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Priorities in the recruitment of French immersion teachers in British Columbia Veilleux, Ingrid 2003

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PRIORITIES IN THE RECRUITMENT OF FRENCH IMMERSION TEACHERS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA by INGRID VEILLEUX BA, University of British Columbia, 1995 B.Ed, University of British Columbia, 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Language and Literacy Education; Modern Language Education Programme) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 2003 ©Ingrid Veilleux, 2003 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of (foMflAA^f. OMA ~&*a cc/ C^^UCa^1^— The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) ii Abstract T h e study entitled 'Priorities in the Recruitment of F rench Immersion T e a c h e r s in British Co lumb ia ' c o m p a r e d the priorities of F rench immers ion parents and schoo l district Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s on i ssues surrounding F rench immersion teacher recruitment. A survey w a s sent to 44 Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s , representing all schoo l districts with F rench immers ion programs in the province, with a response rate of 64 percent. O n e hundred surveys were sent to F rench immers ion parents in the province with a response rate of 48 percent. S e v e n follow-up interviews were conducted . T h e results of the survey revealed a c o n s e n s u s amongs t parents, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and university F rench immers ion pre-service teacher educat ion programs in British C o l u m b i a on the min imum expected level of F rench proficiency for a F rench immers ion teacher. Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rated language skills a s a top priority fol lowed by teaching skills, personal qualities and knowledge of F rench culture. Nonethe less , respondents from both groups qualified their rankings by say ing that it would be undesirable to p o s s e s s o n e set of characterist ics at the e x p e n s e of another. Parents e x p r e s s e d a preference for f rancophone F rench immers ion teachers , particularly from Q u e b e c , and may therefore be surpr ised by the high number of ang lophones teaching in the program. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s e x p r e s s e d a preference for hiring graduates from the F rench immers ion stream df pre-service teacher educat ion programs followed by bilingual ang lophones . T h e y sugges ted that ang lophones tended to be local teachers who, due to their familiarity with schoo l culture, would be eas ier to retain than teachers from e lsewhere. Us ing a teacher shortage spectrum formulated for this study, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s provided the average number of job appl icants for a typical job open ing in the F rench immers ion and Engl ish s t reams in the 2001 - 2002 school-year in their schoo l district. A shortage of F rench immers ion teachers w a s found to exist in British Co lumb ia . T h e shortage is worse in rural schoo l districts than in urban schoo l districts. N o shortage of teachers w a s reported in the Engl ish stream. Encouragingly, all s choo l districts reported that they verify the level of F rench proficiency of F rench immers ion teacher cand idates although the tools used to do s o vary significantly from district to district, from check ing course work credentials only to having prospect ive immers ion teachers complete oral and written tests. Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s e x p r e s s e d opposit ion to lowering hiring s tandards in order to a d d r e s s and shortage of F rench immers ion teachers . iv Table of Contents Abstract • ii T a b l e of Contents iv List of F igures vii List of T a b l e s ix Dedicat ion x A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s xi Chapte r 1: Introduction 1 1.1 Concerns over the French language proficiency of French immersion teachers 2 1.2 The Teacher shortage: sufficient reason to lower hiring standards? 2 1.3 Purpose '. r. 4 1.3 Research questions 4 1.4 Overview of the study 5 Chapter 2: Literature Rev iew 7 2.1 French language proficiency requirements at British Columbia pre-service teacher education programs 7 2.2 A Pan-Canadian perspective on French language proficiency and the French immersion teacher. : "• 10 2.3 Teacher certification in British Columbia 12 2.4 The Fully qualified French immersion teacher 14 2.5 First language status 75 2.6 Teacher supply and demand 17 2.7 Entry versus continuing standards 23 2.8 Responsibilities of the Director of Human Resources 24 2.9 Parental expectations 2 7 2.10 Summary and conclusion 28 Chapter 3: R e s e a r c h Method 32 3.1 Participants 32 3.1.1 Geograph i ca l a r e a s 32 3.1.2 Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 32 3.1.3 Parents 33 V 3.2 Procedures 34 3.2.1 Ques t ionna i re . , 34 3.2.2 R e s p o n s e rates 34 3.2.3 Semi-structured interviews 34 3.3 Measures 35 3.3.1 Description of quest ions 35 3.3.2 R e s e a r c h quest ions and the questionnaire 36 3.3.3 Interview quest ions and the questionnaire 38 3.4 Coding 39 3.4.1 Quest ionnaire 39 3.4.2 Interviews 40 3.5 Analysis 40 Chapte r 4: Results and D iscuss ion 42 4.1 Respondent Demographics 42 4.1.1 R e s p o n s e rates 4 2 4.1.2 D iscuss ion 43 4.2 Research question 1 44 4.2.1 ' First language status 4 5 4.2.1.1 Results of survey 45 4.2.1.2 Results of interviews and anecdota l c o m m e n t s 46 4.2.2 Bilingual f rancophones by place of origin and bilingual ang lophones 47 4.2.2.1 Results of survey 50 4.2.2.2 Resu l ts of interviews and anecdota l c o m m e n t s 52 4.2.3 Formal qualifications 53 4.2.3.1 Results of survey 53 4.2.3.2 Results of interviews and anecdota l comments . . . 54 4.2.4 Level of F rench proficiency 55 4.2.4.1 Results of survey 55 4.2.4.2 Results of interviews and anecdota l c o m m e n t s 56 4.2.5 S u m m a r y of results for research quest ion 1 56 4.2.6 D i s cuss ion of research quest ion 1 59 4.3 Research question 2 63 4.3.1 Results of survey 64 4.3.2 Results of interviews and anecdota l c o m m e n t s 66 4.3.3 D iscuss ion 67 4.4 Research question 3 69 4.4.1 Results of survey 70 vi 4.4.2 Results of interviews and anecdotal comments 72 4.4.3 Discussion 75 4.5 Research question 4 76 4.5.1 Results of survey 76 4.5.2 Results of interviews and anecdotal comments 80 4.5.3 Discussion.... 81 4.6 Research question 5 83 4.6.1 Results of survey 84 4.6.2 Discussion 86 4.7 Research question 6 8 8 4.7.1 Results 89 4.7.2 Discussion 93 Chapter 5: Implications and Areas for Further Study 94 5.1 The Testing of French proficiency at the school district level 94 5.2 The Teacher shortage and entry standards at the school district level 95 5:3 Teacher certification , 98 5.4 The French language skills of the French immersion teacher 99 5.5 Summary 100 References 102 Appendix A: Consent form for participants 106 Appendix B: Letter of explanation for participants 107 Appendix C: Questionnaire for Directors of Human Resources 108 Appendix D : Questionnaire for parents 112 Appendix E: Unpublished pilot study of pre-service French immersion French proficiency tests at Canadian universities 115 Vll L i s t o f F i g u r e s 1 Parents ' and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e b a s e d on a five point s ca le 43 2 Parents' and Directors of H u m a n Resources ' degrees of agreement on a s e v e n point sca le with the assert ion that bilingual f rancophones are more desirable F rench immers ion teacher cand idates than bilingual ang lophones 46 3 Desirability of hiring graduates from the F rench C o r e stream of a British C o l u m b i a teacher pre-service program on a s e v e n point s ca le 48 4 Desirability of hiring graduates from the F rench C o r e stream of a British C o l u m b i a teacher pre-service program using the Co l laps ing Method 48 5 M in imum level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e of a F rench immers ion teacher expected by parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s b a s e d on a five point rubric 56 6 Us ing the Upward Co l laps ing Method, a compar i son of the percentages of parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in agreement with the desirability of hiring F rench immers ion teacher cand idates by first l anguage status, formal educat ion and for f rancophones , p lace of origin 58 7 A v e r a g e number of appl icants per typical F rench immers ion and Engl ish stream job opening in the 2001 - 2002 schoo l year in British C o l u m b i a on a s e v e n point sca le 71 8 C o m p a r i s o n of parental and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' v iews on the acceptabil ity of lowering s tandards of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e in the event of a teacher shortage on a s e v e n point sca le 77 9 C o m p a r i s o n of parental and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' v iews on the acceptability of lowering s tandards of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e in the event of a teacher shortage using the Co l laps ing Method 78 10 C o m p a r i s o n of parental and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' v iews on the acceptability of hiring F rench immers ion teachers without an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology on a s e v e n point sca le 79 Vlll C o m p a r i s o n of parental and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' v iews on the acceptabil ity of hiring F rench immers ion teachers without an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology using the Co l laps ing Method 70 ix L i s t o f T a b l e s 1 F ive Leve ls of F rench C o m p e t e n c e 8 2 First L a n g u a g e Status of C a n a d i a n F rench Immersion T e a c h e r s 13 3 T e a c h e r Supp ly S c a l e 18 4 C o r r e s p o n d e n c e of R e s e a r c h Quest ions to Quest ionnaire 32 5 Semi-structured Interview Quest ions 33 6 T h e Co l laps ing Method 39 7 M e a n Rat ings of F rench Immersion T e a c h e r Cand ida tes by First L a n g u a g e Status, Formal Educat ion and for Bilinguals, P lace of Origin 43 8 Rat ings of F rench Immersion T e a c h e r Cand ida tes by First L a n g u a g e Status, Formal Educat ion and for F rancophones , P lace of Origin, Us ing the Co l laps ing Method 44 9 C o m p a r i s o n of M e a n Rank ings of Four Se ts of Skills and Attributes of the F rench Immersion T e a c h e r by Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 58 10 C o m b i n e d M e a n Rank ings of Four Se ts of Skills and Attributes of the F rench Immersion T e a c h e r on a Nine Point S c a l e : 59 11 C o m p a r i s o n of Parents' and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' Priorities on the Expec ted Level of F rench L a n g u a g e C o m p e t e n c e of the F rench Immersion T e a c h e r 83 12 C o m p a r i s o n of Parents' and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' Priorities on the Formal Qualif ications of a F rench Immersion T e a c h e r 83 13 Parents' and Directors of H u m a n Resources ' Rank ings of Four Se ts of Skills and Attributes of the F rench immers ion T e a c h e r 84 14 C o m p a r i s o n of Parents' and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' Priorities on the First L a n g u a g e Status and Bilingual F r a n c o p h o n e P l a c e of Origin of a F r e n c h Immersion T e a c h e r 85 X Dedication To the memory of my father, Jack Rantanen. Acknowledgements S i n c e applying to the Master of Arts program, I have lost my father, gotten married, and had two incredible, sweet daughters: C h l o e and Jasmine . Th is time has truly b e e n a time of c h a n g e and growth for me, both personally and academica l ly . I have enjoyed exploring the interesting problem in this thesis. I would like to e x p r e s s my heartfelt gratitude to the following people for their help and support: Bert, my loving husband , thank you for encourag ing and supporting m e (including hanging around c a m p u s so I could nurse on demand) . Y o u have the pat ience of Job! r would a lso like to thank my mother, He lena Rantanen , and my in-laws, Ernest and Y o l a n d e Vei l leux for their moral support and help with chi ldcare. Dr. Mon ique Bournot-Trites, thank you for your valuable gu idance and e n c o u r a g e m e n t throughout my Master of Arts program. I have apprec iated your k indness, pat ience and s e n s e of humour. I could not have a s k e d for a better advisor! Dr. Kenneth R e e d e r and Dr. T o n y C larke, thank you for agreeing to sit on my committee, for your constructive feedback and for engaging everyone in a lively d i scuss ion at the defense . Adr ian Dix and C a n a d i a n Parents for French, thank you for your enthus iasm for this project and for mailing out the parent surveys. Jer6mie Seror, thank you for your technological ass i s tance at the eleventh hour! M a n y thanks a lso to the parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s who participated in this study! 1 C h a p t e r 1: In t roduc t ion In an e lementary schoo l in British Co lumbia , a parent recently compla ined that her seventh grade daughter had not had a single native F rench s p e a k e r a s a teacher in her eight years in F rench immers ion at that particular school . T h e principal r esponded that there were m a n y different qualities that an administrator looked for in a F rench immers ion teacher and that the best person for the job w a s not necessar i ly a f rancophone. In the parent's estimation, f rancophone teachers were clearly the preferred candidates for F rench immersion. T h e principal e m p h a s i z e d other priorities s u c h a s c l ass room m a n a g e m e n t skills and personality. T h e conflicting expectat ions and priorities in this anecdote raise severa l i ssues: D o parents and administrators share the s a m e priorities with respect to the recruitment of F rench immers ion teachers? W h a t qualities and skills are of greatest importance w h e n hiring F rench immers ion teachers? W o u l d most F rench immers ion parents prefer to s e e only f rancophone teachers or are bilingual ang lophones a lso desirable F rench immersion teachers? T h e first widely publicized F rench immers ion program started in Saint-Lambert , Q u e b e c , in 1963 (Rebuffot, 1993). Parents were unhappy with the level of F rench l anguage instruction in their schoo ls and wanted their children to participate in a program where they might ach ieve a m u c h higher level of F rench language competence . S ince then, the F rench immers ion program has ga ined m o m e n t u m in C a n a d a and currently, there are approximately 32,000 students enrol led in F rench immersion in British C o l u m b i a a lone (Canad ian Parents for F rench , 2003). In F rench immers ion, children generally receive 100% of their instruction in F r e n c h from Kindergarten to G r a d e three or four, after which they receive between 50 - 80% of their instruction in F rench . In high schoo l , F rench immers ion students continue to take content-area c o u r s e s in F rench , but the instructional time in F rench is gradually reduced. In C o r e F rench , students do not receive content-area instruction in F rench , but in G r a d e s five through seven , they study F rench 80 minutes per week. High schoo l F rench is a lso offered a s a subject, but is not integrated with content-areas as it is in F rench immersion. 2 1.1 Concerns over the French language proficiency of French immersion teachers T h e level of F rench proficiency of the F rench immers ion teacher is extremely important. T h e teacher is virtually the sole model of the F rench language for most ang lophone students who a lso gain limited exposure to the language from authentic materials s u c h a s books, v ideos, computer programs and web-sites. If the teacher's F rench is laden with errors, there is little hope that he or s h e will be a g o o d mode l for the students. Furthermore, ser ious def ic iencies in F rench language skills impair the teacher's ability to provide corrective feedback, and to plan and teach language lessons and content-area lessons in F rench . W h e n teaching content-area subjects, a small vocabulary, poor d i scourse skills and low oral f luency c a n limit the range of ideas the teacher is able to express and reduces his or her conf idence to express those ideas. T o date, however, there is no c o n s e n s u s at the provincial, university or district levels a s to the min imum acceptab le level of F rench language proficiency required to teach in F rench immersion, nor is there agreement on whether that level should be establ ished, or how the level would be determined. T e a c h e r s who meet provincial teaching s tandards in British Co lumbia , but have failed the universities' pre-service educat ion F rench language c o m p e t e n c y test, are routinely ass igned to F r e n c h immers ion positions by schoo l districts. Th is inconsistency suggests that either the university's s tandards are unrealistically high or, the schoo l districts' s tandards too low. Ca l l s for national benchmarks of F rench language competency for F rench immers ion teachers in the literature tell us that many a c a d e m i c s are a lready c o n c e r n e d about the level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c y of s o m e French immersion teachers (Day & S h a p s o n , 1996; Flewell ing, 1995; F r i sson-R ickson & Rebuffot, 1986; Moeller, 1988; O b a d i a & Martin, 1995). 1.2 The Teacher shortage: sufficient reason to lower hiring standards? It s e e m s problematic that at a time when many schoo l districts are reporting shortages of F rench immers ion teachers , enrolment in F rench immersion in British C o l u m b i a is rising and the federal government has officially a n n o u n c e d a goal of "doubling within ten years the number of high schoo l graduates with a working knowledge of both Engl ish and F rench" (Government of 3 C a n a d a , 2002). In order to ach ieve this goal, o n e hundred and thirty s e v e n million dollars of federal funds have been earmarked for s e c o n d language instruction under the Act ion Plan for Official L a n g u a g e s (Dion, 2003). W h e n British C o l u m b i a schoo l districts do not have e n o u g h fully qualified F rench immers ion teaching appl icants to fill F rench immers ion c lass rooms , what is the result? Hiring authorities may be tempted to lower standards to fill v a c a n c i e s that ar ise suddenly, particularly if their pool of appl icants is limited. W h e n teachers are n e e d e d at the last minute, the recruitment p rocess m a y be acce lerated with less rigorous check ing of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e or by omitting this step altogether. W h e n French immers ion teaching appl icants know that they will more easily obtain employment in the F rench immersion stream than in the Engl ish stream, might they overstate their level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e ? W o u l d s u c h exaggerat ions g o unnoticed or is there a p rocess in p lace to check language skills objectively? A F rench immersion teacher shortage has been reported (Macfar lane & Hart, 2002). However , the extent of the shortage in British C o l u m b i a is unclear. B e c a u s e the existence of a teacher shortage has been the justification for accelerat ing the teacher certification process in s o m e jurisdictions (Pipho, 1998), it is important to clearly define a shortage of teachers . T o s o m e , a teacher shortage m e a n s an a b s e n c e of applicants, while to others, it may m e a n an increasing level of difficulty in recruiting those appl icants who fully meet the qualifications for F rench immers ion teaching. G i ven that important policy dec is ions c a n be m a d e b a s e d on the assert ion that a shortage of teachers exists, a careful definition of the term would be prudent to e rase any poss ib le confus ion. A genera l teacher shortage has been dec lared to exist in many countries including the United States, Austral ia and Great Britain. Hiring b o n u s e s and other incentives have been offered to Math and S c i e n c e special ists. In the United States, a controversial certification process cal led "alternative certification" has been implemented to give teaching certificates to university graduates who have little or no teacher educat ion background. British C o l u m b i a public schoo l teachers must hold teaching certificates from accredited teacher educat ion programs, but do 4 French immers ion teachers have any requisite background knowledge for special izat ion in F rench immers ion s u c h a s s e c o n d language methodo logy? 1.3 Purpose T h e focus of this study is two-fold. First, this study e x a m i n e s current priorities and practices to select F r e n c h immers ion teachers in British C o l u m b i a schoo l districts. S ince a c c e p t a n c e to the teacher-on-cal l list s e e m s to be the recognized route to permanent c l ass room p lacement in m a n y schoo l districts in British C o l u m b i a (Grimmett & Echo ls , 2001), this study will focus on select ion practices at the district level, the gateway to teaching F rench immers ion in public schoo ls . Whi le this investigation operates within the context of the British C o l u m b i a Co l l ege of T e a c h e r s and university-level policies and practices, it s e e k s to provide a snapshot of F rench immers ion teacher selection practices and priorities at the district level in British Co lumbia . S e c o n d , the priorities of F rench immers ion parents and schoo l district hiring authorities will be c o m p a r e d in order to s e e if these two groups of stakeholders share the s a m e priorities and vision for F rench immers ion or whether they have c lashing expectat ions. Parents want the best for their children and without their cont inued enthus iasm for the program, F r e n c h immers ion enrolment would decl ine. Hiring authorities, at the s a m e time, have the moral obligation to provide the highest quality program possible. A r e parental expectat ions being met? A r e hiring authorities fulfilling their moral obl igations? 1.3 Research questions 1 a. W h a t are the most sought-after characteristics for a F rench immers ion teacher accord ing to Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in British C o l u m b i a ? 1 b. What are the most sought-after characterist ics for a F rench immers ion teacher accord ing to parents in British C o l u m b i a ? 2a. W h i c h is of greater importance to Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in British Co lumbia : a F rench immers ion teacher 's language skills or genera l teaching skil ls? 5 2b. W h i c h is of greater importance to parents in British Co lumb ia : a F rench immers ion teacher's language skills or general teaching skil ls? 3. How severe is the British C o l u m b i a teacher shortage in F rench immers ion accord ing to Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ? 4a . In what ways , if any, would Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in British C o l u m b i a be willing to modify their expectat ions of F rench immersion program recruitment practices during a shortage of F rench immers ion teachers? 4b. In what ways , if any, would parents in British C o l u m b i a be willing to modify their expectat ions of F rench immersion program recruitment practices during a shortage of F rench immers ion teachers? 5. W h a t m e a n s do Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s employ to s c reen the F rench language skills of prospect ive F rench immersion teachers in British C o l u m b i a ? 6. Is there a match or a mismatch between parental v iews and the v iews of British C o l u m b i a schoo l district Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s on priorities in the recruitment of F rench immers ion teachers? 1.4 Overview of the study In Chapte r O n e , I have shown how the present sys tem of verifying the F r e n c h proficiency of immers ion teachers during their teacher educat ion, certification and recruitment a p p e a r s to rely on the final judgment of schoo l district hiring authorities. In Chapter Two , I will present an overview of the relevant literature and of where key quest ions pertaining to F rench immers ion teacher recruitment remain unanswered . I will then present the c a s e for investigating the tools used to verify F rench proficiency at the schoo l district level, my definition of a fully qualified F rench immers ion teacher, and offer a rationale for finding out what are the highest priorities to parents and hiring authorities in the recruitment of F rench immers ion teachers . I will a lso cons ider the quest ion of teacher supply a s it pertains to teacher qualifications and ponder the acceptabil ity of c o m p r o m i s e in the c a s e of a teacher shortage. In Chapte r Three , I will descr ibe the survey and interviews which I conducted to answer the research quest ions. I will a lso 6 descr ibe the response rates and analys is method. In Chapter Four, I will share and d i s c u s s the findings of the study by answer ing e a c h of the research quest ions in order. In Chapte r Five, I will outline the implications of this study which are relevant to F rench immers ion parents, policy-makers, hiring authorities and all those interested in F rench immers ion. Finally, I will suggest a reas for further research b a s e d on the findings of this study. 7 C h a p t e r 2: L i te ra ture R e v i e w T h e purpose of chapter two is to s u m m a r i z e the formal qualifications of a F rench immers ion 1 teacher a s def ined by the British C o l u m b i a Co l l ege of T e a c h e r s and other relevant literature, to indicate how these qualifications are obtained through university teacher educat ion programs and British C o l u m b i a Co l lege of T e a c h e r s , to situate the issue of F r e n c h immers ion teacher qualifications in the context of the oft cited teacher shortage, and to provide an overview of the a c a d e m i c d iscuss ion on standards of F rench language proficiency for F r e n c h immers ion teachers . In conc lus ion, I will show how the research quest ions spring naturally from the gaps in the relevant literature. 2.1 French language proficiency requirements at British Columbia pre-service teacher education programs A c a d e m i c s have long expressed concerns over the level of F r e n c h language proficiency of F rench immersion teachers and the lack of a minimum standard of F rench language competence , (Day & S h a p s o n , 1996; Flewell ing, 1995; F r i sson-R ickson & Rebuffot, 1986; Moeller, 1988; O b a d i a & Martin, 1995). In 1995, O b a d i a and Martin wrote, " M e m b e r s of the educat ion community now appear to be more concerned about the quality of [French immersion] teachers than about the quantity" (p. 94). In 1988, Moel ler underscored the need for a test of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e test for pre-service teachers, "[N]umerous students who graduate from an F S L teacher educat ion program ... may have completed the programs but are by no m e a n s proficient in the language" (p. 8). In the realm of pre-service teacher educat ion, informal surveys of pre-serv ice F rench-as -a -second- language teachers at the University of Windsor , Faculty of Educat ion found that three quarters of the respondents were not confident that their F rench skills were sufficient for teaching in the c lass room (Flewelling, 1995). Pre-serv ice F rench 1 In the French immersion program, several, and sometimes all, content-area subjects are taught in French in addition to the teaching of French language. In the French Core program, French is taught 80 minutes per week while other content-area subjects are taught in English. 