Just how important is a language anyway?

Just how important is a language anyway?

Quebec City (Quebec) 21 October 2014 – A problem has arisen in the Quebec Education system at the CEGEP level which has become a concern for both educators and the Government at the same time.

There is a standardised French exam which is compulsory for all CEGEP students and if you don’t pass it, you don’t get your college diploma, known as a (DEC).

The problem stems from the number of students who can’t pass the exam – about 15% – or approximately 1,000 students a year. Without the DEC a student cannot progress, either to university or out into the work force which means those 15% reach a dead end as far as their career is concerned.

The concern for the Government is that you have 1,000 students a year who are probably very good at what they were trained for but, because they can’t pass the French exam their talents are wasted. Eg: A student who has taken a marketing course in CEGEP cannot go out and work for a company because they have no DEC so they end up serving tables in a restaurant working at minimum wages when they could be contributing more to society if that French exam didn’t stand in their way.

A brainstorming study is in order according to one ex-CEGEP director, Guy Demers, to either change the requirements for different studies or readjust the French courses which are based on literature, rather than grammar, or make special coaching available to help the students in trouble pass the exam.

The Minister of Education, Yves Bolduc is conscious of the problem but prefers to be prudent and encourages educators to study the problem more carefully so as not to take drastic measures when perhaps the solution could be simpler than it appears.


This article is kindly supported by Les Services Emchar inc.
Cours de français à Quèbec.


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