Bilingualism Gives Students a Competitive Edge

    New And Expanded Projects Benefit Students in Ontario

    CORNWALL, ON, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - Students learning French as a Second
Language (FSL) will benefit from a boost of $34 million over four years,
Education Minister Kathleen Wynne announced today.
    "This government recognizes the tremendous advantage students have when
they speak two or more languages," said Wynne. "Learning a second language not
only strengthens students' problem-solving, reasoning and creative thinking
skills, but also develops their understanding and appreciation of diverse
    Through the Canada-Ontario Official Languages in Education agreement
signed in March 2006, the Canadian government will contribute about       
$8.5 million annually for four years to support FSL programs. This funding
will be used to support strategies that increase teaching capacity, and
increase student participation and retention in these programs.
    "We understand the social, cultural and educational value of studying a
second or third language," said Francophone Affairs Minister Madeleine
Meilleur. "Second-language learning prepares youth to participate more
effectively in the workplace and in the global economy, and provides them with
a distinct advantage in a number of careers, both in Canada and abroad."

    Ontario students will benefit from board projects that include:
    -   Expansion of French courses and immersion programs
    -   Literacy programs
    -   Innovative approaches in delivering core French programs
    -   New resources
    -   Professional development for FSL teachers.

    The Ontario Modern Language Teachers' Association will also receive
$128,170 over three years to provide a Summer Immersion Program for core
French teachers to improve their language proficiency in French.
    Wynne was joined by Jim Brownell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-Charlottenburgh
to visit teachers and students in a French as a Second Language classroom at
Immaculate Conception Separate School.
    "These new and expanded programs will really benefit our young people,"
said Brownell. "Learning French as a second language will generate more
opportunities and later success for students."
    This investment is in addition to the funding provided by the McGuinty
government for the additional costs associated with the delivery of FSL
programs. For the 2006-07 school year, projected ministry funding is    
$221.5 million.
    The McGuinty government has also introduced supports to ensure a vibrant
French-language education system for Ontario's Francophone students,

    -   Launching a policy in 2004, Politique d'aménagement linguistique, to
        help promote French language and culture, improve student achievement
        and self-esteem and help keep young Franco-Ontarians in French-
        language schools.
    -   Providing $60 million more to the Language Grant to support the
        implementation of the Politique d'aménagement linguistique.
    -   Announcing support worth $340 million in construction costs to
        French-language school boards to meet their unique capital needs,
        especially in underserved areas.

    "We are committed to ensuring students have access to the best quality
French-language education we can provide," added Wynne. "Offering our students
access to better FSL programs and more courses will help develop their French
proficiency and ultimately open more doors to future opportunities."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries: (416) 325-2929, 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Education

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