French immersion not a roadmap for cushy job

Re: French not only popular, just a must for the future (Letters, Sept. 25)

Re: French not only popular, just a must for the future (Letters, Sept. 25)

As a former Trustee at the largest school board in Ottawa during the “immersion” years, I totally disagree with Ken List’s observations in this matter. During my time on the board many parents pushed their children into early, middle and late immersion for exactly the reasons stated in the letter, a future job in the federal bureaucracy.

Research showed that many of these children graduated with a poor grasp of the English language and were no further ahead in French. Parents soon realized the hiring practices of the federal civil service were simple when it came to bilingualism. Given two individuals with equal qualifications, both bilingual: one having a French surname, speaking fluent French and broken English was always hired over the other individual with Anglo surname and fluent in both English and French.

French Immersion is a wonderful program for those students capable of managing both languages. It is not a roadmap to a cushy job anywhere in the Canadian civil service for an Anglophone, this not fiction it’s reality.

Jeff Slater





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