ARCHIVED - Two languages, a World of Opportunities: Second-language learning in Canada’s universities

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October 2009

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Methodology

2.1 Advisory Committee
2.2 Survey of institutions
2.3 Focus groups and key-informant interviews
2.4 Structure of the report

3. How is Canada doing?

3.1 Access to regular second-language learning opportunities at university is generally good
3.2 Access to intensive second-language learning opportunities is limited

4. Is there a demand . . . and real need?

4.1 Why, according to students, are second-language learning opportunities at university important?
4.2 Students have varied second-language learning needs that are not being met
4.3 There is both actual and potential demand for more second-language learning opportunities
4.4 There are economic and societal arguments for doing more

5. What works. . . and what would work better?

5.1 Students were clear about what they like in current programs and what they would like to see
5.2 Language-learning experts identified several key success factors
5.3 Professors, administrators and government representatives identified important issues for the organization and delivery of second-language programs
5.4 All agreed on the importance of real-life opportunities to use the second language and interact with persons from the other language group

6. Key issues and challenges

6.1 Costs and financing
6.2 French-language institutions outside Quebec
6.3 Role and status of language departments; teaching approaches in universities
6.4 Partnerships, collaboration and use of technology
6.5 Continuity and coherence in second-language learning opportunities
6.6 Marketing, promotion and information
6.7 Second-language learning and public administration

7. The way forward

7.1 Broad directions for the future and priority areas for attention
7.2 Potential models and approaches

7.2.1 The other-language institution model
7.2.2 The bilingual institution model
7.2.3 The buffet model
7.2.4 The centre model
7.2.5 The partnership model
7.2.6 The targeting model
7.2.7 The tailoring model

7.3 Suggestions for possible next steps and future actions

8. Conclusion

9. Recommendations

9.1 First steps
9.2 Recommendations for governments
9.3 Recommendations for universities
9.4 Recommendations for further study and research

Appendix: Members of the Advisory Committee