"My job isn't to make people of doctorates feel good" - Kelly Lamrock
This quote, from New Brunswick's education minister in today's Globe and Mail seems to confirm my worst fears about what is driving the decision to can early French immersion in New Brunswick. While Lamrock goes on to say that his job is to "look at reports, all the information, and make a decision on what's best for all kids. That's what I've done," his anti-intellectual bias seems pretty clear from his recent statements.
If Lamrock were indeed looking at "all the information" he'd see that there is a strong consensus in favour of early immersion as a better route to language fluency than late immersion, and certainly very little support for a complete absence of second language instruction prior to grade 5. He would also see that almost every study done of English-language competencies of French immersion students shows that these students perform as well, if not better, than their counter-parts in the English-only stream once they reach Grade 4 (English is usually not introduced as a school subject in early immersion until after the first two years). So, much as opponents of immersion and bilingualism may rail against the supposed detrimental effects that immersion has on first language competencies, their grievances simply aren't borne out by the research!
And one more thing - Mr. Lamrock is wrong. His job is to make people with doctorates feel good. Otherwise, New Brunswick's universities and economy will continue to deteriorate. His government will have a hard time maintaining a stable university system if educated parents are increasingly fleeing the province in droves. It is hard enough to retain university-educated New Brunswickers. His decision is going to make things worse.Recommend this Post