Launch of the Observatory on education in minority language contexts

Posted on Thursday, April 7, 2022

Circles in blue and green and half circle in black

The Observatory on education in minority language contexts is an initiative directed by Faculty of Education professor Nathalie Bélanger, in collaboration with the Collège des chaires de recherche sur le monde francophone de l'Université d'Ottawa. The goal of the Observatory is to mobilize knowledge and to share relevant and emerging research which can inform practitioners and improve educational practices in schools.The OÉCLM is proud to celebrate its launch with a series of inaugural lectures and invites you to join us for these spring events in person. A virtual option will also be available. These presentations will be held in French.


Linguistic plurality, education and glottophobic discrimination | Philippe Blanchet

Date: April 27, 2022

Time: 12:00 PM

Location: Faculty of Social Sciences - Room FSS 6032

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Description: As a starting point for reflection, this lecture proposes the consideration of linguistic plurality as a universal phenomenon from the point of view of sociolinguistic observation. The presentation will analyze the three main cumulative types of reduction of this plurality that have built and still dominate the relationship to linguistic plurality in many societies, especially in educational systems. It will also offer arguments for fundamental linguistic rights as needed to prevent discrimination in the exercise of these rights. Finally, the discussion will suggest ways and examples of what can be an inclusive, non-glottophobic language education.

Philippe Blanchet is a professor of language sciences, specializing in sociolinguistics and language didactics, at the University of Rennes 2. His career trajectory has included teaching English in France, French in English-speaking Africa and then in France, for a network of associations. He has been a teacher trainer Rennes 2 where he is now the director of a Master's degree program in "Francophonie, Plurilingualism, Minorities, Interculturality". An expert in multilingual linguistic and educational policy for major international organizations, he has worked in numerous fields. He studies the dynamics of development or discrimination of linguistic plurality in linguistic and educational policies and practices.



Taking into account cultural and linguistic diversity in the African school context: between discourse and implementation | Abdeljalil Akkari

Date: May 4, 2022

Time: 12:00 PM

Location: Faculty of Social Sciences - Room FSS 10 003

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Description: After more than half a century of independence, African countries have been challenged by accounting for the cultural and linguistic diversity of their students. This presentation will attempt to shed light on this issue, which is at the heart of contemporary African educational policies. First, the ambiguity of the African school model, which balances between colonial heritage and modernization tool, will be analyzed. In the second part, the obstacles to taking into account the languages and cultures of students will be addressed both at the level of the main school actors (teachers, parents, etc.) and at the level of educational policies. In the third part of the conference, conclusive experiences of school multilingualism in some regions of the continent will be presented. Finally, this lecture will propose ways to rethink school education in Africa.

Abdeljalil Akkari is Professor of International and Comparative Dimensions of Education at the University of Geneva. He recently served as President of the Section of Educational Sciences at the University of Geneva. He previously taught at the University of Fribourg and at the University of Maryland (USA). His main research interests are intercultural education, internationalization of educational policies and international cooperation in education. He has published various books including Approches interculturelles en éducation (Presses de l'Université de Laval, 2019) and Éducation à la citoyenneté mondiale (Springer, 2020). He has also recently developed a MOOC course on Cultures and Pedagogies.



Innu is not the language of instruction in Innu schools! | Yvette Mollen

Date: May 5, 2022

Time: 12:00 PM

Location: Faculty of Social Sciences - Room FSS 10 003

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Description: The Innu language is losing speakers every year, its transmission within families is diminishing, schools are struggling to find people capable of teaching the language, and young people, caught up in the majority Francophone and Anglophone culture, are losing the motivation to learn and speak their language. During this presentation, Yvette Mollen will first discuss the situation of the Innu and then the state of the Innu language in the communities and in the schools.

Yvette Mollen was born in the Innu community of Ekuanitshit (Mingan), on the North Shore. First as an elementary school teacher, then as director of the Language and Culture Department of the Tshakapesh Institute, as well as through her participation in the creation of various pedagogical tools, she has had an exemplary and coherent professional career. Her greatest ambition: to ensure the survival of Innu-aimun by promoting the development of an interest, among both young Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals, for this descriptive language with its rich and complex vocabulary. In 2021, she received the Gérard-Morisset Award.


Project context

The creation of the OÉCLM is a continuation of research activities by Faculty of Education Professor Nathalie Bélanger, who held the Education and Francophonie Research Chair in the College of Research Chairs in the Francophone World from 2005 to 2020. Drawing on the body of work undertaken as part of her extensive research program, and thanks to collaborations established over the years, this Observatory will focus on the educational and linguistic policies and practices in effect in Ontario, and more broadly in Canada, that shape the mandates of French-language schools and that are germane to international research in the field.

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