senior secondary students from across the province to submit their Punjabi-language stories. This year, 41 short stories were submitted and translated into English. An independent jury judged the writing and winners were selected.
Students won a $500 cash prize and their stories are published in an anthology that will also be distributed free to Surrey schools. Five of the eight Dhahan prizes were awarded to students from Surrey School District's Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and L. A. Matheson secondary schools. The other winning students were from North Delta Secondary and two students from Abbotsford's Dashmesh School. The awards were handed out at a ceremony on October 21 at the University of British Columbia.
Submissions for the Dhahan Prize 2019 are now being accepted online.
It has been ten years since BCATML has bestowed a Lifetime Honorary Award. This prestigious award recognizes the outstanding contributions an individual has made to BCATML and its members, as well as promoting the teaching of second languages in British Columbia. At this year's Celebrating Languages Conference, BCATML's Executive Committee decided to honour two outstanding educational leaders who have clearly demonstrated an unwavering commitment towards second language education, not only in British Columbia, but also across Canada. This year's recipients are Diane Tijman and Dr. Wendy Carr.
Both Diane Tijman and Dr. Wendy Carr served on BCATML's Executive Committee in a variety of roles, including president between 2004-2006 and 2006-2008, respectively. They each have also served with the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT), as well as Canadian Parents for French (CPF). While neither could be in attendance at this year's Annual General Meeting, both expressed their gratitude and heartfelt thanks for this award and were with us in spirit through the day tweeting from the Canadian Parents for French national convention. Congratulations and felicitations!
Members of BCATML's new and old Executive Committee. From left to right: Cindy Lister, Antonella Garcia, Tanya Campbell, Jacqueline Alvarado Cruz, Angela Kleine-Buning, Wendy Yamazaki, Stacia Johnson, Kindra Harte, Andrew McFayden, Ping Li, Stacey Sveistrup, Amandeep Chhina, Grace Ho, Trish Kolber, Rome Lavrencic.
Friday, October 19th, 2018
BCATML's signature event - Celebrating Languages - brought together over 400 Second Language Teachers, Educators, Retirees, TTOCs, Pre-Service Teachers, Exhibitors, Publishers, and Ministry representatives from différents parts of BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, the United States, and Saxony, Germany! This was a truly international second languages conference.
At the Annual General Meeting, the BCATML membership voted in its new Executive Committee for 2018-19. They are: Rome Lavrencic (President), Stacey Sveistrup (Vice-President), Wendy Yamazaki (Treasurer), Antonella Garcia (Secretary & Membership), Tanya Campbell (Elementary & Middle Years Rep.), Trish Kolber (French Rep.), Angela Kleine-Buning (German Rep.), Grace Ho (Japanese Rep.), Ping Li (Mandarin Rep.), Andrew McFayden (Other Languages Rep.), Amandeep Chhina (Punjabi Rep.), Kindra Harte (Spanish Rep.), and Cindy Lister (Web Manager).
President Rome Lavrencic gave special acknowledgement to this year's Conference Co-Chairs, Stacey Sveistrup and Kindra Harte, as well as the other members of the Conference Committee for their outstanding leadership and tireless commitment towards hosting an incredible day of learning and inspiration for all. Special thanks and acknowledgement were also given to this year's Executive retirees. Stacia Johnson has served on the Executive Committee for the last four years in the roles of Japanese Rep and Other Languages Rep. Jacqueline Alvarado Cruz has served on the Executive Committee for the last two years in the role of Spanish Rep. BCATML thanks both of these incredible women for their volunteerism and commitment towards improving second language education for all of British Columbia.
The Ministry of Education has recently updated its website and provided a number of resources and tools for teachers, parents, and students to use aligned to the redesigned curriculum. The Ministry has committed to providing new supports for classroom assessment over the next two years. One of the materials in the recent update includes the Assessment Literacy in B.C. video as well as several Kindergarten to Grade 9 classroom assessment supports.
Visit https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/classroom-assessment-and-reporting for more details.
BCATML will vote its new Executive Committee at this year's Annual General Meeting at the Richmond Executive Airport Plaza Hotel on Friday, October 19th, 2018. Nominations from the floor will be called three times. All contested positions will be voted by a single slate ballot. Nominated names may only be submitted for a single position. Only active BCTF members in good standing with BCATML may run for office and vote.
This year's list of nominees are as follows:
President: Rome Lavrencic
Vice-President: Stacey Sveistrup
Treasurer: Wendy Yamazaki
Secretary & Membership: Antonella Garcia
Elementary/Middle Years: Tanya Campbell
French representative: Trish Kolber
German representative: Angela Kleine-Buning
Japanese representative: Grace Ho
Mandarin representative: Ping Li
Punjabi representative: Amandeep Chhina
Spanish representative: Kindra Harte
Other Languages rep: Andrew McFayden
Web Manager: Cindy Lister
For a full listing all Executive roles and responsibilities, please visit our website (www.bcatml.org) under the About tab or download the summary in the file below.
