We are excited to invite you to the CASLT FSL Research Exchange — a dynamic platform that unites French as a Second Language (FSL) education stakeholders. This virtual event series is designed to ignite insightful discussions, foster meaningful connections, and open doors for collaborative research ventures.

Drawing on the findings from our recently published report, Identifying Requirements and Gaps in French as a Second Language (FSL) Teacher Education: Recommendations and Guidelines, we aim to shift the conversation from what FSL teachers might lack to how we can collectively empower and support their ongoing growth.

Why Attend?

Connect With Peers: Engage with fellow researchers who share your passion for FSL education and are dedicated to advancing the field in meaningful ways.

Inspiring Insights: Explore ways of shifting the conversation about FSL education in Canada beyond our usual thinking.

Interactive Dialogue: Participate in lively discussions, sharing your thoughts and learning from others.

Opportunities for Collaboration: Discover potential research partners and avenues for impactful projects.

Join us for an hour of exploration, connection, and collaboration and find a community striving for growth, empowerment, and innovation in FSL education. Let’s reshape attitudes and pave the way for the transformation of FSL education.

Summary: FSL Research Exchange Gap #1

Unveiling New Perspectives: From Deficit to Development in FSL Education

Written by Stephanie Arnott and Meike Wernicke

This exchange addressed the pervasive focus on what FSL teachers can or cannot do at every stage in their career, the obstacles that reinforce this deficit-oriented view, and what it takes to advance perspectives that prioritize the supports and opportunities teachers need to develop. Featured presenter Dr. Wendy Carr, Professor of Teaching Emerita at the University of British Columbia, shared her views on the key relationship between FSL teachers’ self-efficacy and their perceived proficiency in French. This led to a fruitful discussion on the need to expand our understanding of FSL teacher identity beyond singular and static over the career span.

Attendees shared questions they felt that researchers should ask to further thinking and practice related to this juxtaposition between deficiency- and development-oriented views of FSL teacher language development. These questions included the following, among many others:

  • Should French language proficiency be tested upon admission into Faculties of Education? What are the impacts of testing/not testing?
  • What resources exist for FSL teachers to develop their language proficiency and how are they used? Why might teachers not be using/accessing them?
  • Why are FSL teachers leaving their roles? To what extent do issues related to language proficiency and Francophone identity play a role in the high rates of FSL teacher attrition?
  • Are these topics prevalent in discussions of FSL retention in international contexts?

Watch the full video to expand your own thinking related to deficit vs. development perspectives in FSL teacher education.

Summary: FSL Research Exchange Gap #2

Balancing Constraints with Possibilities: Overcoming Time and Access Barriers in FSL

Written by Stephanie Arnott and Meike Wernicke

We thoroughly enjoyed diving head-first into themes of awareness, resilience, agency, and sustainability as part of our second FSL Research Exchange.

Our featured presenter, Dr. Callie Mady of Nipissing University, prompted us to prioritize reflection and awareness-raising as key first steps in thinking about gaps linked to time and access in FSL teacher education. She began by sharing her own responses to the questions in the recommendations section of CASLT’s FSL Teacher Education report. Next, Callie highlighted how she sees the resilience and agency of individuals, systems, and communities as central to her thinking about time and access. What we allocate time and access to communicates what we value in FSL education.

In addition to sharing novel ways that they use time and access at their disposal, attendees called for future research to answer questions such as the following:

  • How can we create more ripple effects around attending professional activities, being part of communities of practice, and risk-taking?
  • How can we improve teacher participation in professional learning opportunities? How do we combat event fatigue?
  • If communities of practice are formed as part of a research project, how can they be sustained beyond the study?

Watch the session recording and review the reflection questions in the report to raise your own awareness and further your thinking related to FSL teacher education.

Have any questions regarding this project?

Contact our Projects and Professional Learning Coordinator:


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