Education remains “the sinews of war”

Teaching remains

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“The sinews of war is education. We should invest more in order to have good teachers,” says Yves Nadon, retired teacher, author and education consultant.

Grand dossier Solutions to improve French #

Teaching remains “the sinews of war”

Better train teachers

Several experts agree on this point: when it comes time to teach French, it is not true that all practices are created equal.

Hence the importance of better training teachers, particularly in the teaching of writing, which is the “poor relation of literacy at school, while research results clearly show its importance”, according to Marie-France Morin, professor at the University of Sherbrooke. 

But taking the time to train teachers well, so that they form a cohesive team, takes time and money.

Since July 1, 2021, teachers must complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education over a two-year period. A first step in the right direction, but still too timid, according to many. 

Teachers will choose the content of their training themselves. Since the needs are great, nothing obliges them to make teaching French a priority.

Compulsory training required

Teaching remains “the sinews of war”

Carole Fisher Courtesy

Carole Fisher, associate professor at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi, calls instead for mandatory training in French for all primary and secondary teachers. The initial training of future teachers should also make more room for the teaching of French, she adds.

After four years of study, the newly graduated teachers “have not acquired all the knowledge required to teach grammar,” adds Isabelle Gauvin, professor of French didactics at UQAM. “It may be shocking to hear, but for me, it is not surprising”, she drops.

The bachelor's degree in preschool education and elementary education covers several subjects, from kindergarten to sixth grade. In French, you have to learn how to teach writing, reading and oral communication. For the writing component, students must learn how to develop their ideas, structure their sentences, enrich their vocabulary and master the basics of grammar.

“I think the general population does not realize the magnitude learning that is to be done in initial training. This is the reason why it is necessary to bet on continuous training. It's the same as for a doctor or a lawyer,” says Ms. Gauvin.     

Continue reading Solutions to improve French More than 40% of students fail in spelling at the end of secondary school 1. Practice writing more often in class 2. Tackling French mistakes in all subjects 3. Make students think through dictations 2.0 4. Introduce students to writing as soon as kindergarten 5. Train teachers better 6. Bet on books to learn to love words 7. Do not reduce French teaching time 8. Track students from the start of their journey 9. Review the French programs 10. Working in a team to overcome difficulties in writing

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