A new knowledge mobilization hub at York University’s bilingual Glendon Campus will help to meet the need for French as a second language (FSL) teachers at a time when they are in short supply.
The Glendon Accelerator for Innovation and Best Practices in French Teaching will lead several new initiatives to help recruit and retain French language teachers for extended, core and immersion teaching and address the shortage of FSL teachers in Ontario and Canada.
Students, continuing learners and experts in the field are coming together to create an innovative new hub for the sharing of resources, expertise and networking opportunities.
“For many years, Glendon has played a central role in the development of teachers entering the immersion system, as well as in the teaching of French as a Second Language,” says Ian Roberge, interim principal, Glendon Campus. “We are extremely pleased to lead key initiatives which will address the teacher shortages across the province and will also make core resources available to support them in their daily activities.”
The accelerator’s main objective is to encourage students to seek a career in French language teaching and assist internationally certified French teachers who could benefit from bridging programs for the local Canadian and Ontarian market. The accelerator, which will serve as a hub for innovation, will include a newly created undergraduate certificate in French language and community stewardship, which will nurture the skills needed for a future in FSL teaching. The hub will introduce a critical new FSL research centre and Open Education Resources (OER) on FSL teaching and learning, that will help educators find connections and support in professional learning communities.
“The Government of Canada is proud to provide the necessary support to this important initiative aimed at training the next generation of French as a second language educators. Glendon’s unique position as a significant bilingual campus within the world-class York University makes it an ideal postsecondary partner,” says Rob Oliphant, MP for Don Valley West. “At a time when the demand for bilingual skills is increasing, this made-in-Canada knowledge hub is a welcome tool to recruit, retain or retool FSL educators.”
The new hub will offer prospective participants a diverse and rich place to learn in an environment that fosters inclusivity, equity and diverse ways of knowledge. It will deepen cooperative practices between academic, school and non-governmental partners in French language education and remove some of the burden from schools and school boards that often use their own resources to recruit and retain teachers.
The project is co-led by York Associate Professor Muriel Peguret, Associate Professor Dominique Scheffel-Dunand and researcher Mirela Cherciov, and will include a diverse team of people involved in education, such as teacher candidates, current teachers, postsecondary course instructors and university professors.
The accelerator hub has received funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and has already begun identifying needs and designing innovative programming for its different targets: high school students, Glendon students, future French teachers and in-service French teachers trained in Canada or internationally.