Do the methods benefit students in terms of their reading and writing, which are two key skills to ensure their success in school? What challenges does this type of integration create for educators who teach French in regular classes and are not trained to work with learners for whom French is their second language?
Research conducted with a large sample in late and early primary schools, including about 15% allophone students, provided new information on both issues. The reading and writing skills of allophone students who are directly integrated into regular classrooms remain, on average, lower than those of their peers at the start and end of the year, though the gap closes as the year progresses.
In addition, a significant proportion of non-allophone students score similar and sometimes lower grades than allophone students, who are therefore not the only ones requiring particular support. Teaching methods may be adjusted to help students master certain strategies. Specialized training is also needed to better understand the specific challenges faced by allophone students.
Olivier Dezutter, Université de Sherbrooke
Deposit of the research report: September 2021