Year 1 Results

The following information includes the results pertaining to each research question from Year 1 of the project. Research Question 4, comparing findings across the 4 pillars and across participating universities, is integrated into the results from each research question. 

 RQ1. What practices are currently in place in the FSL Teacher Education programs at participating Faculties of Education related to the four pillars for success? 

Using the Four Pillars for Success model, we interviewed professors who teach in the Bachelor of Education programs at both universities to determine the current practices in place. 

Table 1 provides an overview of the shared and unique practices found at each institution. 

Below, we outline the shared and unique practices found in Table 1. 

Table 1. shows the current practices across and within both universities in relation to the 4 pillars 

Practices found across both universities

Professors at both universities reported encouraging FSL teacher candidates to reflect critically on course content related to each pillar. They also claimed to foster teacher candidates' self-awareness through direct reflection on their biases and experiences as language learners' themselves. 

Language Proficiency (LP)

Intercultural Competence (IC)

Pedagogical Knowledge (PK)

Collaborative Professionalism (CP)

Practices unique to the University of Ottawa

Intercultural Competence (IC)

Pedagogical Knowledge (PK)

Collaborative Professionalism (CP)

Practices unique to York University

Intercultural Competence (IC)

Pedagogical Knowledge (PK)

Collaborative Professionalism (CP)

RQ2. What is the general entry profile of FSL teacher candidates in each FSL Teacher Education program related to these four pillars? 

Survey items were divided into four pillars: Language Proficiency (LP), Intercultural Competence (IC), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) and Collaborative Professionalism (CP). Teacher Candidates were asked to complete a self-assessment and score themselves on several items related to each pillar. 

Language Proficiency (LP)

A correlation matrix was run to see the relationship between the four pillars. All four pillars were significantly correlated with each other, indicating that there is a relationship between them. The strongest correlations were between 

The relationships between collaborative professionalism and the other pillars were not as strong, but were still statistically significant. 

Teacher candidates were asked to rate themselves on six language proficiency skills, based on the CEFR self-assessment criteria. Important findings include:

Intercultural Competence (IC) 

This pillar was assessed using a 5-point Likert scale as well, from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree. The items were combined to form a composite. 

Important findings include:

Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) 

This pillar was assessed using a 5-point Likert scale as well, from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree. As with collaborative professionalism, the items were combined to form a composite. 

The rankings from most confident to least confident are as follows: 

There were no statistically significant differences for our overall composite score or the six sub-pillar composite scores for PK. 

Collaborative professionalism (CP)

For this pillar, students were asked to assess themselves based on a 5-point Likert scale, from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). Overall, this pillar was rated second-lowest. 

We found that York University (Keele) assessed themselves significantly lower than both York University (Glendon) and Univeristy of Ottawa on this pillar. This is particularly salient since students at York University (Keele) were significantly higher in their belief in the value of mentors. 

Furthermore, we asked students to rate their satisfaction with three different groups of colleagues in relation to collaborative professionalism. Teacher candidates said they were most satisfied with their university-based educators, followed by their school-based educators. They were the least satisfied with the collaborative professionalism with their fellow Bachelor of Education colleagues. 

RQ3. What are the specific needs for better FSL teacher education in each participating Faculty of Education?  

Needs identified across both universities

Needs identified at the University of Ottawa

Specialized FSL cohort : would support a shift in understanding FSL as a cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning rather than an add-on to the English program

More courses taught in French: currently FSL teacher candidates only take 2 courses taught in French, but they would benefit from a more immersive environment. 

Focus on preparation for workplace culture: not all school boards offer professional development learning opportunities, so the teacher education program needs to provide ways for teacher candidates to continue collaborating beyond the program

Needs identified at York University 

Decolonizing FSL; anti-racist and anti-oppression lenses: in response to the diverse reality of students in today's classroom, and to critically contextualize the history of FSL in Canada and its role in supporting equitable practices in schools. 

More opportunities for immersion: professors consider immersion experiences as crucial for teacher candidates' language proficiency. 

Stand alone course on Assessment and evaluation: they have limited opportunities to practice and hone their assessment and evaluation skills, and this is a necessary skill. 

Integrating historical context of French-language education and evolution of FSL programs: it's not mandated in course curricula, but it is important to understand the sociopolitical realities of teaching FSL.