New program in French launched

April 29, 2004, Vol. 30, no. 1
By Diane Luckow

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B.C. secondary students enrolled in French immersion programs will now be able to continue learning in French at SFU in a new bachelor of arts program to be delivered primarily in the French language.

The Canadian heritage ministry is providing SFU with a $5.93 million, five-year grant, matched by provincial funding of $6.865 million through SFU's annual operating grant.

The funding will expand French language programming at SFU to help promote bilingualism in Canada and increase the number of qualified core French and French immersion teachers.

“This will make SFU a leader in French language education in B.C.,” says SFU President Michael Stevenson, who notes that there are 35,000 B.C. students currently enrolled in French immersion programs at the elementary and secondary levels.

Among the first initiatives will be a new SFU office of Francophone and Francophile affairs, which will coordinate and promote new programming developments in both the faculties of arts and of education. “Contacting school districts to let them know we're here and have programs to offer will be one of our first priorities,” says assistant director Danielle Arcand.

The new SFU bachelor of arts program will commence in September 2004 and offer majors and extended minors in political science and French, leading students into careers in public administration and community services or into the French module of the faculty of education's professional develop-ment program for teachers.

The SFU faculty of education will develop and expand its existing French language programs for teachers to include:

• a masters program in French to be offered outside of the Lower Mainland. The first off-campus masters program will be taught on Vancouver Island.

• additional graduate studies programs in French education for teachers, available in both face-to-face and online formats.

• increased student intake (from 32 this year to 48 in September 2004) for the French teacher education program.

• additional undergraduate education courses in French language, aimed to orient and support elementary classroom teachers.

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