Four new research reports are now available to assist school boards as they work to recruit and retain French as a Second Language (FSL) teachers.
French as a Second Language Labour Market Partnership
OPSBA has completed a three-year Ontario Labour Market Partnership initiative with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development entitled Meeting Labour Market Needs for French as a Second Language Instruction in Ontario.
This initiative was in response to concerns raised by OPSBA member boards about the growing gap between the number of students enrolling in French language programs and the recruitment and retention of sufficient numbers of FSL teachers and support staff. This issue has become an increasing challenge for all English language public school boards in Ontario. As part of the labour market partnership process OPSBA joined with other committed education partners in a collaborative process to share knowledge, experience, expertise and conduct research to generate workable solutions to this labour market issue.
2020-21 (Phase III)
The Phase III report explores effective recruitment, hiring, retention and support strategies for FSL teachers and education workers, following the Partnership’s Phase I and Phase II reports.
The report also includes additional research into three key areas:
- French-language proficiency for FSL teacher hiring
- Professional support for teachers, including ongoing language development
- The important role of leadership in FSL teacher support and retention
Highlights from the report include:
- Professional learning (e.g. improving educators’ French-language proficiency) can increase educators’ opportunities to be hired into a wider range of FSL positions.
- FSL teacher retention can be positively impacted by meaningful professional support from school and school board leaders. This support needs to be targeted and focused on specific audiences, such as early-career FSL teachers or those initiating new FSL programs.
- More collaboration between school boards and faculties of education could bring greater understanding to the French proficiency skills actually needed for FSL teaching.
Read the full report at: Implementation of Evidence-Based Strategies
In early 2020, OPSBA was approved to lead three initiatives as part of the FSL Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy in French Immersion and French Second Language Programs, an initiative funded in part by the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Province of Ontario. These initiatives support the public education sector and are envisioned to be three years in length and pan-Canadian in scope. The combined executive summaries document and the full reports for Year 1 for each initiative are found below.
Recruitment Guide for English-Language School Boards
This initiative’s key objective is to develop a guide for English-language school boards that supports the effective recruitment and hiring of FSL teachers. Research will be conducted to determine higher-yield strategies and explore alternatives that would ultimately increase the overall supply of FSL teachers.
French-Language Proficiency Assessment Toolkit and Resource Guide
This initiative explores existing research on the assessment of second language proficiency in teaching contexts. This information will inform the development of a toolkit of evidence-informed assessment practices that could be used in various education contexts to review current French language proficiency assessment processes as FSL teachers prepare to enter the job market.
Supporting Principals to Address Challenges in Retention and Professional Support of French as a Second Language Teachers
This initiative recognizes the important role of school administrators in facilitating FSL teacher retention and professional support. The overall objective is to conduct research to facilitate school administrator engagement, share innovative practices and ultimately build a compendium of strategies that positively affect FSL teacher retention.
For more information on OPSBA’s work regarding FSL teacher recruitment and retention, please click here.