8 immers ion teachers at the University of W e s t e r n Ontario were a lso unsure that their F rench language proficiency level w a s adequate for teaching in F rench immers ion (Majhanovich & Gray, 1992). Similarly, pre-service teachers in Ontario reported that they lacked conf idence in . the a d e q u a c y of their level of F rench proficiency for teaching in F rench immers ion although they were enrol led in a F rench immers ion pre-service teacher educat ion program (Flewelling, 1995). In order to a d d r e s s these concerns , many universities a c r o s s C a n a d a have deve loped their own F r e n c h language c o m p e t e n c e tests for pre-service F rench immers ion teachers . T h e two British C o l u m b i a universities, the University of British C o l u m b i a (U.B .C .) and S i m o n F raser University (S .F :U.) , whjch have spec ia l ized F rench immers ion s t reams in their pre-serv ice teacher educat ion programs, limit enrolment in the F rench immers ion stream to people who have met all genera l program pre-requisites and who have a lso p a s s e d a F rench language c o m p e t e n c e test. T h e s e universities administer a written and oral pre-admiss ion F rench c o m p e t e n c y test, entitled the Tesf de Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC (Bournot-Trites, O b a d i a , Roy, Desquins , & Safty, 1989). At U .B .C . and S .F .U . , the pass levels on the Test de Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC for the e lementary and secondary levels were set by the authors of the test. Th i s w a s d o n e by observ ing the minimum level required in F rench immers ion c l a s s r o o m s and adjusted b a s e d on the level required to successfu l ly complete a practicum in a F rench immers ion c l ass room. Tes t administrators state they have received phone calls from schoo l districts pressuring them to lower the pass levels in order to admit as many cand idates a s poss ib le to the F rench immers ion s t reams so that there would be a greater number of fully qualified F rench immers ion teachers graduating from the universities. In 2001-2002 a c a d e m i c year, U .B .C . and S . F . U . produced a total of nineteen teachers special iz ing in F rench immers ion, and thirty o n e in 2002-2003. S i m o n Fraser University's enrolment in the F rench immers ion stream w a s c a p p e d in 2001 - 2002 but is not currently c a p p e d (Personal Communica t ion , N o v e m b e r 19, 2002, M. (Bournot-Trites, 2002). Accord ing to Macfar lane and Hart (2002), universities cite low interest and a lack of appl icants with adequate language skills a s the reasons for the low number of graduates 9 from the F rench immers ion stream of teacher educat ion programs. A s T a b l e 1 co r responds to the p a s s levels of the test, it would be a useful tool in engag ing parents and schoo l district personnel in a conversat ion on the expected level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e for F rench immers ion teachers . It is my assert ion that there is no literature which descr ibes whether schoo l districts in British C o l u m b i a and parents are in agreement with the min imum levels of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e outlined in T a b l e 1, and therefore whether or not parents and schoo l districts are in agreement with the universities' F rench proficiency requirements. 10 T a b l e 1 Five Leve ls of F rench C o m p e t e n c e Level 1 S p e e c h is halting. Vocabu la ry is basic, repetitive and error-laden. Failure M a k e s m a n y grammatica l errors although s o m e s imple sen tences are correct. Accent , pronunciation and intonation are poor. Level 2 S p e e c h is general ly hesitant. A b l e to get m e s s a g e a c r o s s with A d m i s s i o n to F rench repetition and rephrasing. G r a m m a r is general ly correct but m a k e s C o r e e lementary only s o m e errors. Is able to hold bas ic conversat ions but cannot d i s c u s s topics requiring spec ia l i zed vocabulary. Errors in pronunciation and accent do not interfere with comprehens ion . Level 3 A b l e to d i scuss s o m e topics fluently but is often left search ing for A d m i s s i o n to F r e n c h words. C a n n o t use complex sentence constructions and level of C o r e S e c o n d a r y or vocabulary limits the amount of prec ise information c o n v e y e d . lower Pronunciat ion is c lear though not native-like. Whi le many topics can be d i s c u s s e d , the level of language is not a lways appropriate to the aud ience or situation. Level 4 S p e e c h is general ly fluent with occas iona l hesitations. M a k e s few A d m i s s i o n to F rench written and s p o k e n errors. M a k e s few pronunciation errors. Immersion Vocabu la ry is sufficient to d i scuss most topics. T h e level of l anguage E lementary or lower is usually appropriate to the aud ience . Level 5 S p e e c h and writing are fluent, free of grammatical errors and A d m i s s i o n to any equivalent to that of a native speaker . Vocabu la ry is broad and level stream including of language is a lways appropriate to the aud ience . F rench immers ion S e c o n d a r y 2.2 A Pan-Canadian perspective on French language proficiency and the French immersion teacher How useful is the Tesf de Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC c o m p a r e d to similar tests a c r o s s C a n a d a ? Universit ies ac ross C a n a d a have deve loped their own pre- and post-admiss ion F rench language competency tests for F rench immers ion and F rench core teacher educat ion programs. In an unpubl ished study which I conducted prior to this one, I 11 gathered information regarding the pre-admiss ion F rench proficiency tests of five C a n a d i a n F rench immers ion teacher pre-service programs (see Append ix E). I obtained information through university websites, publ ished articles and te lephone conversat ions. Bayl iss and V igno la (Bayl iss & V igno la , 2000), who note that little has been publ ished regarding pre-admiss ion French proficiency tests for teacher educat ion programs, wrote an article descr ib ing the University of Ottawa's S e c o n d L a n g u a g e Institute's F rench proficiency test. O n e aspec t of this test that differs from the Test de Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC is that there is only o n e p a s s level: S o m e candidates who failed the test e x p r e s s e d the opinion that they only wanted to teach C o r e F rench and felt that s tandards were too high ... T h e University of Ottawa's stand on this issue is that a certificate cannot specify a particular F S L context (ex. C o r e French), therefore this is not a distinction which holds up in practice where both C o r e F rench teachers and F rench immers ion teachers merely represent two sub-groups of a larger groups labeled F S L teachers. It is a lso likely that C o r e F rench presents a m o d e of entry for new teachers who, o n c e having ga ined admittance, can direct themse lves towards a position in F rench immers ion (Bayl iss & V ignola , 2000, p. 238). Bayl iss and V igno la have cal led for the publication of more literature with regard to F rench proficiency tests currently in use at universities ac ross C a n a d a in order to facilitate an informed d iscuss ion on this issue. T h e University of McGi l l a l so has only o n e p a s s level. Accord ing to a McGi l l test administrator there is little need to educate F rench C o r e teachers in Q u e b e c , (Persona l communicat ion, L. Savo ie , March 24, 2003). Students entering the McGi l l F rench as a S e c o n d L a n g u a g e stream are preparing to teach F rench immersion, F rench a s a first language or enr iched French . At another C a n a d i a n university in Ontario, F rench immers ion pre-service teacher candidates identify themse lves a s having a sufficient level of F rench to teach in F rench immersion. O n the bas is of this self-identification, candidates are admitted to the program. T h o s e who are clearly unable to c o p e with the level of F rench required are then redirected into 12 the Engl ish s t ream of the program. Th is is the least rigorous screen ing procedure of the universities that were contacted. C o m p a r e d to the s a m p l e of tests administered at other C a n a d i a n universities, the Testde Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC a p p e a r s to be an objective and useful test. E v e n within this smal l survey of C a n a d i a n universities, it is clear that a wide. range of s tandards exists from candidate self-identification to rigorous tests of oral and written c o m p e t e n c e (see Append ix E). 2.3 Teacher certification in British Columbia O n c e they have completed their teacher educat ion program, prospect ive F rench immersion teachers must obtain a teaching certificate through the British C o l u m b i a Co l l ege of T e a c h e r s . T h e British C o l u m b i a Co l lege of T e a c h e r s (B. C. C . T.), the body which i ssues British C o l u m b i a teaching certificates, has the opportunity to impose requirements with respect to the level of F rench language proficiency of F rench immers ion teachers , but d o e s not do so. Th is is the only level at which F rench immersion teachers could consistently be s c r e e n e d throughout the province s ince teachers are educa ted at different universities and will be hired by different districts, but must all have a B. C . C . T. teaching certificate or a letter of permiss ion to teach. However, British C o l u m b i a teaching certificates do not bind teachers to or prevent them from teaching a particular program s u c h a s F rench immers ion. A n d although the importance of an acceptab le level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e is highlighted in policy documents , the a b s e n c e of a test of F rench c o m p e t e n c e suggests that perhaps F rench language skills are less important than general teacher qualifications, or that the B. C. C . T. d o e s not cons ider testing the level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e a s part of its mandate even though it d o e s require a test of Engl ish language proficiency for those who did not complete their post -secondary studies in Engl ish. T h e by-laws of the B. C. C . T. explicitly define which qualifications are required to b e c o m e a teacher in British Co lumbia . T h e s e by-laws listing requirements for both the generalist and 13 s o m e special ists state that all teachers must have a set of genera l teaching skills and knowledge that include: s o m e general educat ion ... a knowledge of learners ... s o m e foundational understanding of how schoo ls and educat ion relate to the rest of society ... a pedagog ica l foundation which reflects a ba lance between teaching and learning a s intellectual p r o c e s s e s and teaching a s skilled practice ... pedagogica l knowledge and skills including the nature and organization of curriculum, communicat ion skills, information process ing skills, teaching/learning methodologies , and student a s s e s s m e n t and evaluation strategies ... [and] the knowledge and skills for working with students, parents and other co l leagues (British C o l u m b i a Co l l ege of T e a c h e r s , 1995). T h e a b o v e knowledge and set of skills are the bas is for accredited teacher educat ion programs in British Co lumbia . It is a s s u m e d that by complet ing s u c h a program, a prospect ive teacher ga ins this knowledge and set of skills. Accord ing to the B .C .C .T . by-law 2.A.01.1, the language proficiency requirements for a F rench immers ion special ist are as follows: (b) a person who teaches in F rench immersion, (i) must provide ev idence of an acceptab le score on both the Tes t of Engl ish a s a Foreign L a n g u a g e ( T O E F L ) and the T e s t of S p o k e n Engl ish (Professional) ( T S E - P ) , or provide ev idence of an acceptab le score on the Engl ish L a n g u a g e A s s e s s m e n t T e s t ( E L A T ) (1) if the applicant completed her or his post-secondary educat ion in countries other than C a n a d a , the United States, New Zea land , Austral ia, Ireland or the United K ingdom (effective January 1, 1995); or (2) if the Co l l ege has reason to bel ieve the applicant is not proficient in the Eng l i sh language, and 14 must provide ev idence acceptab le to the C o l l e g e that her or his c o m m a n d of written and s p o k e n F rench is satisfactory for the purposes of effectively carrying out the teaching function in British C o l u m b i a (British C o l u m b i a Co l l ege of T e a c h e r s , 1995). W h e n compar ing Engl ish and French language requirements for Engl ish stream and F rench stream teachers, it is useful to r e m e m b e r that Engl ish stream teachers teach up to 100% of the day in Engl ish and that F rench stream teachers teach up to 100% of the day in F rench . T h e B .C .C .T . speci f ies the Engl ish language proficiency tests both groups of teachers must pass . F rench immers ion teachers do not need to pass a F rench language proficiency test to satisfy B .C .C .T . language requirements. No French competency test is n a m e d in the B .C .C .T . by-laws nor is o n e administered by this body. T h e B .C .C .T . leaves the responsibility of collecting ev idence of a satisfactory c o m m a n d of written and s p o k e n French ment ioned in by-law 2.A.01.1 to the degree-granting institutions a s a part of their professional autonomy. However , a s demonstrated in Sect ion 2.2, it w a s noted that F rench tests administered by pre-service teacher educat ion programs in C a n a d a vary significantly in rigour and length. Therefore , entrusting degree-grant ing institutions with the responsibility of verifying F rench proficiency d o e s not guarantee that a universal minimum standard of F rench c o m p e t e n c e is being met. Whi le the B .C .C .T . policy is a g o o d one, the lack of enforcement in verifying F rench language skills s e e m s problematic. B .C .C .T . practices suggest that of these three qualifications, s e c o n d language instruction educat ion and the level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e are the least important. G e n e r a l teaching skills and knowledge are tested at the university level through coursework and practica. However, the B .C .C .T . d o e s not check whether F rench immers ion teachers have s e c o n d language instruction educat ion or an acceptab le level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e before issuing teaching certificates. 2.4 The Fully qualified French immersion teacher French immers ion teacher educat ion programs have increased in number and often include a course in F rench immers ion methodology. In order to implement certain methodological 15 a p p r o a c h e s d i s c u s s e d in the literature (Flewelling, 1995; Swain , 1996), teachers need a min imum level of F rench competence . For example , teachers must be aware of grammatica l rules in order to provide corrective feedback . Methodology courses , in turn, may familiarize teachers with effective and ineffective ways of providing corrective feedback . T h u s a certain level of F rench proficiency and familiarity with F rench immers ion methodology comp lement e a c h other and are likely to lead to a high quality of F rench language instruction in the immers ion c l ass room. For the purpose of my study, I have def ined a fully qualified F rench immers ion teacher as one who is able to demonstrate: • full, genera l teacher qualifications; • s e c o n d language instruction education; and, • an acceptab le level of F rench language competence . Th is definition is e c h o e d in the literature (Day & S h a p s o n , 1993; Macfar lane & Hart, 2002). B e y o n d formal qualifications, s o m e personal qualities such a s enthus iasm and a caring attitude are desirable a s well. 2.5 First language status S o m e studies have col lected demograph ic information on the first language status of F rench immers ion teachers . T h e s e studies corroborate the anecdota l ev idence which suggests that there is a reversing trend in the number of f r a n c o p h o n e s 2 and ang lophones teaching in F rench immers ion (see T a b l e 2). T h e O b a d i a study s a m p l e d approximately 400 C a n a d i a n F rench immers ion teachers (1984). O b a d i a noted that British C o l u m b i a had the highest percentage of ang lophone French immersion teachers of all provinces: forty percent (40%). T h e 2 For the purpose of this discussion, francophones are defined as persons who have learned French as their first language and have completed their formal education and have socialized predominantly in French. Anglophones are defined as persons who have learned English as their first language and have completed their formal education and have socialized predominantly in English. Heritage language learners are defined as those persons who have learned French at home as their first language but have completed their formal education and have socialized predominantly in English, or vice versa. 16 D a y and S h a p s o n study s a m p l e d approximately 2000 C a n a d i a n F rench immers ion teachers (1996). T a b l e 2 r First L a n g u a g e Status of C a n a d i a n French Immersion T e a c h e r s F r a n c o p h o n e A n g l o p h o n e A l l ophone Bilingual 1984 73% 20% 5% 2% 1996 58% 34% 6% 3% T h e s e two studies and anecdota l ev idence from a pre-service teacher training program suggest that the number of ang lophone French immersion teachers is rising, "We have s e e n the trend reverse in the number of f rancophones and ang lophones enrol led in the F rench immers ion teacher pre-service program at U .B .C . In 1984, the first year of F rench immers ion program, there were only three ang lophones and approximately twenty four f rancophones . Today , the situation is reversed. In 2002 - 2003, there are two f rancophones and twenty ang lophones enrolled" (Persona l Communica t ion , M. Bournot-Trites, N o v e m b e r 19, 2003) v. Whi le knowing the first language status of F rench immersion teachers is interesting, neither study.expla ined why they col lected this information. S o m e people m a y interpret first language status a s an indicator of a teachers ' level of F rench proficiency. T h e y may a s s u m e that most ang lophone teachers do not have the level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e n e e d e d , or conversely, that all respondents identifying themse lves as f rancophones m a y have the level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e required. Accord ing to Dr. Mon ique Bournot-Trites, who o v e r s e e s the administration 17 of the Test de Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC at U.B.C, s o m e candidates who call themse lves f rancophones do not p a s s the test at the F rench immers ion level. Typical ly, these persons are heritage language learners who have grown up in a f rancophone family but have attended schoo l and socia l ized predominantly in Engl ish (Persona l Communicat ion , M. Bournot-Trites, N o v e m b e r 19, 2003). Th is suggests, that a candidate 's self-identification a s a f rancophone m a y lead to wrong assumpt ions about that person's level of F rench language competence . Converse ly , s o m e ang lophones m a y attain a near native level of F rench proficiency. T h e d iscuss ion of the first language status of F rench immers ion teachers and a weighing of the assumpt ions that may be assoc ia ted with this information underscore the need to have an objective m e a s u r e of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e in order to maintain acceptab le standards of F rench language proficiency. Th is d iscuss ion also raises quest ions a s to other advantages and d i sadvantages of first language status not assoc ia ted with the level of F rench proficiency. F r a n c o p h o n e s might be better equ ipped to introduce F rench immers ion students to f rancophone culture than ang lophones . Do parents and hiring authorities cons ider the knowledge of F rench culture to be a s important a s F rench profic iency? 2.6 Teacher supply and demand T h e existence of a teacher shortage has been used as an e x c u s e to lower s tandards of teacher qualifications in the United States. G e n e r a l teacher shortages are currently reported in the United States, (Pipho, 1998), Austral ia (Canad ian T e a c h e r s ' Federat ion, 2001), New Z e a l a n d and the United K ingdom (Teachers in d e m a n d , 1998). In the United States, 29,000 people are teaching with an undergraduate degree but without having undergone a university teacher educat ion program; they hold what are known as e m e r g e n c y teaching credentials. Alternative certification, the p rocess of giving those without full teacher qualifications permiss ion to teach, is w idespread in the United States (Canad ian T e a c h e r s ' Federat ion, 2001). A shortage of teachers is most often cited a s the rationale for alternative certification. In Kentucky, s o m e substitute teachers hold only a high schoo l d ip loma 18 (Pipho, 1998). P r o g r a m s such a s T r o o p s to T e a c h e r s (Department of Defense , 2001) and T e a c h for A m e r i c a ( T e a c h for Amer i ca , 2002) promote the alternative certification route. In spite of glowing endorsements from the programs' promoters (Hutchinson, 2001), m a n y a c a d e m i c s c o n d e m n alternative certification as misguided and harmful to children (Dar l ing-Hammond, 1994; Lewis, 1998; W e b b & Norton, 1999). A recent study matched o n e hundred and nine pairs of certified and undercertified teachers in g rades three through eight. T h e researchers c o m p a r e d the test s c o r e s in reading, mathemat ics and language of students p laced with these two groups of teachers . T h e y conc luded , that the advantage of having a certified teacher is worth about two months on a grade equivalent sca le . T h e schoo l year is 10 months long, so the loss from having an undercertified teacher is 20 percent of an a c a d e m i c year. In other words, students pay a 20 percent penalty in a c a d e m i c growth for e a c h year of p lacement with undercertif ied teachers ... T h e hiring of undercertified teachers results in the hiring of unqualified teachers (Laczko-Kerr & Berliner, 2003). Letters of permiss ion from the B .C .C .T . m a y be cons idered a form of alternative certification in British Co lumb ia . In the 2002 - 2003 schoo l year, seventy two (72) teachers were teaching on letters of permiss ion in British Co lumbia , two (2) of w h o m were teaching in F rench immersion, accord ing to the Registrar of the B .C .C .T . (Persona l communicat ion , D. Smart, March 19, 2003). T h e s e smal l numbers suggest that British Co lumb ia is not pursuing the path of alternative certification to any significant degree . For now, s tandards for general teacher qualifications remain uniform in the province and include course work and practica through an accredited teacher educat ion program. However, w e cannot predict what future political winds may blow our way and whether our s tandards for teacher certification will remain consistent. Through recent legislative c h a n g e s to the British C o l u m b i a Co l lege of T e a c h e r s , the government has removed teachers ' rights to govern themse lves and has re-distributed this power by including non-teachers a s the majority m e m b e r s on the governing board of the Co l l ege (British C o l u m b i a Ministry of Educat ion, 2003). Th is suggests that the government intends to m a k e c h a n g e s in the 19 certification process although it is unclear how these c h a n g e s will be mani fested. T w o salient features of the new legislation which may lead us toward alternative certification include, • C h a n g i n g ] representation on governing Counc i l of the Co l l ege of T e a c h e r s to 8 e lected m e m b e r s and 12 appointed members . (Section 5 of the T e a c h i n g Profess ion Act) . (Note: an interim board of 20 persons is to be appointed by the Minister). • R e m o v i n g the] ability of the Co l lege to approve teacher educat ion programs. Co l lege to only set s tandards for teacher certification. (Sect ion 21 (i) of the T e a c h i n g Profess ion Act) (British C o l u m b i a Ministry of Educat ion, 2003). If British C o l u m b i a embarks upon a path of alternative certification, as have our A m e r i c a n counterparts, it s e e m s unlikely that a return to uniform standards would occur. T h e general d e m a n d for teachers in C a n a d a is expected to increase significantly in the coming years , (Grimmett & Echo ls , 2000; Macfar lane & Hart, 2002; Parker & Byfield, 2001; Shafer & Byfield, 2001). A general teacher shortage is predicted b a s e d on "[m]ore teachers reaching retirement age ... more students with spec ia l n e e d s ... fewer graduates from teacher educat ion ... lack of interest in teaching as a c a r e e r . . . high turnover of beginning teachers ... high turnover of exper ienced teachers who are leaving the profess ion but not retiring ... increased student enrolment" (Canad ian T e a c h e r s ' Federat ion, 2000). A c r o s s C a n a d a , F rench immers ion teacher shortages have been sa id to exist for m a n y years (Macfar lane & Hart, 2002), (Day & S h a p s o n , 1993; Gr immett & Echo ls , 2000; Hood , 1990; Macfar lane & Hart, 2002; Majhanovich, 1990; O b a d i a , 1989; O b a d i a & Martin, 1995; U l lman & Hainsworth, 1991). In 1989, O b a d i a dec lared that a crisis in the F rench immers ion teacher shortage had arrived in an article entitled, "La crise est arrivee: la c ro i s sance d e s p r o g r a m m e s de francais langue s e c o n d e et s e s repercuss ions sur la qualite et le nombre d e s enseignants." B a s e d on real and est imated numbers provided by provincial Ministers of Educat ion and university Facult ies of Educat ion, he projected that 1,000,000 students would be enrol led in F rench immers ion by 1999 in C a n a d a , with a n e e d for approximately 39,370 F rench immers ion teachers . However , in 1999 -20 2000, there were only 318, 244 students enrol led in F rench immers ion in C a n a d a (Canad ian Parents for F rench , 2001), p. 40), less than a third of the projected number of enrolling students. In light of projected numbers that, in hindsight, were inflated, and the ambiguity in the use of the term 'teacher shortage' (is it an a b s e n c e of teachers , merely a smal ler than des i red pool of teachers, or the hiring of partially qualified teachers?) , it is not surprising that s o m e are skeptical of the d iscuss ion of teacher shortages and wonder if hidden motivations underlie these dire predictions. A provocative article publ ished in the New York T i m e s criticized the manner in which projections of teacher d e m a n d are calculated and argued that the pool of new teachers is greater than general ly bel ieved. Feistritzer conc ludes , "[T]o claim that there is a teacher shortage is simply wrong - there isn't one, and there won't be anytime soon . O n e has to wonder about the a g e n d a of s o m e o n e who's willing to claim otherwise" (Feistritzer, 1998). T h e s e criticisms of the d iscuss ion of a teacher shortage highlight a valid need to define what a teacher shortage is, to be wary of how projected shortages are calculated and to determine whether a teacher shortage exists currently, before entering the realm of future projections. For the purpose of this study, a teacher shortage has been def ined in terms of averages and illustrated on a sca le to show degrees of severity. A n average number of appl icants per typical F rench immers ion job opening in a given schoo l district, in a given year is cons idered , in our c a s e , the 2001-2002 a c a d e m i c year. I have def ined a teacher shortage a s a situation where there are o n e or fewer fully qualified appl icants per job posting on average , a s this suggests a barely sufficient supply of teachers and a lack of cho ice in appl icants. Further, if a district has an average of only o n e fully qualified applicant per position, other positions m a y have had only partially qualified appl icants or no applicants. Rather than viewing a teacher shortage a s simply extant or non-extant, a spectrum descr ibing d e g r e e s of shortage would be a useful tool in eliciting information from Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s to descr ibe the current supply of F rench immers ion teachers in British C o l u m b i a (see T a b l e 3). T h e teacher shortage sca le is b a s e d on the definition of a fully qualified F rench immers ion teacher 3 a s def ined in Sect ion 2.4. A fu l l y q u a l i f i e d F r e n c h i m m e r s i o n t e a c h e r is a b l e t o d e m o n s t r a t e : 21 Table 3 Teacher Supply Scale No shortage 6+ fully qualified applicants 4 - 5 fully qualified applicants 2 - 3 fully qualified applicants Shortage 1 fully qualified applicant Applicants who satisfy two of three qualifications criteria Applicants who satisfy one of three qualifications criteria No applicants Note. Based on the estimated average number of applicants per typical job posting in a given year. Links between French immersion teacher shortages and the lowering of standards have been made in two studies by Grimmett and Echols (Grimmett & Echols, 2000) and Macfarlane and Hart (Macfarlane & Hart, 2002). In a qualitative study of twelve school districts conducted by Grimmett and Echols, school district officials, local union presidents, teachers and administrators were interviewed on questions of teacher supply and demand and related concerns. The study found that there were shortages of specialists in a variety of subject areas including French, and that districts had had to "relax [hiring] criteria for specialty positions because they could not get enough people with the requisite academic qualifications and additional preparation (p. 334)." This study did not survey all school districts in British Columbia but a representative sample • full, general teacher qualifications; • second language instruction education; and, • An acceptable level of French language competence. 