Educational technology to train teachers of minority languages in Canada: Challenges and successes
Thierry Karsenti, University of Montreal ; Diane Lataille-Demore, Michel Demore, Laurentian University
ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference, Publisher: Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
Canada is the world’s second largest country by total area, occupying most of northern North America. For its ten provinces and three territories, Canada must offer education in either English or French, the country’s two official languages. This raises many challenges, particularly in areas or provinces where one language, usually French, is a minority language. For example, in Ontario, Canada’s second largest province, there is a significant shortage of qualified French-speaking teachers. Moreover, although many schools employ some teachers who are not fully qualified, it would be unthinkable to remove them from the classroom for further training, given the lack of teachers. To cope with this challenge, the School of Education of Laurentian University launched a distance teacher training program. Early into the program, the candidates found that distance education was insufficient to help them meet the challenges of classroom teaching. After conducting interviews with our prospective teachers (n = 125), we realised that the theoretical content provided through the distance program needed to be complemented by classroom observations. However, this appeared to be impossible in the circumstances. In this paper, we highlight the findings of our study on the use of educational technologies to train minority-language teachers in Canada. We will focus specifically on the video component that we included in the distance training course. We will show how the videos (over 75 real-life recordings of teachers and pupils in a variety of common pedagogical situations) actually benefited the teachers-in- training, who reported increased feelings of competence, among others.
Karsenti, T., Lataille-Demore, D. & Demore, M. (2008). Educational technology to train teachers of minority languages in Canada: Challenges and successes. In Proceedings of ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference 2008 (pp. 474-476). Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education.