Canadian Parents for French and the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages held the symposium Perspectives d’avenir – Looking Ahead : What Now for French Immersion? at Vanier College on November 18th, 2016.

This bilingual conference – moderated by Michael Canuel, CEO of LEARN Quebec – celebrated 50 years of French Immersion in Canada, and also examined the state of French Second Language programs and their outcomes for English-speaking youth in Quebec, both pedagogically and socially.

During the morning, several researchers, including Benôit Côté from l’Université de Sherbrooke, spoke to these issues and informed the audience of new and innovative programs in the schools. In the afternoon, two panel discussions were held, during which the panelists proposed solutions on how to improve French immersion and on what role the community could play to support the French skills of Quebec’s English-speaking youth.

In attendance were Olga Melikoff and Murielle Parkes, two of the three founding mothers of French Immersion, as well as the daughter of the late Valerie Neale. David Birnbaum, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education and of Higher Education, David Johnston, Quebec Representative for the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and Dr. Sharon Lapkin, CPF Board Member and Professor Emerita at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, were also present.

For a full list of presenters and panelists and to view conference photos, please click here.