FSL Working Group

The FSL Working Group was initiated in March 2021 (prior to the end of Year 1 of the research study). Members consisted of University of Ottawa Teacher Education program directors, administrative staff from different sectors (i.e., practicum, marketing, academic secretariat), and professors who had been working in the FSL option of the program for some time. The group was led by one of the members of the research team. 

The impetus for this pilot project was two-fold: 

The group met every month for approximately one hour. Early on, we established four sub-committees to help focus each member’s efforts and responsibilities on areas of influence and interest that aligned with their work positions: (1) Courses; (2) Additional Qualifications; (3) Admissions; and (4) Marketing. This structure eventually developed into a more contextualized focus on short-term and long-term goals for our program (as determined by the group's developing shared vision around where best to direct our collective energy and resources). 

The working group structure provided time and space to dedicate to supporting pilot project initiatives for this project as well as exploring and refining other FSL-related initiatives. In terms of pilot projects, the FSL Working Group was instrumental in the realization of each University of Ottawa pilot project related to Year 2 of the research study. For example, the group helped to support the Schooling and Society pilot by communicating with the course professor about the pilot project; authorizing additional teaching assistantship hours for two members of our research team to facilitate the small group discussions focused on FSL. In terms of non-project related initiatives, the group helped to promote (and eventually approve) our proposed addition of an elective course geared towards building cultural and linguistic proficiency for our FSL teacher candidates at several faculty- and university-based committees. We were also able to pass a motion at the faculty-level committee to revise the admission requirements in the hopes of widening our pool of potential applicants to our FSL Teacher Education program. Finally, we brainstormed how best to optimize our marketing strategy to recruit potential students, our timing and realization of the French proficiency testing for admission, and our offering of additional qualification courses.