B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming (centre left) and federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages Melanie Joly stand with some French Immersion students from Quadra Elementary School. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming (centre left) and federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages Melanie Joly stand with some French Immersion students from Quadra Elementary School. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Federal, provincial governments announce $2.2M for more French language teachers

A multi-pronged strategy will look at ways to get more French teachers in B.C.

The federal and provincial governments have announced more funding to find French and French immersion teachers in British Columbia.

In an announcement on Wednesday, federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, Mélanie Joly, announced a contribution of $2.2 million to the effort, with an additional $300,000 from the province.

“Right now we know there is a shortage of French teachers all across the country, and in particular in B.C., and that’s why we’ve decided to tackle this issue,” Joly said. “We can help recruit French teachers, but also train some of the French teachers right now, and even train some of the teachers that don’t speak fluent French.”

ALSO READ: Record-breaking number of Greater Victoria students enrolled in French immersion programs

The funding to find more teachers will go towards eight strategies: improving the data collection system for French teachers, conducting research on supply and demand factors, improving teaching training programs, accelerating the teacher certification process, supporting new teachers, developing supporting professional networks for French teachers, providing French language training for in-service teachers and expanding teacher training programs.

ALSO READ: SD62 nature kindergarten, French immersion registration starts next week

“French language learning creates lifelong opportunities for students,” said BC Education Minister Rob Fleming. “This joint investment is an important step forward as we work to ensure all students who want and deserve to learn French in B.C. have the opportunity to do so.”

Neither ministry was able to define how many positions this funding might create.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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