BCATML's Executive Committee regularly reviews its constitution and makes necessary amendments as needed. At this year's Annual General Meeting on Friday, October 19th at the Richmond Executive Airport Plaza Hotel, BCATML will present an amendment to its constitution.
Motion: That Article 5 – Committees be amended to remove all co-positions as per BCTF recommendation and policy, and to add the role of Web Manager to the Executive. The Executive Committee shall not exceed 14 members.
The proposed amendment will read as follows:
Article 5 - Committees
1. The executive committee shall consist of the Past-president and the following members in good standing, all to be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the BCATML, for a term of one year. The executive committee shall not exceed 14 members.
a. Table officers: b. Other members:
i. Past-president i. Elementary/Middle Years Rep
ii. President ii. French representative
iii. Vice-president iii. German representative
iv. Secretary/Membership iv. Japanese representative
v. Treasurer v. Mandarin representative
vi. Punjabi representative
vii. Spanish representative
viii. Other Languages representative
ix. Web Manager
The constitution may be amended by a 75 percent majority vote of members present at the Annual General Meeting. Only active BCTF members in good standing with BCATML are eligible to vote.
September 12th, 2018
The Honourable Rob Fleming, M.L.A. Minister of Education
RE: Roadmap to Address BC’s French Teacher Shortage
On behalf of Canadian Parents for French BC & YK, I would like to express our appreciation for your engagement in the French teacher shortage. As we have seen in recent media coverage, the shortage is acute, persistent and widespread. After years of advocacy, we are pleased to finally begin to see concrete initiatives emerge. The announcement of 37 new French teacher training positions at our post-secondary institutions, and your trip to France, Belgium and Holland were warmly welcomed by our parent community.
However, Minister Fleming, due to years of inaction, school districts around the province are still struggling to fill French teaching positions. On August 23, 2018, we learned School District 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) was lacking five French teachers. According to Radio-Canada the Conseil scolaire francophone (SD#93) still needs 40 to 50 French teachers. These are just a few examples of the critical circumstances facing school districts today.
Flying under the radar are many more school districts with few, if any, French teachers on their teacher-on-call lists. All in all, we believe British Columbia is short anywhere from 100 to 150 French teachers. Given the lack of good data or labour market assessments, this is our best guess based on public reporting. It is unfortunate that no government or regulatory agency seems to have a good handle on the actual French teacher supply, demand, or the shortage.
Looking forward, we know the federal government has earmarked $62.6 million for French first- and second-language teacher recruitment and retention. According to a August 28, 2018 Vancouver Sun article, British Columbia can expect roughly $9.4 million over the course of the next Federal Action Plan on Official Languages. Properly allocated, we believe these new funds will substantially assist in addressing the need for French teachers in our province.
To assist in your Ministry’s planning process, we have compiled a number of specific recommendations which we believe will help meet our short-term and long-term needs. Attached as an appendix is also a recent SFU Master’s thesis focused entirely on this subject, as well as a Canadian Parents for French - National French teacher shortage report.
We believe there are three key pillars to addressing this teacher shortage: train our own, recruit from out-of-province and out-of-country, and lower French teacher attrition.
The bulk of our efforts should be focused on increasing the number of French teachers trained and certified from our post-secondary institutions. Anecdotally, we have heard teachers trained and certified here in BC are more likely to stay in the province and in the profession. Community and family support plus familiarity with the BC curriculum make the success rate higher for the beginning teacher from BC than from elsewhere.
RECOMMENDATION #1 Run a “French Teachers Wanted” public education campaign. Focus on French speaking high school and postsecondary students in BC.
RECOMMENDATION #2 Further increase the number of French teacher training spaces at post-secondary institutions.
RECOMMENDATION #3 Provide scholarships and bursaries to post-secondary students as an incentive to enrol in French teacher training programs.
RECOMMENDATION #4 Provide tuition fee forgiveness to teacher candidates who successfully complete their French teacher training and sign a contract with a BC school district.
While the bulk of our efforts should be focused on training French teachers here in British Columbia, there are important benefits in recruiting from out-of-province and out-of-country. There are countless linguistic and cultural benefits in increasing the number of native French speakers in our school communities.
RECOMMENDATION #5 Provide funding for a 1 FTE position at Make-A-Future responsible for out-of-province and out-of-country French teacher recruitment. Include funding for travel and teacher recruitment promotion.
RECOMMENDATION #7 Collaborate with the universities with Francophone and French BEd programs to bring student teachers to BC to complete their teacher training. Provide out-of-province French teacher candidates a $2,500 bursary for completing their practicum in a BC school district, as is currently the practice in Alberta.
