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On.cpf.ca Supporting Students Who are Struggling in FSL Programs Supporting Students Who are Struggling in FSL Programs.

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Presentation on theme: "On.cpf.ca Supporting Students Who are Struggling in FSL Programs Supporting Students Who are Struggling in FSL Programs."— Presentation transcript:

1 on.cpf.ca Supporting Students Who are Struggling in FSL Programs Supporting Students Who are Struggling in FSL Programs

2 on.cpf.ca Agenda 1. Welcome Message and About CPF Tanzila Mian, Project Manager, CPF Ontario 2. Supporting Students who are Struggling in FSL Programs Nancy Wise, Consultant, French Immersion Educational Consulting Inc. Denise Harding, Academic Coach, Evoke Learning York Region

3 on.cpf.ca About CPF We are the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second- language learning opportunities for young Canadians. 3 CPF was founded in 1977 by a small group of concerned parents who wanted to ensure that children would have the opportunity to become bilingual in the Canadian school system. Today CPF is a national organization with its headquarters in Ottawa and branch offices in all 10 provinces and in the Northwest Territories. Over 22,000 members in Canada Over 4,000 members in Ontario, 34 local CPF chapters

4 on.cpf.ca Engaging Parents & Students 4 Organizes French-language activities to engage students of all ages from across the province CPF Branches offer informative brochures and publications to support parents Provincial and Regional Conferences and parent workshops Advocate on behalf of parents to the Ministry of Education in support of access to quality FSL programs.

5 on.cpf.ca Become a CPF Member 5 Annual Family Membership: $25 Annual School Membership: $60 To be involved in your child’s education To be informed about provincial policy and issues that affect your children and their French Second Language program To support extracurricular French activities Schools join to foster a sense of community and encourage parental engagement

6 on.cpf.ca Supporting Students Who Are Struggling in French as a Second Language (FSL) Programs Nancy Wise Consultant, French Immersion Educational Consulting Inc. & Denise Harding Owner & Academic Coach, Evoke Learning York Region Homework Helps6

7 on.cpf.ca What We Want You to Understand With support, children with special education needs can be successful in FSL programs. Research has shown that children with special education needs are capable of learning a second language. If your child is struggling in a FSL program, there are steps that need to be taken to ensure that he/she gets support. Struggling students need support both at school and home, and a strong partnership between the two is in your child’s best interest. Homework Helps7

8 on.cpf.ca Overview of FSL Programs in Ontario Core French: a mandatory requirement for all Grades 4 to 9 students in English-only schools (minimum 600 hours by the end of Grade 8 PLUS 1 credit in Grade 9) Extended French: although entry points vary between school boards, French must be the language of instruction for the study of FSL and at least one other subject (minimum 1260 hours by the end of Grade 8 or 25% of instructional time at every grade level of the program PLUS 7 credits in high school) French Immersion: although entry points vary between school boards, entry for early immersion is in SK or Grade 1, and French must be the language of instruction for the study of FSL and at least two other subjects (minimum 3800 hours by the end of Grade 8 or 50% of instructional time at every grade level of the program PLUS 10 credits in high school) 8

9 on.cpf.ca Ministry of Education Policies that Support FSL Students in Ontario Schools and school boards are expected to promote inclusiveness, “recognizing that all students can learn FSL given the appropriate support” (A Framework for FSL in Ontario Schools, 2013, p. 16). FSL teachers are expected to “strive to meet the diverse needs of all students through the use of differentiated instruction and by providing accommodations and/or modifying expectations if necessary” (A Framework for FSL in Ontario Schools, 2013, p. 10). 9

10 on.cpf.ca The Experience of the FSL Learner: Policy vs. Practice Despite the fact that Core French is mandatory for all students in Gr. 4-9, students with special education needs are often encouraged to drop Gr. 9 French to accommodate the Learning Strategies course in Gr. 9. Students who are experiencing difficulty in French immersion schools are often “counselled out” by school authorities and encouraged to switch to English-only schools. Gifted students enrolled in French immersion schools often have to switch to English-only schools in order to access programs that offer enrichment. 10

11 on.cpf.ca Dispelling the Myths

12 on.cpf.ca Dispelling the Myths Myth #1: French immersion (FI) is an enriched program geared to the academic elite, most of whom come from English-speaking, high socioeconomic backgrounds. There is considerable evidence indicating that FI is the most suitable program for the widest range of academic ability (Canadian Parents for French, 2012). Research also shows that students from varied language and socioeconomic backgrounds can thrive in FI. 12

13 on.cpf.ca Dispelling the Myths Myth #2: All FSL students, particularly those who are struggling, should be proficient in their first language before learning French so as not to negatively affect their first language skills. In FSL programs, French language skills are typically acquired without detriment to the development of first language skills (Dr. Renée Bourgoin, 2012). 13