22 b a s e d on district s ize and location. It would be useful to survey a larger s a m p l e of districts in order to ascertain whether or not the results would be the s a m e . Accord ing to Macfar lane and Hart (2002), sixty s e v e n percent (67%) of British C o l u m b i a schoo l districts had "many fewer than needed" F rench immers ion substitute teachers which constituted the province's greatest a rea of shortage in F rench immers ion. On ly o n e of nine schoo l districts reported having "about the right number" of F rench immers ion substitute teachers . O n e third (33%) of schoo l districts cited a fair level of difficulty in recruiting F rench immers ion teachers with adequate language skills. Sixty s e v e n percent (67%) of schoo l districts reported having c o m p r o m i s e d "a little" on the min imum expected level of F rench language skills for F rench immers ion teachers . W h a t remains unknown, however, is what the original min imum standard of F rench c o m p e t e n c e schoo l districts held before they c o m p r o m i s e d "a little." If the standards were very high, this c o m p r o m i s e might not be ser ious. If the s tandards were a lready low, this c o m p r o m i s e might be very ser ious. In a worst c a s e scenar io , in a schoo l district where F rench c o m p e t e n c e may not be c h e c k e d at all, it is conce ivab le that the degree of c o m p r o m i s e is unacceptably high. A recent article in the National Post (Brean, 2002) cited declining bil ingualism a m o n g Engl ish-speaking teenagers accord ing to newly re leased c e n s u s figures. T h e article cited a Statscan analyst as say ing, " B e c a u s e young people in Eng l ish- language prov inces general ly learn their F rench at schoo l , their waning bil ingualism might be due to a declining interest in F rench immers ion programs at schools , or to the lack of qualified teachers these programs currently face." Enro lment in F rench immers ion programs is, in fact, rising in British C o l u m b i a in spite of decl ining numbers in the overall student population (Canad ian Parents for F rench , 2001). T h e s e c o n d point, however, is an interesting statement. T o what degree are qualified teachers lacking? A n d what is the impact of the shortage of qualified teachers in immers ion? With the Macfar lane and Hart study showing that schoo l districts have already c o m p r o m i s e d "a little" and the national media citing these statistics, the F rench immers ion scenar io would benefit from a more accurate picture of what the actual s tandards of F rench c o m p e t e n c e are, how these standards are c h e c k e d , what F rench immers ion parents expect of 23 the program, whether parental expectat ions match the priorities of hiring authorities, whether parents find s o m e c o m p r o m i s e acceptable , and the extent of the F r e n c h immers ion teacher shortage. Furthermore, with ev idence of a teacher shortage in F rench immers ion already at hand, and the likelihood of a general teacher shortage in the future, it is probable that the F rench immers ion teacher shortage will worsen . Is the existence of a teacher shortage an acceptab le reason to lower expected qualifications for F rench immers ion teachers? If the F rench immers ion teacher shortage worsens , will not the temptation to hire unqualified teachers increase? If an unqualified teacher is hired a s a short-term solution to an urgent problem, his or her lack of qualifications may b e c o m e a long-term problem if the schoo l district is obligated to offer the teacher a long-term contract. 2.7 Entry versus continuing standards In a national research study conducted for C a n a d i a n Parents for French, Macfar lane and Hart (2002) surveyed a s a m p l e of schoo l districts in e a c h province and territory. In British Co lumbia , ten schoo l districts with F rench immers ion programs were surveyed . Accord ing to their study, eighty-six percent (86%) of British C o l u m b i a schoo l districts reported "new hires" a s their primary source of F rench immersion teachers . At this point of entry, teacher select ion dec is ions are general ly m a d e by the Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and, in larger districts, the human resources team. Although particular job titles may vary, I will henceforth refer to the person performing these duties a s the Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . O n c e an applicant has ga ined a c c e s s to the teacher-on-cal l list, the teacher is very likely to obtain permanent . employment in the district (Grimmett & Echo ls , 2000). In other words, long-term recruitment dec is ions are often m a d e when teachers are hired a s teachers-on-cal l , and it is therefore at this point of entry where judgments on teacher qualifications must be made . Accord ing to Macfar lane and Hart (2002), s o m e degree of c o m p r o m i s e has already occurred in the recruitment of F rench immers ion teachers . A n explanation for this m a y be that schoo l district hiring authorities may m a k e a distinction between entry s tandards and continuing standards. In other words, hiring authorities may have a lower set of s tandards for teachers at 24 the point of recruitment and expect that through in-service, they would improve their skills, and thus that continuing s tandards would be higher than entry standards. T h e r e is no c o n s e n s u s on whether the level of F rench proficiency of immers ion teachers improves or deteriorates while teaching. O n e might a s s u m e that a F rench immers ion teacher could improve his or her F rench proficiency while teaching F rench s ince he or s h e is using F rench on a daily basis . S o m e a c a d e m i c s argue the opposite, however, suggest ing that teaching F rench may actually have a negative impact on the teacher's level of F rench , "Although o n e might think that by teaching F rench all day, teachers are able to maintain their skills, unfortunately this is usually not the c a s e ... [T]hey are constantly e x p o s e d to mistakes m a d e by students which can , in time, have a negative effect on the teachers' own skills" (Flewelling, 1995, p. 26). Th is underscores the need to verify a prospect ive F rench immers ion teacher's level of F rench at the typical point of entry, being hired a s a new teacher to the teacher-on-cal l list at the schoo l district level. A n investigation of the hiring p rocess and of the responsibilities of the Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s m a y s h e d light on how the testing of F rench proficiency fits into the overall recruitment process . 2.8 Responsibilities of the Director of Human Resources "The select ion p rocess represents o n e of the quickest ways to initiate c h a n g e and improvement in the serv ices of a schoo l organization. Every v a c a n c y offers an opportunity to improve the quality and effect iveness of the organization's services." ( W e b b & Norton, 1999). If this statement is true, is its opposite a lso true? Is a poor select ion the quickest way to diminish the quality of a school 's serv ices or program? Publ ic schoo l districts in British C o l u m b i a must hire teachers with British C o l u m b i a teaching certificates or letters of permission. However, schoo l districts have the professional autonomy to dec ide whether or not particular appl icants are qualified for specif ic teaching ass ignments , including ass ignments in French immersion. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s can accept or reject the universities' s tandards of F rench c o m p e t e n c e a s m e a s u r e d by Test de Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC. After the universities and the B .C .C .T . , the 25 schoo l districts represent the last of three levels at which the F rench c o m p e t e n c e of F rench immers ion teacher candidates can be c h e c k e d before being hired to teach in a F rench immers ion c l ass room. T h e p e r m a n e n c e of recruitment dec is ions underscores their critical nature. T h e complex p rocess of selecting and hiring teachers is general ly conducted by a Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and staff in larger districts, or by the Super intendent of S c h o o l s him or herself in the smal ler schoo l districts of British Co lumb ia . Accord ing to W e b b and Norton (1999), H u m a n R e s o u r c e s Off icers generally perform the following duties prior to hiring teachers: • verify certification; • verify qualifications; • read official university transcripts; • call references; • perform background checks ; and • conduct pre-employment interviews. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s may look to course work a s an indicator of F rench proficiency. However, course work a lone may be a poor indicator of F rench l anguage proficiency. Accord ing to o n e study, students having completed similar degrees in F rench had significantly different o u t c o m e s on a test of F rench proficiency (Bayl iss & Vignola , 2000). If Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rely on test results cited in job applications, they would need to be familiar with the particularities of e a c h test and its corresponding p a s s level in order to correctly interpret the results. With F rench immersion teacher candidates being hired from other provinces and countries, it is unlikely that any o n e Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s could be familiar with F rench tests administered in all of these jurisdictions. A l though it would not be realistic to expect that Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s be familiar with all F rench c o m p e t e n c e tests for F rench immers ion teachers administered a c r o s s C a n a d a , s o m e Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s may be familiar with the pre-admiss ion test administered by British C o l u m b i a F rench immersion teacher educat ion programs, the Tesf de Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC. T h e rubric in T a b l e 1 would be a useful tool in determining whether or not Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s are in agreement with the p a s s levels set by the 26 universities. If they are not in agreement , it would be interesting to know whether schoo l district s tandards are higher or lower than those set by the universities. S c h o o l districts might administer their own oral and written tests of F rench c o m p e t e n c e . A recent job posting for a F rench immers ion teaching position retrieved on-line included the following, "The candidate must be completely fluent in F rench (written and oral): A written and oral test will be conducted to determine proficiency in French" (School District No. 60, 2003). Apart from anecdota l ev idence s u c h as the a b o v e job posting, to my knowledge, there is no literature document ing what measurement tools are used by British C o l u m b i a schoo l districts to verify F rench language skills of F rench immersion teachers , and whether or not these tools, if extant, are reliable, valid and used consistently. Accord ing to an article in H R F o c u s as cited in W e b b and Norton (1999), an astonishing 50% of job appl icants m a y have lied on their r e s u m e or job application at o n e time or another. In light of such est imates, schoo l districts would be irresponsible to rely on a candidate 's self-report a s an indicator of an acceptab le level of F rench language proficiency. With the carrot of a permanent c l ass room p lacement dangling in front of the prospect ive F rench immers ion teacher, o n e can easi ly imagine that a candidate would exaggerate or misrepresent her or his language abilities in order to s e c u r e a job. Gr immett and Echo l s (Grimmett & Echols , 2000) cite severa l reasons why teachers may be teaching subjects they are not fully qualified to teach, " [ respondents sugges ted that out-of-field teaching occurs b e c a u s e of legislated c h a n g e s and curriculum compress ion , and somet imes b e c a u s e teachers p r e s u m e they can teach subjects for which they are academica l ly unqualified" (p. 334). Fifteen years ago, Moel ler predicted that the. level of F rench proficiency would be def ined more clearly over time. "It is highly predictable that a s the g a p c loses between supply and d e m a n d of F S L teachers or a s boards of educat ion implement more stringent select ion criteria, there will be a more clearly defined criterion of proficiency assoc ia ted with var ious F S L teaching positions" (Moeller, 1988, p. 9). Yet, although s o m e universities have establ ished min imum 27 levels, there appears to be no uniform standard or practice amongs t universities or amongs t schoo l districts. T w o recent studies (Grimmett & Echo ls , 2000; Macfar lane & Hart, 2002) have conf i rmed that s o m e degree of F rench immers ion teacher shortage exists and that a degree of c o m p r o m i s e has occurred in s o m e schoo l districts. Is a time of shortage an appropriate time to d i scuss keeping s tandards high? Is this rather a time when boards would be more inclined to lower standards and c o m p r o m i s e given the current F rench immers ion teacher shor tages? "It must be acknowledged from an administrative point of view, that setting a min imum standard [of F rench proficiency] could be a problem in areas of C a n a d a that still have a paucity of adequate ly trained F rench teachers" (Moeller, 1988, p. 9). . A l though recent studies have shown that s o m e degree of c o m p r o m i s e has already taken place in the recruitment of F rench immers ion teachers, to my knowledge, the original expected level of F rench proficiency and the tools used by schoo l districts to verify this level have not been documente d . F rench immers ion parents, who are primarily ang lophones , m a y not have a level of F rench that allows them to m a k e their own informed determinations on the level of F rench of their children' teachers . Inadequate F rench language skills of immers ion teachers may therefore go unreported and unnoticed. Parents trust schoo l districts to m a k e appropriate dec is ions on F rench language proficiency. It would be interesting to know whether parents and schoo l districts are in agreement on the min imum expected level of F rench proficiency for the immers ion teacher. Furthermore, it would be interesting to know whether schoo l districts use reliable and valid tools to verify F rench proficiency. 2.9 Parental expectations K e y players in the French immersion program are parents, without w h o s e enthus iasm, enrolment figures would dwindle and the program would not continue to exist. T h e establ ishment of F rench immers ion has not e r a s e d the debate over the quality of F rench-as -a -second- language instruction. In 1963, F rench immers ion programs started in response to parental dissatisfaction with the level of F rench a s a s e c o n d language instruction in Q u e b e c . Parents were instrumental 28 in the inception of French immersion (Rebuffot, 1993), and they continue to keep the program alive. Yet are parental expectations being met? In what order of importance do parents of French immersion students rank the French language skills of their child's teacher compared to general teaching skills and personal characteristics? As far as we know, no literature exists regarding the level of French language competence parents expect of French immersion teachers. A Vector Poll surveyed 917 Canadian adults by telephone (Canadian Teachers' Federation, 1999). The poll found that 80% of Canadians were opposed to lowering standards of teacher qualifications or of university admissions to teacher education programs even to address a future shortage of teachers. Does this survey reflect the views of French immersion parents as well? 2.10 Summary and conclusion •> There are three levels at which a British Columbia French immersion teacher's level of French proficiency could potentially be evaluated prior to obtaining employment: first, at the university level where a comprehensive test is in place to screen pre-service teachers entering the French immersion stream; second, at the B.C.C.T. level where proof of French proficiency may or may not be required prior to obtaining a teaching certificate; and third, at the school district level where the tools used to verify applicants' French proficiency may or may not be documented. As outlined in Section 2.1, the low numbers of graduates from the French immersion stream of British Columbia pre-service teacher education programs cannot fill all of the new French immersion openings that arise each year due to factors such as retirements, leaves and career changes. Therefore, school districts must either hire education graduates trained in British Columbia but without French immersion specialization, or they must hire teachers from elsewhere to teach in French immersion. If the teachers have been trained in British Columbia but have not specialized in French immersion, they may or may not have the same level of French as is required by the French immersion pre-service education programs. If school districts hire teachers.from other provinces or countries, the level of French is also unknown. r 29 T h u s , if all job appl icants have not p a s s e d the Tesf de Competence Communicative de UBC et de SFU, the tool used by British C o l u m b i a F rench immersion teacher pre-service educat ion programs, then the schoo l districts must use other m e a n s to verify the appl icants' level of F rench . T o my knowledge, the tools used by schoo l districts in British C o l u m b i a to verify the F rench proficiency of immers ion teachers have not been documented in the literature. A c a d e m i c s have long e x p r e s s e d concern about the F rench immers ion teachers ' level of French , and s o m e have cai led for the-establishment of a national F rench test to set a universal minimum standard of F rench competence . W h a t remains unclear is whether or not they are justified in their concern . D o e s the sys tem of teacher educat ion, certification and recruitment have g a p s and inconsistencies in its policies and practice of verifying F rench competence , or is the F rench c o m p e t e n c e of immersion teachers c h e c k e d in a reliable and objective manner prior to recruitment? T h e B .C .C .T . policy of verifying Engl ish language skills and strong teaching skills (as documented through the pass ing of university c o u r s e s and practica) but the a b s e n c e of verification of F rench language skills suggests that F rench language skills m a y be less important than general teaching skills in the e y e s of this institution. W h a t is the relative importance of F rench language skills c o m p a r e d to the other skills and attributes of a F rench immers ion teacher? A r e teaching skills more important than French language skills a s sugges ted by B .C .C .T . policy? Is it acceptab le to hire s o m e o n e who is proficient in F rench but with less than satisfactory teaching skills or v ice v e r s a ? A teacher shortage in F r e n c h immers ion has been documented by recent studies. However , in this chapter, I have re-defined a teacher shortage b a s e d on numerical averages . Th is definition would be useful in gathering prec ise information on what proportion of British C o l u m b i a schoo l districts are facing a shortage of F rench immersion teachers . T h e s a m e study which d o c u m e n t e d a F rench immers ion teacher shortage a lso found that schoo l districts are accept ing s o m e degree of compromise when hiring F rench immers ion teachers . D o e s the ex istence of a teacher shortage in a particular schoo l district increase their wi l l ingness to lower 30 standards of F rench c o m p e t e n c e or to hire teachers without an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodo logy? Key stakeholders in the F rench immers ion program are parents, who keep the program alive by enrolling their children, and Directors of H u m a n Resources , who recruit F rench immers ion teachers . Do they share the s a m e priorities in the recruitment of F rench . immers ion teachers? D o e s o n e group have unrealistically high expectat ions of the level of F rench proficiency of F rench immers ion teachers? Is either group willing to lower s tandards in the face of a teacher shor tage? Al though there are many other stakeholders and dec is ion-makers in F rench immers ion including students, the government and the British C o l u m b i a Co l l ege of T e a c h e r s , this study will focus on compar ing the priorities of two stakeholder groups, parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s , to s e e if these priorities match. T h e s e i ssues have led to the following research quest ions. 1a. W h a t are the most sought-after characterist ics for a F rench immers ion teacher accord ing to Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in British C o l u m b i a ? 1b. W h a t are the most sought-after characteristics for a F rench immers ion teacher accord ing to parents in British C o l u m b i a ? 2a. W h i c h is of greater importance to Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in British Co lumbia : a F rench immers ion teacher's language skills or general teaching skil ls? 2b. W h i c h is of greater importance to parents in British Co lumbia : a F rench immers ion teacher's language skills or general teaching skil ls? 3. How severe is the British C o l u m b i a teacher shortage in F rench immers ion accord ing to Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ? 4 a . In what ways , if any, would Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in British C o l u m b i a be willing to modify their expectat ions of F rench immersion program recruitment practices during a shortage of F rench immersion teachers? 31 4b. In what ways, if any, would parents in British Columbia be willing to modify their expectations of French immersion program recruitment practices during a shortage of French immersion teachers? 5. What means do Directors of Human Resources employ to screen the French language skills of prospective French immersion teachers in British Columbia? 6. Is there a match or a mismatch between parental views and the views of British Columbia school district Directors of Human Resources on priorities in the recruitment of French immersion teachers? 32 Chapter 3: Research Method 3.1 Participants ' 3.1.1 Geographical areas I mailed surveys to every British C o l u m b i a schoo l district which had a F rench immers ion program. O n the survey, participants were a s k e d to indicate whether their district w a s 'metro,' 'urban' or 'rural.' However , given that these terms were not def ined numerical ly or in a glossary, and cons ider ing the possibility that the distinction between 'metro' and 'urban' may have therefore been amb iguous to s o m e participants, 'metro' and 'urban' districts were grouped under the heading of 'urban' in the results. 3.1.2 Directors of Human Resources T w o groups of participants were se lected for the present study. T h e first group of participants are persons in charge of hiring teachers, including F rench immers ion teachers, at the schoo l district level. In small schoo l districts, it is somet imes the Super intendent of S c h o o l s who hires teachers to the district. Other titles for persons carrying out this responsibility include H u m a n R e s o u r c e s Off icer or Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . A person performing the job of hiring or of oversee ing the hiring of F rench immersion teachers at the district level will be henceforth referred to as a Director of Human Resources. In order to obtain the names , titles and a d d r e s s e s of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s , and to find out whether or not e a c h district had a F rench immers ion program, I te lephoned e a c h schoo l board office in British Co lumbia . T h e Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in schoo l districts offering F rench immers ion programs e a c h b e c a m e prospect ive participants in our study and were e a c h mailed a questionnaire, a letter of explanation, a letter of consent , and a se l f -addressed , s t a m p e d envelope. 33 3.1.3 Parents T h e s e c o n d group of participants in this study were parents of F rench immers ion students in British Co lumb ia . In order to protect.the anonymity of participants and to get a broad geographica l representation, the surveys were sent out by C a n a d i a n Parents for F rench . T h e participants' affiliation with C a n a d i a n Parents for F rench may m e a n that these parents are a m o n g the strongest and most voca l supporters of F rench immersion. O n e might therefore quest ion whether or not it was appropriate to survey this group of parents a s their support of the program may be stronger than that of other F rench immers ion parents. However, the present study did not ask the participants to rate the quality of the program or to state their level of satisfaction with the program. Instead, participants were a s k e d to rank priorities and indicate their expectat ions with regard to hiring pract ices for this program. Therefore, a lthough this group may not be representative of other F rench immers ion parents in every way b e c a u s e they are particularly voca l in their support of the program, I do not bel ieve their r e s p o n s e s and priorities a s pertaining to the quest ions p o s e d in this study would differ from those of other F r e n c h immers ion parents. Logistically, it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to obtain the n a m e s and a d d r e s s e s of F rench immers ion parents from ac ross the province from individual schoo l districts or another source . Forty six (46) surveys were sent to C a n a d i a n Parents for F rench Chapte r Representat ives, forty four (44) were sent to de legates at the recent C a n a d i a n Parents for F rench convention, and ten (10) were sent randomly to other m e m b e r s of C a n a d i a n Parents for F rench to ensure regional ba lance. A total of 100 surveys were sent to F rench immers ion parents in British Co lumbia . E a c h parent w a s mailed a questionnaire, a letter of explanation, a letter of consent , and a se l f -addressed s t a m p e d enve lope . 34 3.2 Procedures 3.2.1 Questionnaire Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and F rench immers ion parents were mailed an enve lope containing an explanation of the study (Appendix A), a file copy of the letter of consent (Appendix B), a copy of the letter of consent to be returned, the survey (see A p p e n d i c e s C and D) and a se l f -addressed, s t a m p e d enve lope . O n S e p t e m b e r 2 0 t h 2002, the survey w a s mailed out to e a c h Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in a F rench immers ion schoo l district for the first time. O n January 2, 2003, a s e c o n d survey w a s sent to e a c h Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . T h e parent surveys were mai led out on D e c e m b e r 19 t h , 2002 by the C a n a d i a n Parents for F rench . 3.2.2 Response rates In total, 28 out of 44 surveys that were mailed out to British C o l u m b i a schoo l district Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were returned, for a r e s p o n s e rate of sixty-four percent (64%). O f the 100 surveys that were mailed to parents, 48 were returned (48%). 3.2.3 Semi-structured interviews A m o n g the Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s who responded to the questionnaire, thirteen (13) respondents indicated that they would be willing to participate in a further 1 0 - 1 5 minute interview. Four (4) Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were interviewed by te lephone or in person. I attempted to contact all thirteen respondents who indicated that they were willing to be interviewed. I w a s able to contact only four of these respondents A m o n g the parents who responded to the questionnaire, seventeen (17) respondents indicated that they would be willing to participate in a further 1 0 - 1 5 minute interview. However , I w a s able to obtain interviews with only three (3) of them were interviewed by te lephone. D u e to constraints of time and money, I w a s limited to calling respondents during Spr ing Break which may explain the low r e s p o n s e rate for the interviews. 