RECOMMENDATION #8 Increase the salary of all teachers in British Columbia. Given that we are now experiencing a serious shortage of French teachers all across Canada, and that we are competing against more provinces for fewer teachers, we need to consider offering more competitive compensation to attract French speaking teachers from out-of-province.
RECOMMENDATION #9 Enable the use of the internationally recognized DELF, Diplôme d’études de langue française, or the equivalent based on the CEFR, the Common European Framework of Reference. The DELF assessment should be adopted by post-secondary institutions to determine French language proficiency of potential incoming teacher candidates but as well as a tool for school district human resources teams to use in the hiring of teachers. In so doing, school districts will be able to easily assess the French proficiency level of any incoming teacher, assisting districts lacking bilingual Human Resources staff in the hiring process.
We have learned anecdotally that the attrition amongst French immersion teachers is higher than the attrition experienced by teachers in the English program. If we are to address the French teacher shortage in British Columbia, we need to improve the retention of French teachers in our classrooms.
RECOMMENDATION #10 Provide more in-service professional development opportunities specifically designed for French Second Language teachers. With improved confidence and improved French language skills, some of these teachers may elect to teach more classes in French or move from a Core French teaching position into teaching in French Immersion.
RECOMMENDATION #11 Address often challenging working conditions. These might include providing dedicated teaching space to all French second language teachers as well improved access to resources in French, both online and in print. Schools embarking on new initiatives such as Mind-Up and Habits of Mind should as a minimum have access to the reproducible materials and visual supports to support the implementation of such programs in French. Training may be done in English but any materials used with students need to be provided in French.
RECOMMENDATION #12 Expand teacher exchange bursaries to francophone regions of Canada and the world.
RECOMMENDATIONS #13 Develop mentoring support for both beginning and new to the district teachers as a provincial initiative as presently, mentoring support does not occur uniformly across the province, and in some districts, is non-existent. Designating a district Language Coordinator in each district will go a long way to support this. Given this responsibility, the Language Coordinator then could take the lead to support new teachers, using mentoring support guidelines developed by the Ministry, universities and the BCTF. The British Columbia Language Coordination Association (BCLCA) may be suited to taking the lead on this.
BC Ministry of Education
Finally, we believe there are institutional changes required by the Provincial Government to best prepare and oversee a comprehensive French Teacher Recruitment & Retention Strategy.
RECOMMENDATION #14 Collect better data on the supply and demand for French teachers in British Columbia. Part of the problem over the years is that no one seemed to have a good grasp on the nature or the scope of the French teacher shortage in our province. We need much better data, analysis, forecasts which need to be more frequently shared with the relevant educational stakeholders.
RECOMMENDATION #15 Allocate a 1 FTE at the Ministry of Education French Programs Department to oversee French Teacher Development. This person could oversee a comprehensive French Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy. They could also help manage support-focused programs such as teacher professional development, integration, exchanges, and bursaries.
RECOMMENDATION #16 Annually convene a French Teacher Supply & Demand Consortium. This consortium should be responsible for reviewing the supply and demand data and monitoring progress with respect to training, recruitment, and retention as well as making recommendations for curriculum resources and mentoring support.
Minister Fleming, we believe these are just a few initiatives the Ministry can take to maximize the impact of the new Federal funding that will soon be made available under the Action Plan on Official Languages.
All told, we believe this is an incredible opportunity for our education system and our province.
By training more French teachers here in British Columbia, we will offer stable and meaningful local employment opportunities to hundreds of graduates from our own French programs. Additionally, by recruiting francophone teachers from other provinces and countries, we will enrich the cultural and linguistic makeup of communities and enhance the cultural experience of tens of thousands of students in our education system. Finally, by addressing the high rates of French teacher attrition, we will provide better support for teachers. In so doing, we will maintain the health and excellence in our programs and advance the languages and cultures we cherish.
We look forward to being part of many more action-oriented discussions in the weeks and months ahead.
Executive Director, Canadian Parents for French BC & YK
The Honourable Melanie Joly, P.C., M.P. Minister of Canadian Heritage
Glen Hansman, President BC Teachers Federation
Scott MacDonald, Deputy Minister BC Ministry of Education
Linda Beddouche, Manager French Programs Department BC Ministry of Education
Gino Leblanc, Director Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs Simon Fraser University
Bertrand Dupain, General Director Conseil scolaire francophone de la colombie-britannique
Andrew Jang, Business Development Consultant Make A Future
With a week left of summer vacation, the Conference team is proud to announce that registration is now open for all teacher delegates, presenters, and exhibitors. Full conference details can be found under the Conference tab at www.bcatml.org.
Join second language teachers from across BC for our signature event, Celebrating Languages, on Friday, October 19th, at the Richmond Executive Airport Plaza Hotel
Avoid disappointment and register early to ensure your first workshop choices and take advantage of the early-bird rate until September 14th. Our signature event is sure to sell out fast.
Click here to register today!
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