Isabelle Côté, recipient of the National Award for Excellence in French Immersion


Congratulations to Dr. Isabelle Côté, the recipient of the National Award for Excellence in French Immersion, recognized by the Canadian Association of Immersion Professionals (ACPI) for her outstanding achievements in immersion teaching and remarkable contributions to promoting French immersion in Canada.

A leading figure in immersion education in British Columbia, Dr. Isabelle Côté has held several key positions since arriving in the province. Beginning as a language instructor in the Odyssey program, she ascended to the position of Senior Lecturer in French-language education programs at SFU. Notably, she also serves as the Associate Director of the university's Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA) and co-chairs the Indigenous Education and Reconciliation Council (IERC). Driven by a profound passion, she strives to incorporate Indigenous perspectives into French language courses and teacher training.

Throughout her career, Isabelle has served in a number of roles, from French immersion and social studies teacher to educational consultant. She has also served as President of the BC Languages Coordination Association (BCLCA) and is the association's Director of Communications. Her expertise is recognized nationally.

Isabelle exemplifies authentic leadership, devoting her time to nurturing the leadership skills of French immersion teachers. She emphasizes the importance of promoting leadership among less experienced teachers and creates a safe mentoring environment where mentees can share their concerns and challenges. Her exceptional leadership skills enable her to celebrate her colleagues’ successes and draw lessons from their failures, thereby helping them reach their full potential.

Passionate about nature, history and lifelong learning, Isabelle conducted ground-breaking research during her PhD, focusing on decolonization, settler colonialism, white supremacy, and integrating indigenous perspectives into French-language training programs and K-12 education. She also explored the challenges faced by both anglophone and French immersion teachers. Her work has appeared in numerous articles in the Immersion Journal and elsewhere and has contributed to the professional immersion community.

As a co-chair of the Indigenous Education and Reconciliation Council at Simon Fraser University, she applies her passion for integrating indigenous perspectives into French language courses and teacher training. Her commitment to this cause at the university continues to flourish.

"Congratulations, Dr. Isabelle Côté, and a huge thank you for your boundless dedication and extraordinary work as an educator in immersion education. The ACPI is fortunate to have, within its ranks, women like you who are making a significant contribution to advancing bilingualism in our country." - ACPI Selection Committee

The original text was provided in French by the ACPI and could be consulted here:

ACPI Prix d'excellence

Isabelle Côté spoke to the Faculty of Education's communications department. Read the interview below:

Championing French Immersion: A Q&A with Dr. Isabelle Côté

For more information, contact:

Anne Marie Gagné
Manager Communications and Marketing
Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs, SFU