Where has the love of French gone?

Where did the love of French go?


For decades, French has been constantly abused. When there is progress in the official pass averages, it is because the Minister of Education is keeping an eye on the grain and inflating the results.

The best proof of this is undoubtedly that the ministerial exam in French at the end of secondary 5 allows students to use not only a dictionary and a grammar, but also a conjugation book and a personal note sheet. Well, despite this paraphernalia, the student must make less than 15 mistakes in a text of 500 words, which corresponds to this column.

Despite this, 41.9% of students fail in “spelling of usage and grammatical spelling”.

Okay, let's stop plunging ourselves into the pedagogical-technical language of specialists. Clearly, the written language continues to deteriorate in Quebec. So what? say the cynics for whom this fight is a rearguard.

Status of French

In the dossier presented today in Le Journal, where experts have been consulted, one thing can be deplored: that there is no question of the love of the language. Nor is there any question of seeing in the current failure to improve the quality of written French a link with the decline in the status of French in Quebec.

Initially, how can we effectively teach written French to children whose spoken language is deficient? From the beginning, the child speaks the language he hears around him. In this sense, social discrimination is part of the youngest age. The gap between the spoken language and the written language is deep. To write well, you need to know grammar and spelling. And that is not intuitive. 

I have enormous respect for French teachers in Quebec. They are the underdogs of the education system. Their classes are always likely to be reduced to make room for other more fashionable subjects, such as diversity education, history revised in the light of white anti-colonialism, and even physical activities. /p>


The teaching of French, once a priority, is transmitted in the context of Quebec's disaffection with it. An example. In Quebec, the quality of language and syntactic knowledge are associated with elites considered as snobs, and in the best of cases, imitators of the French of France. Because we have forgotten that generations of Quebecers from modest backgrounds were educated with respect, love and pride in the language, one of the foundations of our identity.

Learning spoken French and writing has become secondary while French remains the official language. But for how long if we judge by the indifference in the population?

French is no longer praised except by originals and we are wary of those who handle it with elegance, power and precision.

I pity teachers who struggle to convince their students of the happiness of writing without mistakes, of the joy of mastering this language and of the feeling of pride in speaking this rich, complex, luminous language which transform us. A language that is being shunned or ignored by our children who have become orphans of their past.

How to put French back in the hearts of Quebecers, tell me?

< img class="aligncenter" src="/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/b401a4e97ee2ad563d6c46fbde9b0524.jpg" alt="Where did the love of French go?" />

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