35 T h e interview quest ions were entirely b a s e d on r e s p o n s e s to the quest ionnaire. Further clarification and explanat ions of the survey r e s p o n s e s were sought during the interviews. N o new topics were broached during the interviews. However, respondents somet imes offered c o m m e n t s beyond what w a s elicited. All respondents who indicated on the survey that they would be willing to be contacted for an interview were cal led in March , 2003. 3.3 Measures 3.3.1 Description of questions In the survey sent out to Directors pf H u m a n R e s o u r c e s , w e used three (3) yes or no quest ions, five (5) multiple cho ice quest ions, nine (9) seven-point s ca le quest ions, o n e (1) ranking question, and two (2) o p e n - e n d e d quest ions. T h e full quest ionnaire may be found in Append ix C . T h e s a m e quest ionnaire w a s sent to F rench immersion parents except for the omiss ion of Sect ion E which could only be answered by directors of human resources . In the survey sent out to parents, w e used o n e (1) yes or no question, three (3) multiple cho ice quest ions, nine (9) seven-point Likert sca le quest ions, one (1) ranking quest ion, and o n e (1) o p e n - e n d e d quest ion ( S e e Append ix D). Sect ion A elicited demograph ic information from the respondents . Sect ion B a s k e d respondents to rate the desirability of prospect ive F rench immers ion teacher cand idates accord ing to their first language status, training, and, for f rancophones , p lace of origin. R e s p o n d e n t s were a lso a s k e d whether or not it w a s acceptab le to lower s tandards in the event of a teacher shortage. Sect ion C a s k e d respondents to rank nine skills and attributes in order of importance for prospect ive F rench immers ion teacher candidates . T h e skills and attributes include language skills, teaching skills, personal qualities and knowledge of f rancophone culture. Sect ion D a s k e d respondents to identify the minimum level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e they expect for F rench immers ion teachers by choos ing o n e of five descriptors. Sect ion E, included in the Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s survey only, elicited information on the supply of F rench stream and Engl ish stream teachers in the schoo l district. Th is section a lso a s k e d respondents to 36 descr ibe how F rench language c o m p e t e n c e is m e a s u r e d in the schoo l district. Sect ion F, included in both parents' and Directors of H u m a n Resources ' surveys, al lowed respondents to write any further c o m m e n t s regarding priorities in the recruitment of F rench immersion teachers in British Co lumbia . 3.3.2 Research questions and the questionnaire T a b l e 4 shows how e a c h of the quest ions on the quest ionnaire relates to the research quest ions. 37 T a b l e 4 C o r r e s p o n d e n c e of R e s e a r c h Quest ions to Quest ionnaire R e s e a r c h Quest ions Cor respond ing Survey Ques t ions 1. W h a t are the most sought-after qualities for a Sect ion B, quest ions 1 - 6 F rench immers ion teacher accord ing to Directors of Sect ion C H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and parents in British C o l u m b i a ? Sect ion D 2. W h i c h is of greater importance to Directors of Sect ion C H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and parents in British Co lumbia : a F rench immers ion teacher 's language skills or general teaching skil ls? 3. In what ways , if any, are Directors of H u m a n Sect ion B, quest ions 7 - 9 R e s o u r c e s and parents in British C o l u m b i a willing to modify their expectat ions of the F rench immers ion program recruitment practices given the current shortage of F rench immers ion teachers? 4. W h a t m e a n s to Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s Sect ion E, quest ions 3 - 4 employ to s c r e e n the F rench language skills of prospect ive F r e n c h immers ion teachers in British C o l u m b i a ? 5. W h a t m e a n s to Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s Sect ion E, quest ions 1 - 2 employ to s c r e e n the F rench language skills of prospect ive F rench immersion teachers in British C o l u m b i a ? 6. Is there a match or a mismatch between parental Sect ion B; Sect ion C; Sect ion D v iews and the v iews of British C o l u m b i a schoo l district Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s on priorities in the recruitment of F rench immersion teachers? 38 3.3.3 Interview questions and the questionnaire Cand ida tes willing to be interviewed were a s k e d s o m e or all of the following quest ions which were b a s e d on trends in the data. If their answers matched the trend in the data, the following quest ions were a s k e d , Occas ional ly , if their r esponse w a s opposite to the trend in the data, further information w a s also elicited. All of the interview quest ions were b a s e d on table 5. However , respondents som e t im e s offered further c o m m e n t s beyond what w a s elicited. T a b l e 5 Semi-structured Interview Quest ions T rend in data Clarifying quest ion Parental preference for bilingual f rancophones Cou ld you offer insights as to why bilingual over bilingual ang lophones a s F rench f rancophones would be preferred as F rench immers ion teachers immers ion teachers? Pre ference for F rench immers ion teacher candidates from Q u e b e c over o n e s from F r a n c e C o u l d you offer insights a s to why teacher candidates from Q u e b e c would be preferred over ones from F r a n c e ? Mixed r e s p o n s e in desirability of hiring graduates of F rench C o r e stream.of university pre-service programs A r e you familiar with the F rench proficiency test administered by British C o l u m b i a teacher training p r o g r a m s ? If yes, do you think the pass levels are too high? Favourab le r e s p o n s e toward requiring F rench immers ion teachers to complete extra course work if s tandards are lowered What kind of c o u r s e s should they be required to take? How do you s e e this being implemented? Supp ly of F rench immers ion teachers D o you cons ider your schoo l district to be exper iencing a F rench immers ion teacher shortage? (to s e e if their judgment cor responded to the definition presented in chapter two) 39 3.4 Coding 3.4.1 Questionnaire Numerical values were assigned to most questions. For yes or no questions, 'yes' responses were assigned a value of one (1), and 'no' responses were assigned a value of zero (0). Multiple choice questions were coded according to the number of possible responses. Question A3 had three possible responses. The responses were assigned a value of one (1), two (2) or three (3). For the two questions A2 and D, which had five possible responses, a value of one (1) to five (5) was assigned. Responses to questions with seven possible responses were assigned values from 'strongly disagree,' one (1) to 'strongly agree,' seven (7). All seven-point scale questions, except E1 and E2, had a neutral mid-point with a value of four (4). In questions B1 - B6 and B9, a response of 'strongly agree' was assigned a value of seven (7) and a response of 'strongly disagree' was assigned a value of one (1). The numerical assignments for B7 and B8 were inverted with 'strongly agree' having an assigned value of one (1), and 'strongly disagree' having an assigned value of seven (7) because the questions were negatively worded. In E1 and E2, specific descriptors were included on the scale to describe teacher supply. The greatest supply was assigned a value of seven (7), and the greatest shortage was assigned a value of one (1). In the ranking question, C, respondents were asked to rank skills and qualities in order of importance with one (1) being the most important and nine (9) being the least important. For the ranking question, the assigned values were the reverse of the rankings so that the most important attribute became (9) and the least important, one (1), in order to increase clarity in discussing these numbers. In the open-ended question E3, an exhaustive bank was made of all reported methods used to check the level of French competence of French immersion teacher candidates described by the respondents. For each method, a one (1) was assigned if the method was used in that 40 schoo l district and a zero (0) w a s ass igned if the method was not listed. T h e anecdota l r e s p o n s e s to o p e n - e n d e d quest ion F were typed out in full. T h e coding of the parent quest ionnaire was identical to the coding of the Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s survey b e c a u s e the quest ionnaires themse lves were identical except for the omiss ion of quest ions E1 , E2 , E 3 and E 4 from the parent quest ionnaire a s these quest ions were appl icable only to Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . Ques t ions E1 , E2 , E 3 and E 4 elicited schoo l district statistics on the supply of teachers and a description of the methods used to s c reen language c o m p e t e n c e . 3.4.2 Interv iews W h e n contacted by te lephone for the interview, respondents were a s k e d if they would be willing to be tape recorded to facilitate note-taking. In face-to-face interviews, notes were hand-written without recording. B e c a u s e quest ions were entirely b a s e d on trends found in the data, r e s p o n s e s were categor ized accord ing to their re levance to e a c h research quest ion. Ques t ions sought to elicit further clarification of r e s p o n s e s to survey quest ions. 3.5 Analysis All c o d e d data were entered into an Exce l file and transferred to S P S S for analys is . First, descriptive statistics for r e s p o n s e s to all quest ions (except for o p e n - e n d e d quest ions) from all respondents were calculated including: the mean , standard deviation, the range and the percentage of respondents selecting e a c h response . M e a n s were c o m p a r e d a c r o s s groups using paired t-tests. Quotat ions from o p e n - e n d e d c o m m e n t s on the survey and interviews were organized by their re levance to e a c h research quest ion. Quotat ions could somet imes be further categor ized by sub-topic within the quest ion. For example , quotations address ing the quest ion of F rench immers ion teacher supply were grouped into two preliminary categories: quotations from respondents in districts citing a F rench immers ion teacher shortage, and quotations from respondents in districts citing an adequate supply of F rench immers ion teachers . 42 C h a p t e r 4: R e s u l t s a n d D i s c u s s i o n T h e purpose of Chapter Four is to present demograph i c information about the respondents , and then summar i ze and d i scuss the r e s p o n s e s from the quest ionnaires and the interviews in the order of the research quest ions. 4.1 Respondent Demographics In this sect ion, I will present and d i scuss the response rates, the degree of F rench language proficiency of respondents, the urban or rural distribution of respondents and the percentage of respondents having currently or formerly enrol led their children in F rench immersion. 4.1.1 R e s p o n s e ra tes Twenty eight of forty four schoo l districts returned the surveys for a r e s p o n s e rate of sixty four percent (64%). Forty eight of one hundred parents returned the surveys for a response rate of forty eight percent (48%). Most respondents in both groups descr ibed their level of F rench a s beginner or s e m i -fluent. O n a five-point sca le , Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s indicated a slightly higher level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e (M = 2.08, S D = .452) than did parents (M = 1.63, S D = .951). ( S e e Figure 1)-43 1 0 0 n 9 0 -8 0 -7 0 -UO 6 0 -CO c CP 5 0 -y CL 4 0 -3 0 -2 0 -1 0 -0 -S Directors of Human Resources • Parents Figure 1. Parents' and Directors of H u m a n Resources ' level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e b a s e d on a five point sca le A s d i s c u s s e d in Sect ion 3.1.1., urban and metro schoo l districts were grouped together a s 'urban.' Sixty four percent (64%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s surveys and sixty nine percent (69%) of parent surveys were returned by urban districts. Thirty six percent (36%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s surveys and thirty o n e percent (31%) of parent surveys were returned by rural districts. Twenty s e v e n percent (27%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s had currently or formerly enrol led their children in F rench immersion. 4.1.2 D i s c u s s i o n O n e explanation for the lower response rate from the parent group m a y be that they were mailed the survey only once , and the survey w a s mai led at Chr i s tmas which m a y have b e e n a particularly busy time. T w o mail-outs were d o n e for the Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s group. 44 S u r v e y s were received from all geographica l a reas of the province (the North, V a n c o u v e r Island, the Lower Main land, the Interior, etc.) showing a broad geographica l representation of the province. 4.2 Research question 1 What are the most sought-after characteristics for a French immersion teacher according to Directors of Human Resources in British Columbia? What are the most sought-after characteristics for a French immersion teacher according to parents in British Columbia? In this sect ion, I will d i s cuss the desirability of hiring F rench immers ion teacher cand idates accord ing to their first language status, formal qualifications and level of F rench proficiency, and for f rancophones , p lace of origin. I will then c o m p a r e the preferences and priorities of parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . For e a c h characteristic, I will first s u m m a r i z e the results and then d i scuss the findings. In this sect ion and in sect ion 4.5, r e s p o n s e s were given on a s e v e n point scale , and have been calculated in three ways . In the first method, the m e a n s c o r e s and standard deviation were calculated. In the s e c o n d method, the percentage of respondents who se lected e a c h of the s e v e n points is given. In the third method, a method which I invented and have cal led the Co l laps ing Method, I have co l lapsed the upper end of the spectrum (strongly agree, agree, somewhat agree) to calculate the percentage of respondents express ing a d e g r e e of agreement with the statement, and have cal led this Upper E n d Co l laps ing . I have a lso co l lapsed the lower end of the spectrum (strongly d isagree, d isagree, somewhat disagree) to calculate the percentage of respondents express ing a degree of d isagreement with the statement, and have cal led this Lower E n d Co l laps ing . Neutral r e s p o n s e s have a lways b e e n calculated separately even when Upper E n d Co l laps ing and Lower E n d Co l laps ing percentages have been calculated (see T a b l e 6). 45 T a b l e 6 T h e Co l laps ing Method 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree Upper E n d Co l laps ing Percentage Lower E n d Co l laps ing Percentage 4.2.1 F i rs t l a n g u a g e s t a t u s T h e two demograph i c snapshots of F rench immersion teachers and anecdota l ev idence cited in chapter two, sugges t a reversing trend in the first language status of F rench immersion teachers s ince the program w a s first establ ished. W h e r e a s the number of f rancophone teachers used to be greater, the number of ang lophone French immers ion teachers a p p e a r s to be increasing. R e s p o n d e n t s were a s k e d whether or not they agreed with the assert ion that bilingual f rancophones were more desirable F rench immers ion teacher cand idates than bilingual ang lophones . 4.2.1.1 Results of survey W h e n a s k e d if bilingual f rancophones were more desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates than bilingual ang lophones , a majority of respondents in both groups agreed with this statement. O n a s e v e n point scale , parents tended be more in agreement with this statement (M = 4.93, S D = 1.51) than were Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M = 4.41, S D = 1.42) although the groups were not h o m o g e n e o u s in their responses . Us ing the Co l laps ing Method, seventy four percent (74%) of parents and fifty nine percent (59%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s agreed that bilingual f rancophones were more desirable than bilingual ang lophones . Six percent (6%) of parents and nineteen percent (19%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were neutral. T w e n t y percent (20%) of parents and twenty two percent (22%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s e x p r e s s e d a degree of d i sagreement with this assert ion (see Figure. 2). 46 1001 9 0 -8 0 -7 0 -6 0 -•OD CO c 03 5 0 -£ CD Q- 4 0 -3 0 -2 0 -1 0 -0 ->, CD tub 2? p CD 10 P=7I 1:: i s Directors of Human Resources • Parents CD tub CD b CD m | P £ o co no CD 3 CD CD E o CO CD 2> •OD CD CD E tuO < I 0) tuO CD tuO c 2 tn Figure 2 ; Parents ' and Directors of H u m a n Resources ' degrees of agreement on a s e v e n point s ca le with the assert ion that bilingual f rancophones are more desirable F rench immersion teacher cand idates than bilingual ang lophones . 4.2.1.2 Results of interviews and anecdotal comments In the semi-structured interviews, respondents who indicated on the survey, that they preferred f rancophone teachers had difficulty articulating why they thought bilingual f rancophones were better F rench immers ion teacher candidates than bilingual ang lophones . However, Parent 1 w a s able to articulate a concrete example , "Pronunciat ion. Peop le are a lways compl iment ing my s o n on his impeccab le pronunciation. That g ives m e great pride a s a parent and m a k e s him feel very conf ident . . . I think it w a s the f rancophone teachers who were able to pick up on [correcting pronunciation]. I really have no problems with bilingual ang lophones a s well." 47 All of the survey quest ions al luded to bilingual ang lophones and bilingual f rancophones . In order to limit the s c o p e of the d iscuss ion, the issue of whether it w a s preferable to have unilingual or bilingual F rench immersion teachers was not b roached . A l though this issue was not raised, s o m e parents quest ioned the necess i ty of having bilingual teachers (as both f rancophones and ang lophones in the quest ionnaire were specif ied a s being bilingual). "I don't bel ieve Engl ish is n e c e s s a r y after G r a d e 1. W e can use a translator for parent-teacher con fe rences if necessary ," wrote Parent 6. "A F rench immers ion teacher doesn't have to be bilingual a s long a s he or s h e is f rancophone; it could be difficult in the beginning, but the students would adjust quickly. Th i s way communicat ing in F rench is not an option anymore, it is a must," wrote Parent 36. A n d again, although the issue w a s not raised by the interviewer in the te lephone interview, a parent offered this c o m m e n t on the need for Engl ish language proficiency, " S o m e of the teachers n e e d to have a certain level of proficiency in Engl ish. If you've got a teacher who s p e a k s great F rench but can't clarify for younger students or late immers ion students clearly in Engl ish then it c reates a conflict," said Parent 25. 4.2.2 Bilingual francophones by place of origin and bilingual anglophones T h e results of the survey pertaining to ratings of bilingual f rancophones by place of origin, bilingual ang lophones and teachers with varying educat ional backgrounds a s F r e n c h immers ion teacher cand idates are s u m m a r i z e d in F igures 3 and 4, and T a b l e s 7 and 8. T h e s e F igures and T a b l e s will be followed by an elaboration and d iscuss ion of these findings. 48 CD U O CO -t-» c 03 ££ CD C L . 100 90 80 70 60-| 50 40 E! Directors of Human Resources • Parents uo 2? C U O P CO £; co c/3 s in Figure 3. Desirability of hiring graduates from the F rench C o r e stream of a British C o l u m b i a teacher pre-service program on a s e v e n point sca le . F igure 4. Desirability of hiring graduates from the F rench C o r e stream of a British C o l u m b i a teacher pre-service program using the Co l laps ing Method . T a b l e 7 M e a n Rat ings of F rench Immersion T e a c h e r Cand ida tes by First L a n g u a g e Status, Formal Educat ion and for Bilingual F rancophones , P l a c e of Origin Parents M e a n rating Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s M e a n rating F r a n c o p h o n e s from Q u e b e c 6.24 Graduates from university pre-serv ice F rench immers ion program 6.19 Graduates from pre-service university F r e n c h immers ion program 5.87 Bilingual ang lophones 6.11 Bilingual ang lophones 5.72 F r a n c o p h o n e s from Q u e b e c 5.7 F r a n c o p h o n e s from F r a n c e 5.37 F r a n c o p h o n e s from F r a n c e 4.89 Graduates from pre-service 4.17 Graduates from university pre- 4 university F rench C o r e program service F rench C o r e program 50 T a b l e 8 Rat ings of F rench Immersion T e a c h e r Cand ida tes by First L a n g u a g e Status, Fo rma l Educat ion and for F r a n c o p h o n e s , P l a c e of Origin, Us ing the Co l laps ing Method Upper E n d Co l laps ing Percentage Neutral Pe rcentage Lower E n d Co l laps ing Percentage Dir. of H.R. parents! Dir. of H.R. l a reh ts l Dir. of H.R. Parents' ... from Q u e b e c 85% [91% 11% M 4% M ... from F r a n c e 56% f i l l ! 22% 22% Bilingual ang lophone 96% 87%; 4% flfi:%' 0% French immers ion stream graduate 96% ]B99<J 4% 0% n French C o r e s t ream graduate 4 1 % km 15% 20% J 44% ;32%^ 4.2.2.1 Results of survey R e s p o n d e n t s were a s k e d in separate quest ions to rate the desirability of bilingual f rancophones from Q u e b e c , bilingual f rancophones from F r a n c e and bilingual ang lophones a s F rench immers ion teacher candidates . R e s p o n d e n t s could have rated all cand idates a s equal ly desirable or undesirable on the s e v e n point sca le provided for these quest ions. W h e n compar ing the r e s p o n s e s to these quest ions, both groups rated bilingual f rancophones from Q u e b e c a s more desirable than bilingual f rancophones from France . O n a s e v e n point sca le , parents rated bilingual f rancophones from Q u e b e c (M = 6.24, S D = .94) more highly than did Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M = 5.7, S D = 1.20). Us ing the Co l laps ing Method, ninety o n e percent (91%) of parents and eighty five percent (85%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s agreed that teachers 51 from Q u e b e c were desirable teacher candidates . E leven percent (11 %) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and nine percent (9%) of parents were neutral. Four percent (4%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s felt that f rancophones from Q u e b e c were undesirable F rench immers ion teacher cand idates and none of the parents shared this view. A majority of respondents in both groups felt that bilingual f rancophones from F rance were desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates . O n a s e v e n point scale , parents rated bilingual f rancophones from F rance (M = 5.37, S D = 1.49) more highly than did Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M = 4.89, S D = 1.76). Us ing the Co l laps ing Method, fifty six percent (56%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and seventy four percent (74%) of parents agreed that bilingual f rancophones from F r a n c e were desirable F rench immersion teacher candidates . O n e fifth of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (22%) and thirteen percent (13%) of parents were neutral. Another o n e fifth (22%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s felt that bilingual f rancophones from F r a n c e were undesirable F rench immersion teacher candidates and thirteen percent (13%) of parents shared this view. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rated bilingual ang lophones more highly (M = 6.11, S D = .75) and h o m o g e n e o u s l y than did the parent group (M = 5.72, S D = 1.06) on a s e v e n point sca le . However , both groups were overwhelmingly in agreement that bilingual ang lophones were desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates . Us ing the Co l laps ing Method, ninety six percent (96%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and eighty s e v e n percent of parents (87%) stated that bilingual ang lophones were desirable F rench immersion teacher candidates . Four percent (4%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and e leven percent of parents (11%) were neutral. N o n e of the Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and only two percent (2%) of parents felt that bilingual ang lophones were undesirable teacher candidates . 52 4.2.2.2 Results of interviews and anecdotal comments B e c a u s e of the tendency to prefer F rench immers ion candidates from Q u e b e c over o n e s from France , a s a m p l e of respondents from both groups who e x p r e s s e d this preference were a s k e d why they thought teacher candidates from Q u e b e c were more desirable. "My priority is to hire local from C a n a d a . If there is a shortage, I have no problems hiring from overseas . T e a c h e r s from C a n a d a know our curriculum. T h e y know our culture," said Parent 25. "There is a difference between the F rench s p o k e n in F r a n c e and F rench C a n a d i a n . That difference is confusing for students especial ly when many of the teachers they have are from Q u e b e c or have learned the F rench C a n a d i a n . It's a dialect thing I s u p p o s e . W h e n a student's trying to achieve, it's confusing if it doesn't sound right or look right," said Parent 40. "Culturally, it's the s a m e country so it's a bit easier. A l so , retention. S o m e t i m e s , it's eas ier to retain teachers from Q u e b e c . ... Their methods of teaching and strategies would be c loser if they're from the s a m e country. T h e y don't have to be from Q u e b e c . I would prefer to hire a teacher from C a n a d a - anywhere in C a n a d a where there are pockets of French: Alberta, New Brunswick - over a teacher from Europe . T h e y are more likely to stay. Ideally, it is best to get teachers from B.C. T h e y will stay," said Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 7. "The d isadvantage of hiring anyone from out of province, not just f rancophones , is the acculturation process . Labour relations and the teaching environment here are different - not better or worse, just different. Parents are more involved," said Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 30. W h e n quest ioned on why they rated French immersion teacher cand idates from Q u e b e c more highly than o n e s from France , Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s cited cultural reasons and teaching methods. First, teacher candidates from Q u e b e c were said to be more familiar with British Co lumbia 's culture thus perhaps increasing their level of comfort and reducing the number of misunderstandings . S o m e Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s specif ied that the familiarity with the culture would apply to any C a n a d i a n teacher candidate over o n e from Europe . S e c o n d , familiarity with teaching methods implies that what is taught in local teacher training programs 53 m a y better reflect what is cons idered in British C o l u m b i a schoo ls to be 'best practice' over methods that may be taught e lsewhere. Overal l , parents tended to rate bilingual f rancophone F rench immers ion teacher candidates more highly than did Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . Bilingual f rancophones from Q u e b e c were ranked most highly using the Upward Co l laps ing Method and w h e n compar ing m e a n ratings. In follow-up interviews, the reasons given for this parental preference included: f rancophone teachers ' perce ived ability to correct pronunciation, f rancophone teachers ' knowledge of F rench culture and superior linguistic abilities. T h e hiring authorities who were interviewed sa id that teachers from British C o l u m b i a were eas ier to retain than teachers from other provinces. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s highlighted the advantages of local teachers ' familiarity with the British C o l u m b i a schoo l sys tem and culture. O n e respondent mentioned that F rench immers ion parents in British C o l u m b i a m a y be more involved than parents from other provinces and programs, and that this cou ld be a source of stress for teachers . . Parents preferred bilingual f rancophones a s F rench immers ion teacher cand idates over bilingual ang lophones , although they were willing to accept bilingual ang lophone teachers a s well. 4.2.3 F o r m a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s 4.2.3.1 Results of survey Both groups were general ly in agreement that a graduate from the F rench immers ion stream of a university pre-service teacher educat ion program w a s a desirable F rench immers ion candidate. Us ing the Co l laps ing Method, ninety six percent (96%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and eighty nine percent (89%) of parents agreed with this statement. Four percent (4%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and nine percent (9%) of parents were neutral. N o n e of the Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and only two percent (2%) of parents thought graduates from the F rench immers ion stream were undesirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates . O n a s e v e n point scale , the Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s group rated the desirability of hiring graduates from the F rench immersion stream of teacher pre-service educat ion programs more 54 highly and responded more h o m o g e n e o u s l y (M = 6.19, S D = .83) than did the parent group (M_ = 5.87, S D = 1.02). T h e r e w a s no c o n s e n s u s within either group on the desirability of hiring a graduate from the F rench C o r e stream of a university pre-service teacher educat ion program. O n a s e v e n point scale, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rated French C o r e stream graduates a s slightly less desirable (M = 4.0, S D = 1.59) than did parents (M = 4.17, S D = 1.51), (see F igure 3). Us ing the Col laps ing Method, forty o n e percent (41%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and forty eight percent (48%) of parents felt that F rench C o r e stream graduates were desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates . Fifteen percent (15%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and twenty percent (20%) of parents were neutral. Forty four percent (44%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and thirty three percent (33%) of parents felt that F rench C o r e stream graduates were undesirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates (see Figure 4). Both groups preferred graduates from the F rench immers ion stream of the pre-service teacher educat ion programs over graduates from the F rench C o r e stream. 4.2.3.2 Results of interviews and anecdotal comments T h e s a m p l e of respondents who were interviewed said they were not familiar with the U .B .C . and S .F .U ' s test of F rench proficiency. However, the respondents ' degree of familiarity with the test w a s not a s k e d in the survey and the s a m p l e of respondents interviewed on this quest ion w a s too smal l to represent the entire respondent group. Other i ssues around formal qualifications were,ra ised by parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . "At my son's schoo l there is a teacher from Q u e b e c who found it very chal lenging to meet all the B.C. requirements, although s h e is fully qualified in Q u e b e c , " wrote Parent 37. "Standardized teaching requirements ac ross C a n a d a would allow teachers to m o v e freely between provinces," wrote Parent 32. "We must be careful not to lower our standards too m u c h in regards to quality teachers , s imply in order to get a body in that c l ass room to teach the students. Yet, I'm sure there are 55 s o m e requirements we could loosen up on to attract more out of province or out of country f rancophone teachers," wrote Parent 1. "Let's have the Co l lege of T e a c h e r s be a bit more flexible in their requirements for full certification," wrote Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 2. 4.2.4 L e v e l o f F r e n c h p r o f i c i e n c y R e s p o n d e n t s were a s k e d to indicate the minimum level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e that they expect of a F r e n c h immers ion teacher on a five point s ca le which co r responds to p a s s and failure levels of the Test de Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC a s descr ibed in Chapter T w o (see T a b l e 1). 4.2.4.1 Results of survey W h e n provided a rubric of levels of F rench language competence , both groups were in agreement that F rench immers ion teachers should have a high level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e . Most respondents c h o s e level four or five a s the min imum acceptab le level of F r e n c h competence . R e s p o n s e s from both groups were similar and h o m o g e n e o u s . O n this five point scale , the parent group had a slightly higher m e a n score (M = 4.43, S D = .54) than did the Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s group (M = 4.33, S D = .55). Thirty s e v e n percent (37%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and forty six percent (46%) of parents expect a min imum of a level 5 of F rench proficiency. Fifty nine percent (59%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and fifty two percent (52%) of parents expect a minimum of a level 4. Four percent (4%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and two percent (2%) of parents expect a min imum of a level 3. N o n e of the respondents c h o s e levels 1 or 2 as acceptab le min imum levels of F rench proficiency (see Figure 5). 56 S Directors of Human Resources • Parents Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Figure 5. M in imum level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e of a F rench immers ion teacher expected by parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s based on a five point rubric. 4.2.4.2 Results of interviews and anecdotal comments "[M]y F r e n c h c a m e from ang lophones (barely competent) w h o s e pronunciation w a s poor. It's important that teachers be fluent. Otherwise it's frustrating for students," wrote Parent 16. "The fact of excellent c o m p e t e n c y in Engl ish and F rench is a 'given,'" wrote Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 1. Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 7 sugges ted that there should be no screen ing p rocess for those who wish to teach F rench C o r e b e c a u s e it is a required part of the curriculum, thus all e lementary teachers should be prepared for it, "All e lementary pre-service teachers should have to take c o u r s e s on how to teach F rench as a S e c o n d L a n g u a g e b e c a u s e they all have to teach it. I phone them, 'Could you teach F S L ? ' 'No.'" 4.2.5 S u m m a r y o f r e s u l t s f o r r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n 1 R e s p o n d e n t s were not a s k e d to rank the desirability of hiring different F rench immers ion teacher candidates , but rather to rate e a c h candidate in separate quest ions. R e s p o n d e n t s could therefore have given all candidates equal ratings on the seven-point s ca les provided. W h e n compar ing the m e a n ratings of F rench immersion teacher candidates by parents, they rated 57 f rancophones from Q u e b e c most highly F rench immersion teacher candidates, followed by pre-serv ice F rench immers ion stream graduates, bilingual ang lophones , f rancophones from France , and finally, pre-service F rench C o r e stream graduates. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rated pre-serv ice F rench immers ion stream graduates most highly, fol lowed by bilingual ang lophones , f rancophones from Q u e b e c , f rancophones from F r a n c e and finally, pre-service F rench C o r e stream graduates (see T a b l e s 7 and 8 ) . T a b l e 8 and F igure 6 both c o m p a r e the r e s p o n s e s of parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s on the desirability of hiring var ious F rench immers ion teacher candidates . In T a b l e 8, m e a n ratings are given. In Figure 6, the Upward Co l laps ing Method w a s used to calculate degrees of agreement with the desirability of hiring var ious F rench immers ion teacher candidates . In this instance, the advantage of the Col lapsing. Method may be that it is very quick to interpret at a g lance without requiring the reader to b e c o m e a s familiar with the seven-point sca le used for the quest ion. T h e Co l laps ing Method a lso gives us a general idea of the range of responses , although simplified into a three-point sca le . T h e m e a n score and standard deviation are more specif ic than the Co l laps ing Method percentages, but require greater familiarity with the quest ion and the sca le u s e d . 58 • Directors of Human Resources F r a n c o p h o n e s F r a n c o p h o n e s B i l i ngua l F r e n c h F r e n c h C o r e f r o m Q u e b e c f r o m F r a n c e a n g l o p h o n e s i m m e r s i o n s t r e a m s t r e a m g r a d u a t e s g r a d u a t e s Figure 6. Us ing the Upward Co l laps ing Method, a compar i son of the percentages of parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in agreement with the desirability of hiring F rench immersion teacher cand idates by first language status, formal educat ion and for f rancophones , place of origin. Not surprisingly, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rated F rench immers ion teacher candidates with full, formal qualifications most highly, namely university pre-service F rench immers ion graduates . T h e s e graduates are ang lophones or f rancophones with a level 4 or higher of F rench language proficiency and with an educat ional background in s e c o n d language instruction methodology. Parents rated bilingual f rancophones from Q u e b e c as most desirable 59 French immers ion teacher candidates which reaffirms their overall tendency to prefer bilingual f rancophones over bilingual ang lophones . 4.2.6 D i s c u s s i o n o f r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n 1 In the introductory anecdote of Chapter O n e , a parent compla ined to the schoo l administrator that her child had not had a single f rancophone teacher in e lementary schoo l . A l though this w a s only an isolated event, it is worth consider ing why her expectat ions did not match the serv ices rendered by the school . T h e r e s e e m s to be a reversing trend in the number of f rancophones and ang lophones teaching in F rench immersion as outlined in Sect ion 2.5 and T a b l e 2. In particular, this parent s e e m e d unhappy with the recruitment of ang lophone teachers to teach in F rench immersion. T h e present study found that parents rate bilingual ang lophone teachers a s highly des irable F rench immersion teachers , but nonethe less prefer bilingual f rancophone teachers , particularly from Q u e b e c . U p o n first g lance of the survey results, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s s e e m to prefer bilingual f rancophone F r e n c h immers ion teacher candidates over bilingual ang lophones . W h e n a s k e d whether bilingual f rancophones were more desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates than bilingual ang lophones , fifty-nine percent (59%) of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s e x p r e s s e d s o m e degree of agreement with this statement, using the Upward Co l laps ing Method. However , w h e n compar ing m e a n ratings of different F rench immersion teacher profiles, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rated bilingual f rancophone teachers highly, but g a v e bilingual ang lophones a slightly higher rating overall. W h e n a s k e d why bilingual ang lophones might be preferable F rench immersion teacher candidates , i ssues of teacher retention, p lace of origin and familiarity with the local schoo l sys tem were e m p h a s i z e d . In follow-up interviews, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s s e e m e d to attribute little importance to the first language status of appl icants and sugges ted that neither Q u e b e c nor F r a n c e was necessar i ly a preferred place of origin, emphas iz ing the advantage of hiring local teachers due to a higher rate of retention. 60 Given their preference for f rancophone French immersion teacher candidates , parents may be surpr ised by the high percentage of bilingual ang lophone F rench immersion teachers currently teaching in F rench immersion, a growing trend descr ibed in Sect ion 2 .5. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s tended to prefer bilingual ang lophone F rench immers ion teacher candidates , not a s m u c h due to their first language status, but possibly due to their familiarity with local schoo l culture and realistic expectat ions of parent involvement if local teachers . Parents m a y be unaware of the advantages of hiring local, bilingual ang lophones for reasons of program stability, retention, familiarity with schoo l culture, and , potentially, a greater read iness to deal with high levels of parental involvement. T h e r e was no c o n s e n s u s on the desirability of hiring graduates of the pre-service F rench C o r e teacher educat ion program. Interviewees lacked familiarity with the F rench c o m p e t e n c e test administered by U .B .C . and S . F . U . and the assoc ia ted streaming p rocess into F rench immersion and F rench C o r e teacher educat ion programs. In fact, when a s k e d about the desirability of hiring pre-service F rench immers ion program graduates versus F rench C o r e s t ream graduates, s o m e interviewees referred to K - 1 2 French immers ion and K - 1 2 F rench C o r e program attendance rather than university level streaming, and s e e m e d to attach little s ignif icance to the streaming process at the university teacher educat ion program level. T h e range of r e s p o n s e s underscores the inconsistency of schoo l district s tandards for evaluating the formal qualifications of F rench immersion teachers ac ross British Co lumbia . Whi le s o m e Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s cons ider F rench C o r e stream graduates to be desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates, others are a d a m a n t that they are not. T h e high degree of c o n s e n s u s on the expected level of F rench proficiency, and the lack of c o n s e n s u s on the desirability of F rench C o r e stream graduates sugges ts that respondents may not connect the pre-service teacher educat ion streaming process with the levels of F rench c o m p e t e n c e m e a s u r e d by the pre-admiss ion F rench proficiency test. T h e parents' and Directors of H u m a n Resources ' r e s p o n s e s lead m e to conc lude that both groups as well as the pre-service teacher educat ion programs are in agreement on the minimum expected levels of F rench proficiency for a F rench immers ion teacher. However, this 61 overwhelming agreement d o e s not explain why graduates from the F rench C o r e s t ream are routinely hired into F rench immers ion c l ass rooms or why m a n y respondents rated them a s desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates given that they may not have this minimum level of F rench proficiency. A lack of familiarity with the test or d isagreement on the p a s s level of the test may be two reasons why F rench C o r e teachers are hired into F r e n c h immers ion c l ass rooms . A single p a s s level for the F rench proficiency test m a y be desirable to give teachers more flexibility in their ass ignments (qualifying them to teach either in F rench immers ion or F rench Core) , to assure that F rench immers ion teachers have the min imum required level of F rench proficiency (if potential confusion about pass levels is erased) , and to give a c o m m o n language to those taking and interpreting the test on the mean ing of a 'pass.' However, setting a single pass level would raise a number of i ssues . W o u l d the current F rench immers ion p a s s level be lowered or would the F rench C o r e p a s s level be raised, or both? Furthermore, do F rench C o r e teachers need the s a m e level of proficiency in F rench a s F rench immersion teachers given the di f ferences in their teaching a s s i g n m e n t s ? W o u l d the already-insufficient numbers of graduates from these s t reams diminish? W o u l d the student teachers complete their practica in F r e n c h immersion or F rench C o r e c l a s s r o o m s ? Clearly, they would not be able to complete practica in all four settings: e lementary and high schoo l F rench C o r e and e lementary and s e c o n d a r y F rench immers ion c l asses . A n d finally, which methodology c o u r s e s (French Core , F rench immers ion or both?) would they be required to complete? Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s overwhelmingly agreed that graduates of the F rench immers ion stream of university teacher pre-service programs were highly desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates . T h e graduates of this stream fulfill the three criteria for a fully qualified F rench immers ion teacher a s outlined in Sect ion 2.4: the teacher has Very good teaching skills, a high level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e and has received instruction in s e c o n d language methodology. T h e nineteen graduates from the F rench immers ion stream of U .B .C . and S . F . U . pre-service teacher educat ion programs in the 2001 - 2002 schoo l year were therefore cons idered desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates . T h e smal l numbers of graduates from this stream, however, do not meet the d e m a n d for F rench immers ion teachers in the entire 62 province. S c h o o l districts must therefore recruit teachers with varying backgrounds and m a k e their own a s s e s s m e n t of e a c h teacher's suitability for teaching in F rench immersion. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' preference for bilingual ang lophones over bilingual f rancophones m a y be attributable to i ssues of teacher retention. In follow-up interviews, bilingual ang lophones were general ly a s s u m e d to be local teachers whereas f rancophones were a s s u m e d to c o m e from e lsewhere . Loca l teachers were perce ived to be less likely to leave mid-way through the schoo l year. T e a c h e r retention i ssues are particularly problematic if the teacher-on-call pool is insufficient. In s u c h a case , there would be no teacher avai lable to rep lace a teacher who m a y leave mid-year. Th is scenar io is not new to F rench immers ion. In a 1988 newspaper article entitled "Kids wasting year without French, parents charge", (Moloney, 1988) parents were upset w h e n a schoo l district w a s unable to find a rep lacement for a teacher who went on maternity leave mid-year. Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 13 cited a similar scenar io which he w a s facing at the time of the interview, "I just got a letter from a F rench immers ion teacher who sa id s h e would be leaving her full time position at the end of April . 'Sorry - I got a better offer.' It is very difficult to find a n y o n e mid-year. D o I have a n y o n e to replace her? No." Accord ing to this anecdote , the s a m e problem exists fifteen years later. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s preference for bilingual ang lophones m a y a lso be attributed to factors s u c h a s local teachers being familiar with local schoo l culture and therefore facilitating communicat ion with parents, local teachers possibly being eas ier to retain, the ability of bilingual ang lophones to communica te easi ly with parents and administrators, and flexibility in being able to teach in the Engl ish and French st reams. T h e r e w a s the least c o n s e n s u s on the desirability of hiring teachers from the F rench C o r e stream to teach in F rench immersion. O n e explanation for this may be that F rench C o r e teachers from universities which use the Test de Competence Communicative de SFU et de UBC have a minimum of a level 2 of F rench proficiency in the e lementary stream and level 3 in the s e c o n d a r y stream. S o m e candidates may have narrowly m issed the level 4 cut-off for admiss ion into the F rench immers ion stream although they have a high level of F rench proficiency. At U . B . C , after they have taken the test, all pre-service teachers s p e n d the full year taking methodology c o u r s e s 63 in F rench which may improve their level of F rench proficiency. O n the other hand, others may begin the year having barely attained a level 2 s core on the test. F r e n c h C o r e teachers trained in other provinces, s u c h a s Q u e b e c , may have extremely high levels of F rench proficiency. Therefore , m a n y hiring authorities arid parents may justifiably feel that s o m e F rench C o r e graduates are desirable teacher candidates for F rench immersion. O n e further explanation for the lack of c o n s e n s u s on the desirability of hiring F rench C o r e teachers to teach in F rench immersion is that s o m e parents and hiring authorities may not be familiar with the streaming process that takes place at the university level, and are therefore unable to interpret the mean ing of different designat ions. If this latter explanation is the reason for the lack of c o n s e n s u s , it would support the decis ion of test administrators at the University of Ottawa to offer only o n e level of F S L certification and only o n e p a s s level on their F rench proficiency test for both F rench C o r e and F rench immersion teachers , g iven that many F rench C o r e teachers will find themse lves teaching in F rench immers ion c l ass rooms . 4.3 Research question 2 Which is of greater importance to Directors of Human Resources in British Columbia: a French immersion teacher's language skills or general teaching skills? Which is of greater importance to parents in British Columbia: a French immersion teacher's language skills or general teaching skills? In this sect ion, respondents were forced to m a k e cho i ces amongs t the following nine skills and qualities of F r e n c h immers ion teachers: f luency in French , pronunciation, s p o k e n and written accuracy , enthus iasm, a caring attitude, repertoire of teaching skills, c l ass room m a n a g e m e n t skills, educat ion in s e c o n d language methodology, and knowledge of f rancophone culture. R e s p o n d e n t s were a s k e d to rank these skills and qualities, and equ iva lences were not al lowed. S o m e respondents struggled with this forced cho ice a s reflected in the following c o m m e n t s . Parent 9 wrote, "Although in Part C I ranked training in s e c o n d language 64 methodology #6, I bel ieve this is extremely important for an F.I. teacher. All of the items in Part C are important so it w a s difficult to rank them." Other parents e c h o e d these sent iments, "All attributes listed are extremely important!" wrote Parent 34. Parent 41 wrote, "This w a s a tough survey to complete . I looked at it and set it as ide severa l t imes. It is extremely hard to say whether a gifted teacher of lesser language skills is better or not than a teacher of impeccab le language skills that turns students off b e c a u s e of poor teaching skills." T h e s e nine skills and qualities were grouped into four categories: language skills, teaching skills, personal qualities and knowledge of F rench culture. 4.3.1 Results of survey M e a n rankings for e a c h skill and quality were calculated first. E a c h skill or quality w a s ranked from nine (most important) to o n e (least important.) A m o n g s t the language skills, on a nine point scale , f luency w a s ranked a s most important by both groups, fol lowed by s p o k e n and written accuracy and then pronunciation. Parents (M = 7.97, S D = 1.57) ranked f luency slightly more highly than did Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M = 7.77, S D = 2.08). Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M = 6.61, S D = 2.09) ranked s p o k e n and written a c c u r a c y slightly more highly than did parents (M = 6.17, S D = 2.18). Parents (M = 5.17, S D = 2.02) ranked pronunciation slightly more highly than did Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M = 5.07, S D = 2.20). A m o n g s t the teaching skills, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ranked the repertoire of teaching strategies a s most important (M = 6.40, S D = 2.13), fol lowed by c l a s s r o o m m a n a g e m e n t skills (M = 5.62, S D = 2.25) and s e c o n d language methodology (M = 5.37, S D = 2.63). A m o n g s t the teaching skills, parents ranked c l ass room m a n a g e m e n t skills as most important (M = 5.50, S D = 2.44), fol lowed by s e c o n d language methodology (M = 5.24, S D = 2.48) and repertoire of teaching strategies (M = 4.82, S D = 2.57). In the personal qualities category, parents ranked enthus iasm (M = 5.26, S D = 2.02) a s slightly more important than a caring attitude (M = 4 .84 , .SD = 2.61). Directors of H u m a n 65 R e s o u r c e s ranked a caring attitude (M = 5.30, S D = 2.72) more highly than enthus iasm (M = 5.0, S D = 2.60). O n a nine point scale , knowledge of F rench culture w a s given the lowest ranking by both Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M_ = 2.73, S D = 2.08) and parents (M_ = 2.16, S D = 1.89). M e a n rankings were then calculated for e a c h category. T a b l e 9 C o m p a r i s o n of M e a n Rank ings of Four Se ts of Skills and Attributes of the F rench Immersion T e a c h e r by Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s on a Nine Point S c a l e Parents Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s M e a n ranking Standard deviation M e a n ranking Standard deviation L a n g u a g e skills 6.44 1.45 6.47 1.76 T e a c h i n g skills 5.18 1.72 5.80 1.53 Persona l qualities 5.06 2.01 5.15 2.52 Knowledge of 2.16 1.89 2.73 2.08 F rench culture B e c a u s e there was no significant difference between the two groups in their ranking of any of the categories, the r e s p o n s e s of parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were grouped together (see T a b l e s 9 and 10). 66 T a b l e 10 C o m b i n e d M e a n Rank ings of Four Sets of Skills and Attributes of the F rench Immersion T e a c h e r on a Nine Point S c a l e M e a n ranking Standard deviation L a n g u a g e skills 6.45 1.56 T e a c h i n g skills 5.41 1.67 Persona l qualities 5.09 2.19 Knowledge of F rench culture 2.37 1.97 Pa ired t-tests were conducted to c o m p a r e the four categories ( language skills, teaching skills, personal qualities and knowledge of F rench culture) with the results of the two groups of respondents (parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ) pooled. Results of the t-tests showed that language skills were ranked significantly higher than teaching skills (t(69) = 3.74, p. = .000, two-tailed), personal qualities (t(69) = 3.78, p. = .000, two-tailed) and knowledge of F rench culture (t(69) = 17.57, p. = .000, two-tailed). 4 . 3 . 2 R e s u l t s o f i n t e r v i e w s a n d a n e c d o t a l c o m m e n t s A s stated earlier, respondents struggled with having to m a k e forced cho i ces and severa l stated that all listed skills and qualities were important. Most anecdota l c o m m e n t s relating to this quest ion e m p h a s i z e d the importance of balance. In other words, to p o s s e s s o n e of the sets of skills or qualities listed, but to lack the others, would be totally undesirable. 67 "[W]e have noticed f luency in F rench d o e s not necessar i ly guarantee a success fu l immers ion teacher. Methodology is at least a s important as, if not more important than fluency. W e have had f rancophone teachers from Q u e b e c who had a tenuous grasp of F rench g r a m m a r and ang lophones with excel lent methodology but s o m e difficulties with f luency. T h o s e with s e c o n d language methodology and reasonab le f luency were most successfu l , " wrote Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 28. "Each teacher is an individual and I m a y be, more lenient in hiring s o m e o n e with less than perfect F rench if they were keen and enthusiastic and caring and willing to keep learning. A l s o at different levels of educat ion, I might expect different qualifications from the teacher in quest ion. Lastly, e v e n if a teacher had wonderful F rench , but had zero personality, that teacher would score low... my personal opinion," wrote Parent 31. Both parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s agreed that the F rench language skills of a F rench immers ion teacher are extremely important. W h e n given a forced cho i ce to rank nine skills and attributes, there w a s no significant difference between the r e s p o n s e s of parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . All r e s p o n s e s were therefore grouped together, and language skills (fluency, pronunciation, and s p o k e n and written accuracy) were ranked significantly higher than teaching skills, personal qualities and knowledge of F rench culture. 4.3.3 Discussion A c a d e m i c s have e x p r e s s e d concerns about the level of F rench of F rench immers ion teachers in the literature (Day & S h a p s o n , 1996; Flewell ing, 1995; F r i sson-R ickson & Rebuffot, 1986; Moeller, 1988; O b a d i a & Martin, 1995). S o m e studies have shown that student teachers themse lves quest ion their read iness to teach in F rench immers ion (Flewelling, 1995; Majhanov ich & Gray, 1992). Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s cons ider the level of F rench of immers ion teachers to be a top priority, even more important than teaching skills and personal qualities. T h e first p lace ranking of F rench language skills a m o n g many skills and attributes sugges ts that the quest ion of minimum standards of F rench proficiency and how F r e n c h language skills are tested are i ssues of high importance and interest to the stakeholders in F rench 68 immersion. A n y problems in this a rea will surely inflame debate if only at a schoo l level. Satisfaction with the level of F rench of F rench immersion teachers is sure to contribute to overall satisfaction with the program. T h e present study found that a high level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e in the F rench immers ion teacher is a top priority for parents. Did the ang lophone teachers in the e lementary schoo l of the opening anecdote of chapter o n e not have a level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e that met the expectat ions of this parent? Did this parent expect more instruction of F rench culture? W a s s h e expect ing more cultural immers ion in addition to linguistic immers ion? Whi le the instruction of F rench culture is a c o m p o n e n t of the British C o l u m b i a F rench immers ion language arts curriculum, it is nonethe less a small component . Whi le most parents do not regard the teaching of F rench culture a s a top priority, this attribute is more important to s o m e parents than others. B e c a u s e parents overwhelmingly ranked language skills a s more important than cultural knowledge, it is more likely that the parent was unhappy with the level of l anguage skills of the ang lophone teachers than with a poss ib le lack of cultural knowledge and instruction. Whi le it w a s hypothes ized in chapter two that language skills might be cons idered less important than general teaching skills, this has been shown not to be the c a s e . T h e high degree of importance attached to teaching skills shows that parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s are presumably in agreement with the rigorous check ing of teaching skills by universities prior to certification by the B .C .C .T . a s d i s c u s s e d in the literature review. T e a c h i n g skills (c lassroom management , repertoire of teaching strategies and s e c o n d language methodology training) were ranked s e c o n d overall . Persona l qualities (enthusiasm and a caring attitude) were ranked third. Knowledge of f rancophone culture w a s ranked last amongst the four categor ies which invites us to put the earlier d iscuss ion on the importance of first language status into perspect ive. Parents m a y prefer f rancophone French immers ion teacher cand idates b e c a u s e they a s s u m e their linguistic abilities to be superior, which would corroborate the first p lace ranking of F rench language skills c o m p a r e d to other skills. Parents m a y in fact prefer any teacher with a high level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e and first language status m a y be a s e c o n d a r y considerat ion, although given a choice, F rench a s a first language status is preferred. 69 Whi le language skills were ranked as a top priority, most anecdota l c o m m e n t s relating to this quest ion e m p h a s i z e d the importance of balance: to p o s s e s s o n e set of qualities and skills at the e x p e n s e of another would be undesirable. In other words, none of the respondents saw any benefit in having a teacher with excellent language skills but utterly lacking in teaching skills. Both parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s m a y expect all qualified teachers to have a satisfactory level of c l ass room practice, but in the c a s e of F rench immersion, they may expect a high level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e coup led with satisfactory teaching skills. 4.4 Research question 3 How severe is the teacher shortage in French immersion according to Directors of Human Resources? Given that a teacher shortage has been used a s a justification for lowering teacher qualifications in s o m e jurisdictions, a well informed d iscuss ion of teacher supply numbers is very important. For the purpose of compar i son with the genera l supply of teachers, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were a s k e d to est imate the average supply of Engl ish stream teachers for the s a m e schoo l year b a s e d on the teacher supply sca le in T a b l e 3. 70 T a b l e 3 T e a c h e r Supp ly S c a l e N o shortage 6+ fully qualified appl icants 4 - 5 fully qualified appl icants 2 - 3 fully qualified appl icants Shor tage 1 fully qualified applicant Appl icants who satisfy two of three qualifications criteria Appl icants who satisfy o n e of three qualifications criteria N o appl icants. Note. B a s e d on the est imated average number of applicants per typical job posting in a given year. 4.4.1 R e s u l t s o f s u r v e y Fifty six percent (56%) of schoo l districts reported having an overall shortage of F rench immers ion teachers in the 2000 - 2001 schoo l year. Forty four percent (44%) of schoo l districts reported having an adequate supply of fully qualified F rench immers ion teachers , on average , per typical F rench immers ion position. A F rench immers ion teacher shortage w a s found to exist in over half of F rench immers ion schoo l districts British Co lumb ia . O n average , schoo l districts in British C o l u m b i a had o n e fully qualified applicant per typical F rench immers ion job opening in the 2001 - 2002 schoo l year (M = 4.08, S D = 1.47), in sharp contrast to the Engl ish stream which typically had 4 - 5 fully qualified appl icants per position (M_ = 6.37, S D = .89). Consequent ly , regardless of preference for f rancophones or ang lophones , Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s general ly do not have the luxury of m u c h cho ice when hiring F rench immers ion teachers . T h e average ratio of o n e applicant per 71 position sugges ts that most fully qualified F rench immers ion appl icants will easi ly obtain employment . In the Engl ish stream, no districts reported having a shortage of fully qualified teachers, on average , for a typical Engl ish stream position. All schoo l districts reported having 2 - 3 fully qualified appl icants or more per Engl ish stream position, on a v e r a g e (see Figure 7). a> •OD CO c 03 CJ CD CL 1 0 0 F r e n c h i m m e r s i o n s t r e a m N o A p p l i c a n t s A p p l i c a n t s 1 fu l ly 2 - 3 fu l ly 4 - 5 fu l ly 6 + f u l l y par t ia l l y w h o m e e t w h o m e e t q u a l i f i e d q u a l i f i e d q u a l i f i e d q u a l i f i e d q u a l i f i e d l o f 3 2 o f 3 a p p l i c a n t a p p l i c a n t s a p p l i c a n t s a p p l i c a n t s a p p l i c a n t s c r i te r ia c r i te r ia Figure 7. A v e r a g e number of applicants per typical F rench immers ion and Engl ish stream job opening in the 2001 - 2002 schoo l year in British C o l u m b i a on a s e v e n point sca le . O n the s e v e n point sca le descr ib ing teacher supply, the supply of Engl ish stream teachers (M. = 6.37, S D = .89) for most positions was therefore greater than the supply of F rench immers ion teachers (M = 4.08, S D = 1.47) for most positions. A paired t-test between the F rench immers ion and Engl ish s t reams compar ing the difference in the supply of fully qualified teachers w a s significant, t(15) = -6.325, p_ = 000. 72 A break down of schoo l districts according to their urban or rural situation s h o w e d that fully qualified F rench immersion teachers are more readily avai lable in urban a r e a s (M = 4.71, S D = .99) than in rural a r e a s (M = 2.75, S D = 1.49). A o n e way A N O V A of the supply of F rench immers ion teachers yielded a significant difference between urban and rural districts, F(1,23) = 15.42, p. = .001. In the Engl ish stream, a o n e way A N O V A test s h o w e d that the difference in the supply of teachers in urban (M = 6.58, S D = .793) and.rural (M_ = 5.75, S D = .96) districts w a s not statistically significant, £(1,14) = 3.02, p, = .10. 4.4.2 R e s u l t s o f i n t e r v i e w s a n d a n e c d o t a l c o m m e n t s In the semi-structured interviews, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were a s k e d if they cons idered their schoo l district to be exper iencing a shortage of F rench immers ion teachers . Their r e s p o n s e s corroborated our original definition of a teacher shortage. For example , in a schoo l district where the average supply of F rench immersion teachers in 2001 - 2002 w a s descr ibed a s having only partially qualified appl icants fulfilling two of three criteria, Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 30 stated, It would be great to have a surplus of F rench immersion teachers like in the regular track. Now we have to take a c h a n c e on candidates . W e do not have the cho ice and quality [of the regular t rack] . . . W h e n teachers from out of province c o m e here and apply for jobs, they apply to m a n y districts in the area . If it is apparent that they are good teachers with exper ience, w e start hiring on speculat ion. W e don't know what position we will slot them into but we give them a contract knowing positions will open up. W e find that w e are general ly phoning only ten minutes a h e a d or behind other districts ... T h e r e is a tendency of F rench immers ion teachers to drift out of F rench immers ion into the Engl ish stream. O n e frequently s e e s teachers m o v e from French immersion to the Engl ish stream, but never from the Engl ish stream to the F rench immers ion stream. In a schoo l district where the average supply of F rench immers ion teachers in 2001 -2002 was descr ibed in the survey a s o n e applicant per typical job opening, I a s k e d Director of 73 H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 13 in the interview whether the schoo l district w a s exper ienc ing a F rench immers ion teacher shortage. Th i s was the response , Y e s . O r rather, w e are exper iencing a 'choice shortage. ' W e get an applicant, but w e might not get the right applicant. W h e r e we're really struggling is to get teachers on call. .'Is that another contracted position?' That d iscuss ion has g o n e on in schoo l districts. In other words, teachers-on-cal l that would get paid a regular salary. W e need a pool of contracted teachers on call. W e need to recruit a pool of people. W e need to have them in contracted positions, fully trained and avai lable ... If I were able to, on a separate contract, with money coming in: 'Your district is receiving funds for o n e hundred teachers in F rench immersion. But this fund is going to a d d ten more to your T . O . C . pool over your allocation.' I would work them everyday but they would be district on call teachers, fully trained and available. T h e moment I h a v a a n opening, there they go. T h e n I'm never caught in a bind of recruitment. All districts struggle the s a m e way. T h e following anecdota l c o m m e n t s c a m e from Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s who cited an overall shortage of F rench immers ion teachers in their district. "We need more trained teachers!!" Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 19 "Secondary Mathemat ics and S c i e n c e F rench immers ion teachers are impossib le to recruit." Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 26 "At this time w e are unable to attract cand idates from British Co lumb ia . O u r recruiting now relies on "word of mouth" recommendat ions and s e a r c h e s ac ross the country." Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 4 . T h e F rench immersion teacher supply numbers reveal that it is far less difficult to obtain employment in F rench immersion than in the Engl ish stream. Th i s situation m a y have negative c o n s e q u e n c e s as related by Parent 37, "I found it very disappointing last year when my son had a poor F rench immers ion teacher. S h e stated her reason for teaching in F rench immers ion a s "That's where the jobs are!" Not very encourag ing to a parent who thought long and hard about choos ing F rench immersion!" 74 A n d finally, in a schoo l district where the average supply of F rench immers ion teachers in 2001 - 2002 w a s descr ibed a s 2 - 3 fully qualified appl icants per typical job opening, Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 18 w a s a s k e d if the district were currently exper iencing a teacher shortage, Not currently. A number of years a g o w e were. T h e r e tends to be a fair number of teachers applying for F rench immers ion positions. G o v e r n m e n t cutbacks have c a u s e d reductions in the teaching force. Now, that can all c h a n g e with the flip of a coin b a s e d on if the Federa l government increases funding to F rench immers ion and we would be increasing our F rench immers ion numbers along with every other district in the province. I a m guardedly optimistic that we are in g o o d shape . Extra funding is g o o d news but it's a lso worrying around i ssues of supply and d e m a n d . W e do not have a teacher on call shortage this year. I get teacher on call applications that I can't consider . W e still have F rench teachers-on-cal l at this point in the year who have not m o v e d into permanent positions. It's an indication of the t imes. T h e following anecdota l c o m m e n t s c a m e from Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s who cited an adequate supply of F r e n c h immers ion teachers in their district. "So far w e have been able to recruit s o m e quality cand idates - I'm worried this will not last." R e s p o n d e n t 14, Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s group "Selection of senior secondary F rench immers ion teachers that a lso have a specialty teaching area (math, computers , sc ience , etc.) is the most difficult." Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 3 "We often have part time positions and it may be difficult to find qualified people available." Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 6 T h e s e c o m m e n t s show that even districts which do not cite an overall shortage may not be able to find teachers who have double specialt ies (eg. F rench immers ion mathematics) or for part time positions. 75 O n e Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s pointed out geographica l location a s a factor that exacerbates the shortage of F rench immersion teachers . "[The recruitment of F rench immers ion teachers is] getting particularly difficult in the North!" Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 9. 4.4.3 D i s c u s s i o n T h e present study corroborates the findings of two earlier studies (Grimmett & Echo ls , 2000; Macfar lane & Hart, 2002) which found that a shortage of F rench immers ion teachers exists in British Co lumbia . Us ing a numerical sca le (see T a b l e 3), the present study found that a F rench immers ion teacher shortage existed in over half of schoo l districts in the 2001 - 2002 schoo l year. T h e quest ion of whether or not a teacher shortage exists is an important o n e a s a teacher shortage has b e e n used as. an e x c u s e to lower professional s tandards and i ssue e m e r g e n c y credentials in the United States. T e n s of thousands of people in the United States currently hold e m e r g e n c y credentials and are al lowed to teach b e c a u s e they have a Bachelor 's degree but without teacher training (Canad ian T e a c h e r s ' Federat ion, 2001; Department of Defense , 2001; Pipho, 1998; T e a c h for Amer i ca , 2002). Anecdota l c o m m e n t s from the follow-up interviews corroborated the operational definition of a teacher shortage as def ined in Tab le 3. Districts with one or fewer fully qualified applicants, on average, per F rench immers ion job opening cons idered themse lves to be exper iencing a shortage of F rench immersion teachers . Districts with two to three fully qualified appl icants per position, on average , did not cons ider themse lves to be exper iencing a F rench immers ion teacher shortage. T h e career pathway for a F rench immers ion teacher often begins with an ass ignment a s a teacher-on-cal l (Grimmett & Echo ls , 2000). O n e Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in the present study noted the tendency of teachers to initially s e e k employment in F rench immersion, but then to drift into the Engl ish stream later in their careers . W h e n compar ing F rench immers ion teacher supply numbers (one applicant per job open ing on average, in all districts) to Engl ish stream supply numbers (five to six applicants per job opening on average, in all districts), o n e can conc lude that it is far eas ier to obtain employment in F rench immers ion than in the Engl ish 76 stream. It is therefore not surprising that a percentage of teachers begin their ca reers in F rench immers ion before moving to their preferred ass ignment in the Engl ish stream. O n e parent compla ined of a teacher accept ing to teach in F rench immers ion simply to obtain employment . Th i s anecdote , while unfortunate, cannot be said to character ize the F r e n c h immers ion program. In any field, people will seek employment for a variety of reasons and perform their jobs with varying degrees of enthus iasm. Th is anecdote is interesting in that it highlights the poss ib le negative c o n s e q u e n c e s of a low supply of F rench immers ion teachers . Another c o n s e q u e n c e of the shortage is that schoo l districts must somet imes c o m p e t e against e a c h other to hire F rench immers ion teachers rather than having a wide select ion of cand idates from which to c h o o s e . T h e lack of cho ice may diminish the quality of the p o o l o f teachers hired to teach in F rench immersion. With a greater supply of teachers, districts would be able to perform background c h e c k s in a more leisurely manner and have a greater a s s u r a n c e of hiring high quality teacher candidates . However, increasing enrolment numbers for F rench immers ion in British C o l u m b i a suggest that the program is nonethe less perceived in a positive light. 4.5 Research question 4 In what ways, if any, would Directors of Human Resources in British Columbia be willing to modify their expectations of French immersion program recruitment practices during a shortage of French immersion teachers? In what ways, if any, would parents in British Columbia be willing to modify their expectations of French immersion program recruitment practices during a shortage of French immersion teachers? 4.5.1 R e s u l t s o f s u r v e y Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and parents general ly ag reed that it w a s unacceptab le to lower the expected level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e in the event of a teacher shortage. O n a s e v e n point scale , parents d isagreed slightly more (M = 5.37, S D = 1.51) with lowering the expected level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e than did Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M = 77 5.00, S D = 1.81), however, this difference is not significant: t(71) = -0.935, p_ = 0.35 (see F igures 8 and 9). Furthermore, there w a s no significant difference in the wil l ingness to lower s tandards of F rench c o m p e t e n c e between urban and rural Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s , t(1,25) = 0.046, p_ = 0.831. 1 0 0 9 0 8 0 7 0 6 0 5 0 4 0 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 S Directors of Human Resources • Parents 1 T Strongly Disagree Somewhat Neutral Somewhat Agree Strongly disagree disagree agree agree Figure 8. C o m p a r i s o n of parental and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' v iews on the acceptabil ity of lowering s tandards of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e in the event of a teacher shortage on a s e v e n point sca le . 78 Figure 9. C o m p a r i s o n of parental and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' v iews on the acceptabil ity of lowering s tandards of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e in the event of a teacher shortage using the Co l laps ing Method. O n a s e v e n point scale , Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M_ = 4.67, S D = 1.61) were significantly more in agreement than were parents (M = 5.44, S D = 1.42) that it w a s acceptab le to hire F rench immers ion teachers without s e c o n d language methodology educat ion in the event of a teacher shortage, t(70) = -2.133, p = 0.036 (see F igures 10 and 11). 79 CD OO CO •4-* c CD o 1-CD CL 100-90-80-70-60-50-40-S Directors of Human Resources • Parents co Figure 10. C o m p a r i s o n of parental and Directors of H u m a n Resources ' v iews on the acceptabil ity of hiring F rench immers ion teachers without an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology on a s e v e n point sca le . S Directors of Human Disagree Neutral Agree Figure 11. C o m p a r i s o n of parental and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' v iews on the acceptabil ity of hiring F rench immers ion teachers without an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology using the Co l laps ing Method. 80 Both parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s overwhelmingly agreed that if s tandards of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e were lowered, F rench immers ion teachers should be required to complete additional course work. O n a s e v e n point scale , parents were slightly more in agreement (M = 6.35, S D = .87) than were Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s (M = 5.77, S D = 1.53) with the requirement of additional course work. However, the difference is not significant, t(34) = -1.770, fi = 0.086. 4.5.2 Results of interviews and anecdotal comments "Fluency in F rench must remain high to maintain strong programs," said Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 17. Parent 1 vo iced her objection to lowering s tandards during the recruitment p rocess writing, "We must be careful not to lower our standards too m u c h in regards to quality teachers , s imply in order to get a body in that c l ass room to teach the students." However , the s a m e parent e x p r e s s e d strong d isagreement with requiring teachers to complete extra course work after being hired and s a i d , " For m e it is a worry that 'You have to do this.' That bothers m e b e c a u s e if a teacher has g o n e through the teaching program, they have s o m e skills that m a k e them a strong e n o u g h teacher to be there ... T e a c h e r s can recognize it themse lves if they have an area where they can upgrade themselves ." Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 30 stated, "Most of our F r e n c h immers ion teacher appl icants do not have training in s e c o n d language methodology. F r a n c o p h o n e teachers , for example , m a y have training in teaching F rench as a first language. I don't think this training m a k e s a difference in the first year when teachers are in 'survival mode. ' But later in their careers , this training is helpful for the reflective teacher. Principals have not raised the lack of training in s e c o n d language methodology as an issue ... [Extra course work requirements] would be a lmost impossible to enforce. It would involve chang ing the collective agreement . T e a c h e r s -on-call would not take the F r e n c h immers ion jobs if they were required to take extra courses ." T h e high degree of importance attached to language skills w a s corroborated by the c o n s e n s u s of both groups on the min imum level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e expec ted of a F rench 81 immers ion teacher, and both groups' unwil l ingness to lower the expected level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e in the event of a teacher shortage. In fact, in all survey quest ions regarding F rench language skills, parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were general ly in ag reement on the relative importance of F rench language skills c o m p a r e d to other skills and attributes, had equal ly high expectat ions for F rench language proficiency, and found it equal ly unacceptab le to lower standards of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e e v e n in the event of a teacher shortage. Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s found it slightly more acceptab le than parents to hire teachers lacking an educat ional background in F rench immersion methodology. Th i s corroborates our finding that language skills were ranked slightly more highly than teaching skills although both were important. T h e s e c o n d place ranking of teaching skills relative to language skills may suggest that if forced to c o m p r o m i s e in o n e area or the other, that it may be preferable to accept cand idates without an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology than cand idates with insufficient F rench language proficiency. S e c o n d language methodology may be s e e n a s more easi ly learned than the acquisit ion of language skills, and thus, a less ser ious def ic iency when lacking. Further corroborating the importance of F rench language skills, w h e n a s k e d if F rench immers ion teachers should be required to improve their language skills if s tandards were lowered due to a shortage of teachers , both groups were strongly in agreement . However, when interviewees were a s k e d what this course work would look like and how it might be implemented, all sugges ted optional c o u r s e s and incentives to improve language skills rather than requiring course work. S o m e respondents sugges ted that the coursework should be run by universities a s a 30 credit program which would a lso allow teachers to m o v e up the salary sca le . 4.5.3 Discussion T h e positive r e s p o n s e to the quest ion of whether or not F rench immers ion teachers should be required to complete extra course work if entry standards are lowered conf irms the respondents ' unwil l ingness to lower standards. T h e logistical prob lems and c o n s e q u e n c e s that might be assoc ia ted with implementing extra course work requirements include: changing 82 collective agreements , designing courses , the availability of c o u r s e s in all a reas of the province, and the likely negative effect s u c h a requirement would have on the already s c a r c e supply of F rench immers ion teachers . T h e need for extra course work would be e r a s e d if all F r e n c h immers ion teachers had the requisite level of F rench and educat ion in s e c o n d language methodology prior to being hired. T e a c h e r supply numbers from the present study reveal that many partially qualified teachers are currently being hired into F rench immers ion in s o m e schoo l districts, a situation which schoo l districts should a d d r e s s through in-service including opportunities to improve both F rench language skills and educat ion in s e c o n d language methodology. Contrary to my hypothesis a s outlined in Sect ion 2.10, that schoo l districts exper iencing a F rench immers ion teacher shortage would be more likely to lower s tandards than districts with an adequate supply, this d o e s not appear to be the c a s e . W h e n I c o m p a r e d schoo l districts' wil l ingness to lower s tandards between schoo l districts exper iencing a shortage of F rench immers ion teachers and those who were not, or between urban and rural schoo l districts, there w a s no significant difference in the wil l ingness to lower standards. Whi le there w a s s o m e variation in the wil l ingness to lower standards from district to district, this wil l ingness d o e s not appear to be a function of a schoo l district's supply of teachers or urban or rural status. Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s in British C o l u m b i a are o p p o s e d to lowering standards e v e n in the event of a teacher shortage which has been found to exist in F rench immers ion in over half of schoo l districts. If schoo l districts are forced to lower standards due to an insufficient number of applicants, a s s o m e appear forced to do, language competence , which w a s ranked a top priority, may be the last a rea in which they are willing to c o m p r o m i s e . Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s e x p r e s s e d slightly more wil l ingness than did parents to hire teachers without an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology than teachers with lower F rench language skills in the event of a teacher shortage. A reason for this may be that Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s recognize that they have to set priorities in a situation if their pool of F rench immers ion teacher appl icants is limited. T h e y may also view s e c o n d language methodology a s more easily learned on the job than F rench language skills. 83 In the 2002 - 2003 schoo l year, the British C o l u m b i a Co l l ege of T e a c h e r s had only two F rench immers ion teachers teaching on letters of permiss ion. Th is figure sugges ts that coursework requirements and teaching skills of F rench immers ion teachers have met minimum standards set out by the B .C .C .T . B e c a u s e F rench language proficiency is not tested by the B .C .C .T . or universally in s o m e other way, schoo l districts must exerc ise discretion and u s e their own tools to test language skills to determine whether minimum levels of F rench proficiency have been met. At the present time, the findings of the present study bode well for the future of F rench immersion. T h e B .C .C .T . has maintained high s tandards of general teaching skills through col laboration with universities. Furthermore, major stakeholders, both parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s , are general ly o p p o s e d to lowering standards e v e n during a teacher shortage. A l though schoo l districts may be forced to c o m p r o m i s e at t imes, the genera l opposit ion to lowering s tandards sugges ts that the i ssues of qualifications and high s tandards are important to hiring authorities and that they are unlikely to have a laissez-faire attitude toward the recruitment of F rench immers ion teachers . Major recent c h a n g e s by the government to the B .C .C .T . (British C o l u m b i a Ministry of Educat ion, 2003), including its governance by m a n y non-teachers and the right to d isregard any by-laws are of ser ious concern that the political a g e n d a will override the educat ive a g e n d a and allow for s u d d e n and major c h a n g e s in s tandards as per the wishes of the new governing structure. T h e impact of these c h a n g e s and the intentions of the government in making these c h a n g e s will b e c o m e evident with time and may include issuing teaching certificates to non-teachers or creating crash courses in teacher training, similar to current practice's in the United States which are said to alleviate the teacher shortage. Accord ing to the present study, parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s would be o p p o s e d to lowering s tandards and, by extension, pursuing the A m e r i c a n model of alternative certification. 4.6 Research question 5 What means do Directors of Human Resources employ to screen the French language skills of prospective French immersion teachers in British Columbia? 84 Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were se lected a s participants in this study b e c a u s e they determine admiss ion to teacher-on-cal l lists which is a main route to permanent employment in British C o l u m b i a a s d i s c u s s e d in Chapter Two. After a teacher has b e e n hired on a permanent contract, seniority and other factors beyond the control of individual hiring authorities frequently dictates who will be hired into specif ic positions: "This [description of the hiring process] must be qualified by saying that it d e p e n d e d on [the applicant's] seniority in the district if an internal posting, [and the] level of posting," wrote Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 1. W h e n a teacher has o n c e b e e n d e e m e d qualified to teach in F rench immersion, they cannot general ly be d e e m e d unqualified to teach in F rench immersion. Thus , the initial s tamp of approval is extremely important. E a c h schoo l district w a s a s k e d if they c h e c k e d the level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e of F rench immers ion teacher candidates , and if so, to descr ibe how this w a s done . T h e latter part of this quest ion w a s o p e n - e n d e d and r e s p o n s e s are s u m m a r i z e d and d i s c u s s e d below. 4.6.1 Results of survey All districts reported that they do check the level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e of F rench immers ion teacher candidates . E a c h district ment ioned using o n e or more of the following tools for this purpose: an oral a s s e s s m e n t , a written a s s e s s m e n t , or rel iance on external bodies or persons for their report of a candidate's level of F rench . T h e s e a s s e s s m e n t methods are not mutually exclusive. Seventy-eight percent (78%) rely on external bodies or persons for their a s s e s s m e n t of a candidate 's F rench competence . Forty-eight percent (48%) of respondents ment ioned the need to have a des ignated person (or persons) responsib le for check ing the level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e of prospect ive F rench immers ion candidates in their c o m m e n t s . S o m e stated this person w a s a m e m b e r of the human resources team, a principal in the district or a French consultant. Ninety-three percent (93%) of schoo l districts a s s e s s oral l anguage skills. Anecdota l c o m m e n t s suggest varying degrees of formality of this a s s e s s m e n t ranging from an oral test, a 85 pre-employment interview conducted in F rench , or a conversat ion. For example , Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 27 s u m m a r i z e d the procedure for a s s e s s i n g F rench language skills in the following manner: "Check paper credentials. P h o n e candidate en frangais. P h o n e reference re: francais. Part of interview en francais. It is a check not a thorough evaluation." Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 7 descr ibed how appl icants can highlight their F rench skills to obtain employment in F rench immersion, " S o m e appl icants have started F rench immers ion in G r a d e six. But the big cha l lenge for them is that they haven't s p o k e n F rench s ince G r a d e twelve. T h e n they realize, 'Oops , there are no jobs out there. Let m e s e e if I can improve my F rench to s e e if that will get m e a job. E v e n in a forty-five minute interview, I can s e e these students who went through the F rench immers ion program becoming more confident in their F rench . It c o m e s back to them. T h e y realize they said 'le' instead of 'la'. T h e y should be e n c o u r a g e d to teach in F rench immersion." Fifty-nine percent (59%) of schoo l districts a s s e s s writing skills. S o m e cal led this a written test while others said they a s k e d for a written sample , again suggest ing varying degrees of formality. Letters of reference, phone references, practicum reports and transcripts are relied upon for their indication of a candidate's level of F rench language proficiency and may be used in addition to oral or written a s s e s s m e n t s . Fifty-nine percent (59%) of schoo l districts rely on letters of reference, forty-eight percent (48%) rely on reference c h e c k s by phone, forty-eight percent (48%) rely on practicum reports, and twenty two percent (22%) u s e transcripts a s indicators of a candidate 's level of F rench language competence . R e s p o n d e n t s were a s k e d if they use the s a m e procedure with every F rench immers ion teacher candidate to ensure uniformity. Ninety-two percent (92%) of schoo l districts stated that they use the s a m e procedure for every applicant. However, Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s 2 who responded that the s a m e procedure is used for every applicant a d d e d the following comment , "Written test [in addition to oral test] if we are in doubt." 86 O n e district stated that appl icants who had traveled to or studied in f rancophone p laces in addition to their studies were cons idered better F rench immers ion teacher cand idates than those having taken F rench c o u r s e s only. 4.6.2 Discussion Whi le all respondents were general ly in agreement on the min imum level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e expected of a F rench immers ion teacher, and cons idered strong F r e n c h language skills to be a top priority in relation to other skills and attributes, the tools u s e d to s c reen the level of F rench proficiency of F rench immers ions s e e m inconsistent at best, and unreliable and possibly invalid at worst. At the university level in British Co lumbia , pre-service F rench immers ion teachers must p a s s a rigorous test of F rench proficiency (Bournot-Trites et al., 1989). A c r o s s C a n a d a , the s tandards for the testing of F rench language skills of F rench immers ion teachers vary widely (see Append ix E). S o m e C a n a d i a n universities rely on candidates ' self-identification a s qualified to teach in F rench immers ion while others have rigorous F rench language proficiency tests similar in style and rigour to the one administered by British C o l u m b i a universities. At the provincial level, the British C o l u m b i a C o l l e g e of T e a c h e r s d o e s not test the F r e n c h proficiency of F rench immers ion teachers but leaves testing to the discretion of individual schoo l districts and universities. T h e present study found that testing pract ices vary dramatical ly at the schoo l district level. T h e problems with the testing methods used at the schoo l district level include the a b s e n c e of a universal measur ing stick which would ensure that a single min imum standard would exist for all F rench immers ion teachers throughout the province. A s the situation stands, tests range in their degree of formality and rigour and may assure high standards in s o m e districts but not in others. A further problem of current practices is that s o m e tools used by schoo l districts s e e m unreliable and m a y not be valid. For example , s o m e hiring authorities reported that they will call a reference listed on a r e s u m e to inquire about a candidate's level of F rench . T h e reference m a y have very low or very high standards of what is an acceptab le min imum level of French, or m a y have little knowledge of the candidate's level of F rench but give an opinion nonethe less . It is encourag ing that all districts report that they do test the F rench proficiency of prospect ive F rench 87 immers ion teachers, but while s o m e districts s e e m to have reliable tools in place, other districts s e e m to employ unreliable and possibly invalid tools. A s a c o n s e q u e n c e , the level of F rench proficiency of F rench immersion teachers may vary widely within a single district and a c r o s s the province. M a n y schoo l districts reported that they look at past course work in F rench as an indicator of F rench proficiency. O n e study (Bayl iss & V ignola , 2000) conc luded that pre-service teachers holding F rench degrees may pass or fail pre-admiss ion F rench proficiency tests of s o m e universities regardless of similar previous course work in F rench amongs t candidates . Accord ing to that study, a better predictor of s u c c e s s on the test w a s having lived in a f rancophone community for over a month. O n e concern ing anecdote w a s the Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s who descr ibed a typical interview scenar io where s h e noted the improvement in an applicant's level of F rench during the course of a forty minute interview. S h e stated that this typical applicant probably would not have studied or s p o k e n F rench s ince graduating from a high schoo l F r e n c h immers ion program. S u c h a person, without any university level F rench c o u r s e s or long-term exper ience living in a f rancophone community, w a s nonetheless descr ibed a s a desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidate who should be e n c o u r a g e d to pursue a career in F rench immersion. If hired, teaching in F rench immers ion may have a detrimental impact on this teacher's level of F rench a s he or s h e hears mistakes repeated over and over again (Flewelling, 1995). T h u s , not only is such a teacher candidate's F rench rusty from lack of practice, the level of F rench m a y never have been high and may deteriorate with repeated exposure to errors. Another potentially problematic scenar io is the districts who do not a s s e s s oral and written skills themse lves but rely on letters of reference and transcripts a s indicators of a candidate's level of F rench proficiency. Most new F rench immersion teachers do not have uniform background credentials given the small number of graduates from British C o l u m b i a F rench immers ion pre-service teacher training programs. Vary ing program requirements, F rench proficiency tests and course work backgrounds of teachers who have completed their teacher training in other provinces may contribute to difficulties in accurately and reliably a s s e s s i n g a 88 candidate's level of F rench if it not c h e c k e d by the district itself. Apart from check ing transcripts, phoning a reference w a s another examp le of an extremely unreliable m e a n s of check ing a candidate's level of F rench cited by s o m e Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . Every individual reference would have his or her own measur ing stick for judging F rench c o m p e t e n c e which o n e could hardly cons ider objective or reliable. W h a t is contradictory is that while all respondents were in ag reement on the level of F rench required to teach in F rench immersion, there is no c o n s e n s u s or cons is tency at the schoo l district level on how this level is verified. T h e various m e a n s used to s c reen the F rench language c o m p e t e n c e of F rench immersion teachers in schoo l districts throughout British C o l u m b i a conf irms that the g a p s and inconsistencies in this sys tem and do not provide a s s u r a n c e that a uniform minimum level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e exists for all F rench immers ion teachers in British Co lumbia . T h e opportunity to sc reen a candidate's level of F rench before hiring is critical b e c a u s e o n c e hired, the candidate is general ly en route to permanent employment (Grimmett & Echo ls , 2000), and the potential d a m a g e of hiring teachers with inadequate F rench cannot be undone. Poor cho i ces in recruitment may have very long term c o n s e q u e n c e s . T h e results of this survey suggest that while s o m e districts may verify the level of F rench proficiency in an objective, reliable manner , others appear to have inconsistent s tandards and use unreliable and possibly invalid tools. 4.7 Research question 6 Is there a match or a mismatch between parental views and the views of British Columbia school district Directors of Human Resources on priorities in the recruitment of French immersion teachers? 89 Matching priorities between parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s m a y predict high levels of parental satisfaction with the recruitment of F rench immers ion teachers . O n the other hand, conflicts may arise in areas where parental expectat ions are not met. 4.7.1 Results T a b l e s 11, 12, 13 and 14 s u m m a r i z e the a reas of agreement and d i sagreement between parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s where they were c o m p a r e d in this study. A r e a s of d i sagreement between groups were given only if the difference w a s statistically significant. A r e a s of d isagreement within groups indicate a lack of c o n s e n s u s within the parent group or within the Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s group. T a b l e 11. C o m p a r i s o n of Parents' and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' Priorities on the Expec ted Level of F rench L a n g u a g e C o m p e t e n c e of a F rench immers ion T e a c h e r A r e a s of agreement A r e a s of d i sagreement Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s had a high degree of c o n s e n s u s within and between groups on the min imum expected level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e for a F rench immers ion teacher. Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s found it equally unacceptab le to c o m p r o m i s e on French language skills in the event of a teacher shortage. Both groups rated French language skills most highly w h e n forced to c h o o s e amongs t l anguage skills, teaching skills, personal qualities and knowledge of f rancophone culture. N o n e 90 T a b l e 12. C o m p a r i s o n of Parents' and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' Priorities on the Formal Qualif ications of a F rench immers ion T e a c h e r A r e a s of agreement A r e a s of d isagreement Both groups were agreed that graduates from the F rench immers ion stream of university pre-service programs were desirable F r e n c h immers ion teacher candidates . Parents found it less acceptab le than Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s to hire teachers without an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology. A l though the m e a n s c o r e s for the two groups were similar, there w a s no c o n s e n s u s within the groups on the desirability of hiring graduates from the F rench C o r e stream of university pre-service programs to teach in F r e n c h immersion. 91 T a b l e 13. Parents' and Directors of H u m a n R e sources ' Rank ings of Four Sets of Skills and Attributes of the F rench immers ion T e a c h e r A r e a s of agreement A r e a s of d i sagreement Accord ing to anecdota l comments , both groups felt that ba lance w a s important. T o p o s s e s s one set of skills at the e x p e n s e of another w a s not desirable. Both groups ranked language skills a s most important overall . Both groups ranked teaching skills a s s e c o n d most important. N o n e Persona l qualities were ranked in third place. Knowledge of F rench culture w a s ranked as least important amongst these skills and attributes. 92 T a b l e 14. C o m p a r i s o n of Parents' and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s ' Priorities on First L a n g u a g e Status and Bilingual F r a n c o p h o n e P lace of Origin A r e a s of agreement A r e a s of d i sagreement Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rated F rench immers ion teacher candidates from Q u e b e c more highly than ones from France . Parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rated the following a s desirable F rench immers ion teacher candidates: bilingual f rancophones from Q u e b e c ; bilingual ang lophones ; and graduates from the F rench immers ion stream of university pre-service programs. Parents rated bilingual f rancophones most highly overall . Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s rated graduates from French immers ion teacher educat ion programs most highly overall, followed by bilingual ang lophones . Parents rated bilingual f rancophone French immers ion teacher cand idates from F r a n c e more highly than did Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s . Th is study a lso found that a F rench immers ion teacher shortage exists in over half of schoo l districts surveyed . N o n e of the schoo l districts were found to have a shortage of Engl ish stream teachers . Wi l l ingness to lower hiring standards w a s not found to be a function of teacher supply a s hypothes ized in chapter two. Vary ing standards exist, but presumably, for other reasons . S c h o o l districts were found to use a wide variety of tools to evaluate the level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e of prospect ive F rench immers ion teachers . T h e s e tools were found to vary in rigour and type. T h e y included relying on external persons and bodies for their a s s e s s m e n t of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e (practicum reports, transcripts and references). S o m e districts a s s e s s e d oral F rench language skills and s o m e districts a s s e s s e d written F rench language skills. M a n y districts used a combinat ion of a s s e s s m e n t techniques. 93 4.7.2 Discussion Both parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were in agreement on the importance of strong French language skills for F rench immers ion teachers . W h e n given a forced cho ice amongs t four sets of skills and attributes both groups ranked language skills a s most important, followed by teaching skills, personal qualities and knowledge of F rench culture. Yet all anecdota l c o m m e n t s pertaining to this question e m p h a s i z e d that ba lance w a s important and that o n e set of skills w a s not des irable if it were p o s s e s s e d without the others. Both groups agreed on the minimum level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e expected of a F rench immers ion teacher. In spite of this agreement in principle, there is no cons is tency in the practices used to m e a s u r e F rench proficiency in different districts a c r o s s the province. T h e level of F rench proficiency of a F rench immers ion teacher is extremely important a s the teacher is the main mode l of F rench apart from exposure to authentic documents including books, songs , v ideos and computer programs. Chi ldren will imitate the teacher's pronunciation, be e x p o s e d to a broader or more limited vocabulary according to the teacher's use and instruction of vocabulary, and hear correct or incorrect sentence structures and idioms. Whi le instructional style and teaching methods undoubtedly have a significant impact on students, the importance of high quality linguistic input cannot be d isregarded. T h e knowledge of F rench culture was ranked as least important, which leads us to two poss ib le conc lus ions regarding the parents' stated preference for f rancophone F rench immers ion teachers . First, if the preference for f rancophones is b a s e d on a s s u m e d superior language skills, then this reasoning corroborates our finding that a high level of F rench language c o m p e t e n c e is highly valued by parents. S e c o n d , if the preference for f rancophones is b a s e d on a s s u m e d superior knowledge of F rench culture, then the issue of first language status is probably a less important issue than the d iscuss ion of other attributes of a F rench immers ion teacher. 94 Chapter 5: implications and Areas for Further Study 5.1 The Testing of French proficiency at the school district level T h e present study presents a snapshot of pract ices currently in use to sc reen the level of prospect ive F rench immersion teachers . Encouragingly, all districts do sc reen the level of F rench proficiency of prospect ive immers ion teachers. M e a n s used to do so, however, vary dramatically from district to district, and from university to university ac ross C a n a d a a s d i s c u s s e d in Sect ion 2.2 and Append ix E. In individual districts, it is not c lear that the m e a n s used to test F rench proficiency are a lways reliable and valid. For example , in s o m e schoo l districts the pre-employment interview is conducted in French . However , the language used in a pre-employment interview is different than the vocabulary required in the c l ass room to deliver instructions and d i scuss var ious content areas . Furthermore, the duration of a pre-employment interview may be short and may not provide a sufficiently broad s a m p l e of a candidate's ability to converse on different topics. Ask ing a reference to c o m m e n t on the French proficiency of an applicant, a s is the practice in s o m e schoo l districts, is a lso problematic s ince e a c h person m a y have a different standard of what is an acceptab le level of F rench proficiency for an immers ion teacher. At times, candidates may express themse lves well orally but may have difficulties writing with a high level of grammatical accuracy . If only their oral skills are tested, prob lems with written a c c u r a c y m a y go undetected. T h e difficulties and potential pitfalls of the methods currently used to test the level of. F rench proficiency at the schoo l district level highlight the need to have a universal test that cou ld be easi ly administered by all schoo l districts; Th i s test would need to be administered at a low cost, be easi ly administered by external persons in c a s e s where schoo l district personnel were unable or unavai lable to do so, and have a high degree of reliability and validity. Another poss ib le solution is that the provincial or federal governments , or both, would fund the deve lopment of a F rench proficiency test that could be administered by all C a n a d i a n universities that train F r e n c h immers ion teachers, or conversely , by all schoo l districts that hire them. T h e 95 universal application of a cost-effective, reliable and valid test would be the best a s s u r a n c e possible that high s tandards are being consistently appl ied in the hiring of F rench immers ion teachers . S u c h a test would allay concerns e x p r e s s e d by a c a d e m i c s over the years and a s s u r e F rench immers ion parents that their top priority, a high level of proficiency in F rench , is not being c o m p r o m i s e d in spite of a shortage of F rench immersion teachers . S c h o o l districts currently use a wide variety of testing pract ices which have varying d e g r e e s of reliability and validity. Due to constraints of time and cost, however, the tests and methods used by districts to sc reen the F rench proficiency of F rench immers ion teachers were not studied in depth. T h e findings of the present exploratory study sugges t that there are deeper i ssues at play that could be further investigated. For example , a s a m p l e of schoo l districts of varying s ize and in various geograph ic locations during the hiring p rocess could be further investigated. S u c h a study might have ethnographic e lements where the Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s would be a c c o m p a n i e d and interviewed over a long period of time to s e e what pressures and inf luences affect recruitment dec is ions and to s e e whether or not hiring practices are consistent within a district and ac ross districts. T h e handful of interviews conducted in this exploratory study already provided rich insights into current practices and trends that would merit further study. 5.2 The Teacher shortage and entry standards at the school district level ' A shortage of F rench immers ion teachers exists in over half of schoo l districts in British Co lumb ia . A s found by Macfar lane and Hart (2002) and Grimmett and Echo l s (2000), s o m e degree of c o m p r o m i s e exists already. Overal l , however, Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s and parents e x p r e s s e d opposit ion to lowering standards even in t imes of a teacher shortage, both with regard to F rench language proficiency a s well a s in requiring an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology. In order to a d d r e s s the problem of being forced to hire partially , qualified F rench immers ion teachers, two types of in-service should be provided: first, the government and schoo l districts should provide opportunities for teachers to improve their F rench 96 l anguage skills through travel, workshops and social opportunities on a local level a s well a s other types of cultural e x c h a n g e s . A s e c o n d area in which F rench immers ion teachers need professional deve lopment is in s e c o n d language methodology. O n e Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s stated that most teachers hired in that district do not have course work in s e c o n d language methodology b e c a u s e they rely heavily on hiring f rancophones who have been educated to teach French a s a first language. Addit ional c o u r s e s in s e c o n d language methodology would be useful for these teachers . Both parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s were in favour of requiring extra coursework for F rench immers ion teachers after they are hired if hiring s tandards are lowered. Practically, it would be difficult to implement extra coursework requirements for F rench immersion teachers . It is a lready difficult to recruit F rench immers ion teachers and s o m e would surely be put off by additional coursework requirements therefore worsening the shortage of F rench immers ion teachers . However , voluntary opportunities and incentives may be an effective m e a n s of helping teachers improve their skills after being hired. T e a c h e r s general ly value professional deve lopment opportunities and these opportunities should perhaps be focused more specifically at address ing the n e e d s of F rench immers ion teachers . In descr ib ing the hiring process , o n e Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s said that b e c a u s e districts c o m p e t e against e a c h other to hire F rench immers ion teacher candidates , time constraints do not permit them to be as thorough in their background c h e c k s a s they would like to be and that they som e t im e s take risks. O n e Director of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s said that twelve of the fourteen new F rench immersion teachers that were hired in the 2001 - 2002 s choo l year turned out to be excel lent F rench immers ion teachers . W h a t about the two others? W h a t is the impact of hiring two teachers who have s o m e ser ious shor tcomings? Clearly, if this situation repeats itself year after year throughout the province, the impact over time would be highly detrimental to students and to the entire program. T h e preva lence of s u c h a scenar io , however, is unknown . and would be difficult to calculate. Aga in , a universal test of F rench proficiency would eliminate the risk of hiring teachers without sufficient language skills. Other skills and attributes must nonethe less be judged using other m e a n s . 