14 on.cpf.ca Dispelling the Myths Myth #3: There are no support services or resources available for FSL students who are experiencing difficulty. As we have seen, the provincial government is committed to providing the financial support that is necessary to ensure that the educational needs of all learners are met, whether they are enrolled in English-only or French immersion programs (FSL, Ontario Ministry of Education, 2013). 14

15 on.cpf.ca Dispelling the Myths Myth #4: Students with learning challenges will be more successful in English-only schools than in French immersion schools. The claim that struggling students are at greater risk by remaining in French immersion programs has never been substantiated by research (Dr. Fred Genesee, 2012). 15

16 on.cpf.ca Navigating the Public School System

17 on.cpf.ca Navigating the Public School System You must commit to establishing a strong partnership with school personnel in order to get your child the support he/she requires. There are steps that must be taken in order to access support in publicly funded English-language district school boards. It will take time to navigate the public school system if your child is in need of support. You are uniquely qualified to be your child’s strongest advocate if he/she is in need of support, and over time, your child will learn the importance of self-advocacy. 17

18 on.cpf.ca Step 1: Parent-Teacher Conference You and the teacher(s) should meet to discuss your child’s strengths and needs. Create a written plan of action, specifying objectives & strategies which will increase his/her opportunities for success. Decide on an appropriate timeline (e.g., 4 to 6 weeks) Set a tentative date for a school team meeting. 18

19 on.cpf.ca Step 2: School Team Meeting In attendance: one school administrator, your child’s teacher(s), a special education teacher, and one or both parents. Review your child’s strengths and needs. Evaluate the effectiveness of the plan of action that was implemented. Create a follow-up plan of action, which may or may not involve a referral for a consultation and/or assessment by school board personnel. 19

20 on.cpf.ca Step 3: Referral for Consultation/Assessment Your child may be referred to a: - speech-language pathologist -psychologist -physical/occupational therapist -social worker -behaviour specialist -vision/hearing teacher -autism specialist -attendance counsellor 20

21 on.cpf.ca Step 4: Consultation/Assessment Once informed consent has been obtained, school board personnel may: -review your child’s Ontario Student Record (OSR) -schedule a time to observe your child in the classroom setting and/or during unstructured time -have further discussions with the teacher(s) -administer selected measures -complete a written report and arrange a follow-up school team meeting 21

22 on.cpf.ca Step 5: Follow-Up School Team Meeting In attendance: one school administrator, your child’s teacher(s), a special education teacher, one or both parents, and the school board personnel who were consulted. Results and/or recommendations will be shared. If there is a diagnosis, referral to an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) will be suggested. 22

23 on.cpf.ca Step 6: IPRC Meeting You will receive an invitation to attend your child’s IPRC meeting at least 10 days before the meeting date. In attendance: one school administrator, a special education teacher, and one or both parents. Your child’s strengths and needs will be reviewed. An identification will be recommended (e.g., Learning Disability), as well as a placement (e.g., regular class with resource and/or withdrawal support). You will be asked to sign the IPRC documentation, and indicate whether or not you agree with the recommended identification and placement. 23

24 on.cpf.ca Step 7: Development of IEP Within 30 instructional days, the special education teacher will develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for your child, in collaboration with his/her teacher(s). The IEP will specify the accommodations that must be provided for your child and/or the grade level expectations that must be modified in order to meet his/her special education requirements. Once signatures are obtained, the IEP becomes a legal document which is reviewed periodically. The IEP can continue to be implemented in high school and post- secondary institutions. 24

25 on.cpf.ca Assistive Technology If your child’s assessment report included a recommendation for assistive technology, a Special Equipment Amount (SEA) claim will be made by the special education teacher for: -computer equipment* -specialized software in French & English (e.g., word prediction, text-to- speech, speech-to-text) -training by a specialist *This SEA equipment can be used by your child until he/she graduates from high school, and then it must be returned. 25

26 on.cpf.ca OSAP for Post-Secondary Studies If your child had SEA equipment, he/she will also need a computer and specialized software during his/her post-secondary studies. Prior to college or university, your child will need to be diagnosed by a qualified practitioner so that he/she can apply for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Successful applicants can qualify for bursaries of up to $2000 per academic year which cover the costs associated with assistive technology. Each Ontario university and college has a centre for students with special education needs. The centre is responsible for the coordination of accommodations and support services for exceptional learners. 26

27 on.cpf.ca Thank You! Please feel free to contact us for further information: Nancy Wise, Ph.D. Director, French Immersion Educational Consulting Inc. twitter: fiedconsulting Denise Harding Owner & Academic Coach, Evoke Learning York Region twitter: evoke_learning 27


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