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Quebec English-language college concerned courses will be cut due to Bill 96 implementation

English-speaking CEGEPs in Quebec may have to cut their language programs because of the province's new French-language law (Bill-96).

The change will see students taking more French courses and leaving out other languages, which means language departments at English colleges such as Vanier College may be in jeopardy.

Starting in the fall, French-speaking and allophone students, who do not have English eligibility certificates will be required to take a a French exam to graduate, meaning they will have to take additional French courses.

"If those students now are only able to take half of their complimentary courses, well, we're going to lose sections of language courses that are being currently offered, and teachers will lose their jobs," said Vanier Spanish teacher and coordinator of the languages and cultures program Helen Filippou.

English-speaking students with certificates will not have to take a French exam, but they will need to take five courses in French as of Fall 2024.

"If it's forced on you or a mandatory course, you're not reaping the same benefits from that," said languages and cultures student Chloe Francisco.

Students will soon only have one complimentary English class instead of two, and the second will now have to be in French.

"We're going to have to teach maybe some of our methodologies, our general courses in French for them," said Vanier faculty of the arts, business and social sciences dean Alena Perout. "We're going to have to perhaps have them do translations. Right now, they do translation from Italian, Spanish or German to English. We may need to change that from Italian to French."

Andrew Caza is a Concordia student and Italian teacher's aid at Vanier, and he feels the province already does enough to promote its French identity and that changes could prevent students from broadening their horizons.

"Especially for CEGEP students that are in some of the most stressful times of their lives, trying to figure themselves out, who am I, and those are all questions that the cultures program answers here at Vanier," he said.

Though Vanier will follow the new law, dean Perout says that the way it was imposed shows a lack of consideration. 

LISTEN on CJAD 800 Radio: Foreign language teachers fear their jobs are on the chopping block thanks to Bill 96 Top Stories


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