Portraits of French secondary education in Manitoba

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Date
2018
Authors
Cormier, Gail L.
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Abstract
This study analyzed the linguistic landscapes (Landry & Bourhis, 1997; Shohamy & Gorter, 2008) of three secondary schools in Manitoba, Canada where French was the language of instruction. Through a translanguaging (García & Kleyn, 2016) and Bourdieusian framework, linguistic landscapes were viewed as reflective of language ideologies, attitudes, language use and linguistic identity. The purpose of this study was to describe the linguistic landscapes of a French-language, a French immersion single-track and a French immersion dual-track high school. It was also important to understand how the students from the respective schools interpreted their own and other scholastic linguistic landscapes. The data for this study was collected through two interviews with each of the 37 participants and photographs from each school’s linguistic landscape. The first interview was semi-structured and the second interview was a photo-elicitation interview wherein participants analyzed a selection of images from the schools’ linguistic landscapes. Findings pointed to the differences between the school contexts, the importance of school choice, language ideologies and attitudes, linguistic identity and linguistic landscapes in education. It was found that schools that focus on French instruction in a minority context needed to increase exposure to French to counteract the power of English as the legitimized dominant language. In doing so, they also need to increase exposure to other minority languages.
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Keywords
Linguistic Landscape, French-minority education, French immersion education, Translanguaging
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