97 • It w a s noted in the follow-up interviews that many teachers m o v e out of F rench immers ion into the Engl ish stream after being hired but that the reverse did not occur. Th is career pathway m a y exist b e c a u s e it is eas ier to obtain employment in F r e n c h immers ion, thus, w h e n teachers have their foot in the door and have e n o u g h seniority, they c a n m o v e on to other ass ignments . For s o m e teachers, it m a y be eas ier to teach in the Engl ish stream if they are not confident in their F rench skills. S o m e teachers may also find the high level of parent involvement in F rench immers ion to be a source of stress and therefore wish to c h a n g e streams. G iven the shortage of F rench immers ion teachers and the anecdota l suggest ions that teacher retention is a problem in the F rench immersion program, it would be useful to document the exper iences , s t ressors and motivating factors of F rench immersion teachers as they relate to job satisfaction and retention in F rench immersion. Th is could be done by tracking a group of newly hired F rench immers ion teachers and document ing their exper iences , possibly through focus groups or surveys , over severa l years . T h e nature of the teacher shortage in F rench immersion is perhaps not one that captures the media's attention as there are no w idespread reports of c l a s s r o o m s without teachers . However , s o m e schoo l districts do report (Grimmett & Echo ls , 2000; Macfar lane & Hart, 2002) that they are forced to hire partially qualified teachers to teach in F rench immers ion a s conf i rmed by the present study. S u c h a story may not grab headl ines in the s a m e way that a c l ass room without a teacher might, but is the situation less noteworthy? T h e nature of the c o m p r o m i s e in districts exper ienc ing a teacher shortage include being forced to hire teachers without training in s e c o n d language methodology, or with a lower level of F rench language skills or with less than desirable teaching skills. In other schoo l districts, the core group of teachers who are hired may be fully qualified but if they take leaves or are sick, may be replaced by non-special ists due to an insufficient number of F rench immersion teachers-on-cal l . A shortage of teachers-on-cal l is significant a s it can seriously disrupt the continuity of the schoo l year for children. A qualified and skilful teacher on call can a s s u r e a smooth transition and create a positive exper ience w h e n the regular teacher must be absent. G i v e n the recent Laczko-Kerr and Berliner study (2003) which demonstrated the detrimental impact of undercertified and underqualif ied teachers on student 98 learning, it is reasonab le to speculate that the a b s e n c e of an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology may a lso have a detrimental impact on student learning in F rench immersion. By pairing fully qualified and partially qualified F r e n c h immers ion teachers (see definition in sect ion 2.4) with similar levels of F rench proficiency, and measur ing student ach ievement in language over time, the benefits of an educat ional background in F rench immers ion methodology may be demonstrated. G i v e n that approximately o n e third of Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s stated that it was acceptab le to hire teachers without an educat ional background in F rench immers ion methodology in the c a s e of a teacher shortage, it would be important to determine whether or not these c o u r s e s bring about measurab le benefits for children. 5.3 Teacher certification T h e current provincial government has enacted legislation (British C o l u m b i a Ministry of Educat ion, 2003) that fundamental ly alters the structure and role of the British C o l u m b i a Co l l ege of T e a c h e r s . O n e key issue is that all by-laws of the Co l lege can be over-ruled or d isregarded by the new body. Further, teachers will not be regulating their own profession. T h e intentions of the government with these c h a n g e s are unclear. Is this a first step in moving toward alternative certification a s practised in the United States? T h e present study has clearly found that parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s o p p o s e a lowering of standards e v e n in t imes of teacher shortage. Th is conc lus ion e c h o e s the findings of a Vec tor Poll (Canad ian T e a c h e r s ' Federat ion, 1999) a m o n g the genera l population of C a n a d i a n who were a lso strongly o p p o s e d to lowering s tandards of teacher qualifications. If radical c h a n g e s in recruitment and certification pract ices are imminent due to the c h a n g e s to the structure and regulations of the B .C .C .T . , it would be important to survey a broader group of stakeholders including parents, teachers and administrators on the issue of whether or not certifying non-teachers is acceptable , in addition to the quest ions p o s e d in this survey on whether or not s tandards of language c o m p e t e n c e or coursework requirements should be lowered in s o m e c i rcumstances . A s noted in Sect ion 2.6, the 99 practice of giving e m e r g e n c y credentials to non-teachers is becoming more w idespread in the United States and has been found to have ser ious negative c o n s e q u e n c e s for student learning (Laczko-Kerr & Berliner, 2003). A teacher shortage, the rationale for giving e m e r g e n c y credentials in the United States, d o e s not currently exist in the Engl ish s t ream in British Co lumbia , but d o e s exist in F rench immers ion and other specialty areas . D o e s the government intend to certify non-teachers to fill these specialty posit ions? S u c h a m o v e would most likely e n g e n d e r strong opposit ion from parents who general ly o p p o s e the lowering of hiring standards. 5.4 The French language skills of the French immersion teacher T h e results of this study suggest that although parents prefer f rancophone F rench immers ion teachers , F rench language skills may be more important than first language status. F rench immers ion parents indicated an overall preference for f rancophone teachers , particularly from Q u e b e c , while Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s e x p r e s s e d a preference for hiring F r e n c h immers ion pre-service program graduates, followed by ang lophones . Both groups were in agreement , however, that F rench language c o m p e t e n c e is a top priority (see Sect ion 4:3.1, T a b l e 9) and were in agreement on the minimum level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e that should be expected of F rench immers ion teachers (see Figure 5). B e c a u s e parents ranked F rench language c o m p e t e n c e a s a top priority and knowledge of F rench culture a relatively low priority, parents may assoc ia te f rancophone status with superior F rench language skills. T h e assumpt ion that all f rancophones have superior language skills is an erroneous o n e a s noted in Sect ion 2.5. In fact, test administrators at U .B .C . have found that s o m e who call themse lves f rancophones do not meet the min imum language'requirements for teaching in immersion. T h e s e m a y be heritage language learners who have grown up in a f rancophone family but have completed their school ing and soc ia l ized predominantly in Engl ish. T h e p resence of heritage language learners who call themse lves f rancophones underscores the need for a reliable and objective test to reliably determine the level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e of F rench immers ion teacher candidates , and the dangers of relying on candidate self-identification. 100 B e c a u s e they are enrolling their children in F rench immersion, the parent group se lected for this study may p lace more e m p h a s i s on the importance of language skills than would the parents of children in the Engl ish stream. O n e should therefore not genera l ize the findings of this study to Engl ish stream parents b e c a u s e the views of parents enrolling their children in F rench immers ion may differ from other parents in that they m a y place more e m p h a s i s on the importance of l anguage skills. B e c a u s e the parents who participated in this study are m e m b e r s of C a n a d i a n Parents for F rench , they m a y be more voca l in their support of F rench immers ion than other F rench immers ion parents. T h u s their v iews cannot be genera l ized to the entire population of F rench immers ion parents. Another area; that would merit further study would be to track the improvement or deterioration of F rench language skills of F rench immersion teachers with varied levels of F rench proficiency over severa l years . O n e a c a d e m i c (Flewelling, 1995) has sugges ted that a F rench immers ion teacher's F rench is likely to deteriorate over time due to repeated exposure to students' errors. However , perhaps the opportunity to use F rench on a daily bas is and personal study and use of F rench may improve F rench immersion teachers ' F rench over time. Another important factor m a y be the degree to which co l leagues communica te a m o n g s t e a c h other in F rench in a schoo l and the acceptability of using F rench amongs t teachers (which may be cons idered rude in a dual track school where s o m e teachers do not s p e a k French) . T h e impact of the F rench immers ion c l ass room environment on the level of the teacher's F rench m a y a lso be dependent on their initial level of F rench . If they were out of practice, perhaps the daily use would improve their F rench . Without further study, it is difficult to specu late whether improvement or deterioration over time is more likely. 5.5 Summary T h e results of the present study have ser ious policy implications. In spite of a c o n s e n s u s a m o n g s t British C o l u m b i a university F rench immers ion pre-service programs, parents and Directors of H u m a n R e s o u r c e s on the minimum expected level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e for the 101 immers ion teacher, the current tools used to verify F rench c o m p e t e n c e do not guarantee that min imum standards are being maintained in the p rocess of teacher educat ion, certification and recruitment. Th is finding suggests that a universal, valid and reliable tool for measur ing F r e n c h c o m p e t e n c e to be used by schoo l districts would need to be deve loped . G i v e n the c o n s e n s u s amongs t stakeholders on the expected level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e for immers ion teachers , policies and practices that would guarantee consistent s tandards m a y be favourably v iewed by parents and hiring authorities. Parents may be surpr ised by the high number of ang lophones currently teaching in immers ion given their preference for f rancophone F rench immers ion teachers . However , the hiring preferences e x p r e s s e d by parents and schoo l district hiring authorities may not have m u c h influence over hiring dec is ions given the current shortage of F rench immers ion teachers in the province. O n average, schoo l districts have o n e fully qualified applicant per F r e n c h immers ion job opening which sugges ts that most districts have little cho ice in the select ion of F rench * immers ion teachers . F r e n c h immers ion programs may also represent an e a s y point of entry to the job market for new teachers . R e g a r d l e s s of teacher supply, parents expect F r e n c h immers ion teachers to have a high level of F rench proficiency, an educat ional background in s e c o n d language methodology and good teaching skills. In order to redress situations where schoo l districts have been forced to c o m p r o m i s e due to a shortage of F rench immers ion teachers , it would be important to provide in-service to F rench immers ion teachers in the a r e a s of F rench language proficiency and s e c o n d language methodology in order to maintain high quality F rench immers ion programs in the future. 102 R e f e r e n c e s Bayl iss, D., & V igno la , M.-J. (2000). A s s e s s i n g language proficiency of F S L teacher candidates: W h a t m a k e s a success fu l cand idate? The Canadian Modern Language Review, 57(2), 217-244. Bournot-Trites, M. (2002). Persona l Communica t ion . Bournot-Trites, M., O b a d i a , A., Roy, R., Desquins , J . , & Safty, A . (1989). 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Human resources administration: Personnel issues and needs in education (3rd ed.). Upper S a d d l e River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hal l . 108 Appendix C: Questionnaire for Directors of Human Resources Please circle one response for each of the following questions. A r e you the.parent of a.child currently or formerly enrol led in F rench Immers ion? Y e s N o P l e a s e circle the descriptor that best descr ibes your level of F rench . Beginner S e m i - Fluent Equivalent to . F r a n c o p h o n e fluent f rancophone P l e a s e circle the descriptor that best descr ibes your schoo l district. Metro Urban Rural Please indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the following statements by circling the appropriate descriptor. A bilingual f rancophone from F r a n c e is a desirable F rench Immersion teacher candidate. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D i sagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree A bilingual f rancophone from Q u e b e c is a desirable F rench Immersion teacher candidate. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D i sagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree A bilingual ang lophone is a desirable F rench Immersion teacher candidate. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree A bilingual f rancophone is a more desirable F rench Immersion teacher candidate than a bilingual ang lophone . Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D i sagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree A graduate from the F rench Immersion stream of a university teacher pre-service educat ion program is a des irable F rench Immersion teaching candidate for the F rench Immersion program. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D i sagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree 109 A graduate from the F rench C o r e stream of the university teacher pre-service educat ion program is a desirable F rench Immersion teaching candidate for the F rench Immersion program. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree In the event of a teacher shortage, it is acceptab le that a schoo l district lower the expected level of language c o m p e t e n c e required of F rench Immersion teachers . Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D i sagree D i sagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree It is acceptab le to hire s o m e o n e without training in s e c o n d language methodology to teach in F rench Immersion. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D i sagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree If hiring s tandards are lowered, the F rench Immersion teacher should be required to improve his or her language skills by complet ing additional coursework or other activities after being hired. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D i sagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree Please rank the following list of skills and attributes of prospective French Immersion teachers in order of importance. 1 = most important 9= least important f luency in F rench s p o k e n and written accuracy knowledge about f rancophone culture enthus iasm training in s e c o n d language methodology pronunciation c l ass room m a n a g e m e n t skills caring attitude repertoire of teaching strategies Please indicate the minimum level French competence you expect of a French Immersion teacher by checking one of the following boxes. Level 1 - S p e e c h is halting. Vocabu lary is basic, repetitive and error-laden. M a k e s many grammatica l errors although s o m e s imple s e n t e n c e s are correct. Accent , pronunciation and intonation are poor. Level 2 - S p e e c h is general ly hesitant. A b l e to get m e s s a g e a c r o s s with repetition and rephrasing. G r a m m a r is general ly correct but m a k e s s o m e errors. Is able to hold bas ic conversat ions but cannot d i scuss topics requiring spec ia l ized vocabulary. Errors in pronunciation and accent do not interfere with comprehens ion . 110 Level 3 - A b l e to d i scuss s o m e topics fluently but is often left search ing for words. C a n n o t use complex se n te nce constructions and level of vocabulary limits the amount of prec ise information c o n v e y e d . Pronunciat ion is c lear though not native-like. Whi le many topics c a n be d i scussed , the level of language is not a lways appropriate to the aud ience or situation Level 4 - S p e e c h is general ly fluent with occas iona l hesitations. M a k e s few written and s p o k e n errors. M a k e s few pronunciation errors. Vocabu la ry is sufficient to d i scuss most topics. T h e level of language is usually appropriate to the aud ience Level 5 - S p e e c h and writing are fluent, free of grammatical errors and equivalent to that of a native speaker . Vocabu la ry is broad and level of language is a lways appropriate to the aud ience . For the purpose question E1, a fully qualified candidate is defined as one who (1) has a very good command of French, (2) has very good teaching skills, and (3) has training in second language methodology. O n a v e r a g e in the 2001 - 2002 schoo l year, we had the following type and number of appl icants for e a c h F rench Immersion teaching vacancy . . . 6+ fully qualified appl icants 4-5 fully qualified appl icants 2-3 fully qualified appl icants one (1) fully qualified applicant appl icants who satisfy two of the three a b o v e criteria appl icants who satisfy o n e of the three a b o v e criteria no qualified appl icants For the purpose question E2, a fully qualified candidate is defined as one who (1) has a very good command of English, (2) has very good teaching skills, and (3) has training appropriate to his or her classroom assignment. O n a v e r a g e in the 2001 - 2002 schoo l year, w e had the following type and number of appl icants for e a c h Engl ish stream teaching vacancy . . . 6+ fully 4-5 fully 2-3 fully qualified qualified qualified appl icants appl icants appl icants o n e ( 1 ) appl icants appl icants fully who satisfy who satisfy qualified two of the o n e of the applicant three three a b o v e a b o v e criteria criteria no qualified applicants I l l 3 D o e s your district check the level of F rench c o m p e t e n c e of F rench Immersion teacher cand idates? Y e s No If yes, p lease descr ibe how this is d o n e (letter of reference, practicum report, written test, etc.) 4 Do you use the s a m e procedure or criteria for e a c h appl icant? F Do you have further c o m m e n t s you wish to add regarding priorities in the recruitment of F rench Immersion teachers in British C o l u m b i a ? 112 Appendix D : Questionnaire for parents A. Please circle one response for each of the following questions. 1 . A r e you the parent of a child currently or formerly enrol led in F rench Immers ion? Y e s No 2 . P l e a s e circle the descriptor that best descr ibes your level of F rench . Beg inner S e m i - Fluent Equivalent to F r a n c o p h o n e fluent f rancophone 3 . P l e a s e circle the descriptor that best descr ibes your schoo l district. Metro Urban Rural B. Please indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the following statements by circling the appropriate descriptor. 1 . A bilingual f rancophone from F r a n c e is a desirable F rench Immersion teacher candidate. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree 2 . A bilingual f rancophone from Q u e b e c is a desirable F rench Immersion teacher candidate. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree 3 . A bilingual ang lophone is a desirable F rench Immersion teacher candidate Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D isagree agree somewhat somewhat 4 . A bilingual f rancophone is a more desirable F rench Immersion teacher candidate than a bilingual ang lophone . Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D i sagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree 5 . A graduate from the French Immersion stream of a university teacher pre-service educat ion program is a des i rab le ,French Immersion teaching candidate for the F rench Immersion program Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D i sagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree 6 . A graduate from the French C o r e stream of the university teacher pre-service educat ion program is a desirable F rench Immersion teaching candidate for the F rench Immersion program. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D i sagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree Strongly d isagree 113 In the event of a teacher shortage, it is acceptab le that a schoo l district lower the expected level of language c o m p e t e n c e required of F rench Immersion teachers . Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree It is acceptab le to hire s o m e o n e without training in s e c o n d language methodology to teach in F rench Immersion. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree If hiring s tandards are lowered, the F rench Immersion teacher should be required to improve his or her l anguage skills by complet ing additional coursework or other activities after being hired. Strongly A g r e e A g r e e Neutral D isagree D isagree Strongly agree somewhat somewhat d isagree Please rank the following list of skills and attributes of prospective French Immersion teachers in order of importance. 1 = most important 9= least important f luency in F rench knowledge about f rancophone culture training in s e c o n d language methodology c l ass room m a n a g e m e n t skills repertoire of teaching strategies Please indicate the minimum level French competence you expect of a French Immersion teacher by checking one of the following boxes. Level 1 - S p e e c h is halting. Vocabu la ry is basic, repetitive and error-laden. M a k e s many grammatica l errors although s o m e simple sen tences are correct. Accent , pronunciation and intonation are poor. Level 2 - S p e e c h is general ly hesitant. A b l e to get m e s s a g e a c r o s s with repetition and rephrasing. G r a m m a r is general ly correct but m a k e s s o m e errors. Is able to hold basic conversat ions but cannot d i s c u s s topics requiring spec ia l i zed vocabulary . Errors in pronunciation and accent do not interfere with comprehens ion . Level 3 - A b l e to d i scuss s o m e topics fluently but is often left search ing for words. Cannot use complex sentence construct ions and level of vocabulary limits the amount of prec ise information c o n v e y e d . Pronunciat ion is c lear though not native-like. Whi le m a n y topics can be d i s c u s s e d , the level of language is not a lways appropriate to the aud ience or situation. Level 4 - S p e e c h is general ly fluent with occas iona l hesitations. M a k e s few written and s p o k e n errors. M a k e s few pronunciation errors. Vocabu la ry is sufficient to d i scuss most topics. T h e level of language is usually appropriate to the aud ience . Level 5 - S p e e c h and writing are fluent, free of grammatical errors and equivalent to that of a native speaker . Vocabu la ry is broad and level of language is a lways appropriate to the audience . s p o k e n and written a c c u r a c y enthus iasm pronunciation caring attitude 114 D o you have further c o m m e n t s you wish to a d d regarding priorities in the recruitment of F rench Immersion teachers in British C o l u m b i a ? 115 Appendix E: Unpublished pilot study of pre-service French immersion French proficiency tests at Canadian universities University Oral Written University 1 S e g m e n t e d dictation Read ing comprehens ion - multiple cho ice C l o z e test Editing task Compos i t ion - one and a half p a g e s in length Ora l interview - three tasks including the s u m m a r y of a non-technical text and express ion of reaction to the text T h e following is a description of level B (the p a s s s c o r e for the oral component "Presents information and e x p r e s s e s ideas and opinions in a coherent fashion, however not a lways with sophistication. C o m m u n i c a t e s with ease , however, may need s o m e prodding to elicit an adequate s p e e c h sample . Expla ins arguments and defends point of view, however with limited s u c c e s s in performing s o m e functions such as persuading and convinc ing. M a y demonstrate an inability to shift register or to perceive a need to shift register. M a y use s o m e casua l s p e e c h manner i sms . C o m p r e h e n s i o n is clearly demonstrated. Pronunciat ion is c lear and accurate . S p e e d of s p e e c h is appropriate to the context. Native-speaker-l ike errors. N o errors impede communicat ion; however they may limit ef fect iveness of communicat ion" (p. 244). Correction Method: Correct ion method for oral component : uses evaluation grid deve loped by Gerva is , Laurier, and Paret [Gervais, 1994 #76]. "Cand idates within 10 points of the p a s s score (of who failed the composit ion) are still offered admiss ion but must follow a 39-hour remedial course (known as a cours d'appoint) which focuses on F rench g r a m m a r and . writing skills" (Bayl iss & Vignola , 2000, p. 221). University 2 C l o z e test - preposit ions 15 minute oral interview C l o z e test - subject-verb agreement C l o z e test - general comprehens ion Error correction 300 word composit ion Correction Method: Correct ion method for oral component : Proctors listen to tape-recording of 15 minute interview and ass ign ratings of 1 (unsatisfactory) to 5 (very good) for a ser ies of criteria including: phonology, s p e e d , pronunciation, vocabulary, syntax, and grammar. T h e total of all ratings on this sliding sca le from 1 to 5 for each criterion are a d d e d for a max imum of 60 marks for this component . 116 University Oral Written Universities 3, 4 and 5 Dictation C l o z e test Short answer Compos i t ion Short role plays Long role play Universities 3, 4 and 5 (continued) Correction method: A n exhaust ive correction grid has been deve loped over the years by correctors which details which express ions and words are acceptab le . N e w acceptab le entries must be found in o n e of m a n y dictionaries including dictionaries of Q u e b e c o i s express ions . B e c a u s e this test is communicat ive , the range of r e s p o n s e s var ies widely. Errors are classif ied accord ing to the competence . T h e relative importance of e a c h c o m p e t e n c e is indicated as a percentage of total marks. ' University 6 Written items R e a d and report on an article. Write a. letter of application Listen and respond to a presentation on casset te R e s p o n d to presentation on casset te Correction method: Scor ing rubric categor izes errors. Correct ions inserted into recorded responses . Test-takers can listen to their r e s p o n s e s and hear inserted corrections University 7 80 quest ion multiple-choice test none dictation University 8 none none Correction method: N o n e Th i s university has French coursework pre-requisites and a lso relies on the candidates ' self-identification a s having the requisite level of F rench to teach in F rench immersion. Cand ida tes who clearly are not able to c o p e with the linguistic d e m a n d s of complet ing a practicum in a F r e n c h immers ion are re-directed to the Engl ish stream. 

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