Make way for readers | French at CEGEP

The issue of French in CEGEP divides. We see it in the responses to our appeal to everyone. Some welcome the compromise proposed this week by the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), which is to impose three French courses on anglophone CEGEP students who do not have sufficient language skills to take three French courses in other matters, as The The Liberal Party had initially proposed, but withdrew. But other readers feel the CAQ goes too far… or not far enough. Here is an overview of your answers.

Posted on April 30

Primary and secondary instead of CEGEP

I am an English speaking former student. I don’t understand why we insist on French at CEGEP, we need to give more French lessons to English speaking primary and secondary school students. When I arrived at Cégep, my level was the equivalent of a third year of writing French. So you can imagine how difficult it is to find a job in a French-speaking company.

Natacha Michaud

Quebec’s Common Language

The solution is too soft. It is imperative that all Quebec residents express themselves in French as it is Quebec’s common language, rich in culture and history. Let the French course be imposed on English-speaking CEGEP students, so be it! It was high time. We must also stop funding a system that anglicizes us. We do hara-kiri. It is abnormal that Dawson has only 44% English speaking students. This is nonsense. The remaining 56% are either French speakers or Allophones who should be studying in a French speaking CEGEP.

Francois Garceau, Two Mountains

Useless arguments

My husband and I come from families that speak three languages. The wealth these have brought us is indescribable and so it is difficult for us to identify with the disputes that fuel our present society. There are currently several problems with teaching the French language in Quebec. The government and political parties have lost sight of the real problems and are unable to come up with constructive solutions. We have experts who know the basic problems and possible solutions. Where are these experts? Do we listen to them? Let’s bring constructive ideas into this debate. It is imperative to stop these useless disputes.

Flavia Fagnani

French enriched as a second language

Your journalist Louise Leduc published an article about an “enriched English as a second language program”which (optional) in 6 . can be offeredand first year. Why not consider at the same time the possibility of offering an “enriched French program as a second language” on an optional basis (we have to be honest) » for 6 year old English speaking studentsand first year. Would this program be less attractive to English-speaking parents? We’re talking, there!

Richard Genest, Laval

A regional native language

Hello hi,

Why should allophones and anglophones in the Montreal area need to learn French to shine? The president of Air Canada, the board of directors of CN, the Canadian players, the young French speakers who want to go to Dawson to succeed… We listen to American TV, Netflix, Spotify… I lived in Montreal for 50 years, in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, I was never addressed in French on the street. French in Montreal is not a reflex.

Bilingualism is knowing how to speak English. That’s why, after nearly 45 years of Bill 101, most allophones and Anglophones in Montreal consider French a regional native language that comes in handy if you ever go to Quebec for a week. Law 101 must be applied at CEGEP, the sandcastle is crumbling, the tide is rising. I am Canadian…

Sylvain Garneau, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures

Expanding Account 101 to CEGEPs

The government played a good part in agreeing to an amendment to Bill 96 to give rightholders the choice of three French courses to replace the original proposal by the Liberals, who later changed their minds. The fact that young English speakers speak much less French than their elderly is very worrying and this measure will certainly help. But we should have extended Law 101 to CEGEPs, which is a popular consensus.

Lawrence Tremblay

Poor impoverished Quebec!

In the 1970s, Quebec lost vital forces — doctors, lawyers, artists, and others — convinced they were not wanted. New linguistic impositions (rather than constructive deliberation) repeat the same dramatic error. Poor impoverished Quebec!

David Bensoussan

These Quebecers who don’t know their own language well

Although my native language is French, I have attended English speaking primary and secondary schools because I am a “right holder”. After high school, I opted for a French-speaking CEGEP. This change allowed me to discover Quebec and French literature that I fell in love with! I think it is a good idea to impose a French course on all CEGEP students in Quebec. Let them discover Quebec literature and culture. But let’s not forget the real problem, which is the deplorable quality of French of the young people who come from the French-speaking secondary schools. It seems to me that there are many concerns about the flight to English-speaking CEGEPs, and this is undoubtedly a problem in Montreal, but the real problem in my opinion, throughout Quebec, is Quebecers who cannot write well in their own language.

Jessie Greene, Quebec

Back from before the Silent Revolution

If the government wants to make English-language colleges less attractive to French-speakers and allophones, it must improve the quality of teaching in English in French-language schools. Why not respond to the new requirements by inviting students from English-language colleges to take courses at French colleges and vice versa? The government’s fear that people will be exposed to English is insular and backward. It seems that the CAQ wants to take us back to a time before the Silent Revolution, when the government replaced the church. Young Quebecers want to be global citizens. The CAQ wants to pretend the world doesn’t exist outside of Quebec. Bill 96 is worse for young French speakers than it is for young English speakers. More and more young Quebecers in the Montreal region want nothing to do with the nation of Quebec, which they view as an ideological prison.

Simon Fanning

A wealth that makes a society grow

In Europe, many people speak more than two languages. Knowing how to express yourself in more than one language means being open to others. It is a wealth that makes a society grow. We should be proud that we can speak and read more than one language.

John Rousseau

very well inspired

I thought the public English-language network did a good job of immersing its students in learning and mastering French. Of course the PLQ believed it too. Instead of correcting the situation and equipping children better, we prefer to exempt CEGEP students from this obligation to take three French courses. The English-language school board and the PLQ miss the boat and come out weakened. The Anglophone community sees this failure and does not demand better results. Trouble ! On the other hand, the solution of the parliamentarians to demand three French courses or three French courses is particularly well inspired!

Ginette Lamontagne, Outremont

A supplement for CEGEP students

The goal of helping people learn French is commendable. Bilingualism is an asset for everyone. But that has to be done before the CEGEP. The workload of CEGEP students is already heavy. Taking language classes in addition to regular classes will hurt them. Otherwise, replacing courses in the programs with language courses will reduce their competence in their field. We should also not forget that Indigenous students already bear the brunt of having to learn in a colonial language while working to preserve their own language.

Jacky Vallée, CEGEP teacher, Montreal

Allophone scapegoats

I loathe this law. Allophones are still the scapegoats for the decline of the French language, while Quebec has one of the worst high school dropout rates in North America. Who is better at mastering French, Francophone dropouts or Allophones studying post-secondary? As an allophone, I’m tired of being told by the government that I’m not “Quebecois” enough; that allophones do not speak French well enough. We speak and write it just as well as our French-speaking compatriots, often even better.

The decline of French, both written and spoken, is also evident in French-speaking communities. What will the government do? This law won’t solve anything if we don’t tackle school dropouts, but as always, it’s easier to blame allophones.

An allophone knows the value of languages ​​and recognizes their beauty, can we say the same of a monolingual francophone who can neither speak nor write French according to the standards imposed by the government on allophones?

An allophone (perfectly four-lingual) and furious.

Sophia Koutsoyannis

Important Factor of Anglicization

This is a very small step in the right direction, but clearly insufficient. The workplace where I worked until last year at a multinational company in the center of Montreal is further proof that many young graduates of Concordia and McGill are unable to work in French, and therefore in the presence of one or two young English speakers automatically all speakers intended switch to English. It is an important factor in the Anglicization of the greater Montreal region. This major decline of the French language takes us back to the workplaces of the 1950s and 1960s.

Christian Groulx, Nun Island (Quebec)

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