Webdocumentary: promoting the success of students with an immigrant background

At the origin of this webdocumentary, a Hebrew proverb that says: "We only give our children two things, roots and wings".

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At the origin of this webdocumentary, a Hebrew proverb that says: "We only give our children two things, roots and wings".

On November 2, 2016, the launch of the Web-documentary was held at UQAM Roots and wings, fruit of two years of work by Jacinthe Moffatt, the director. This online educational tool is the result of a collaboration between the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM).

Roots and wings presents the experiences and approaches of teachers of reception classes and regular classes of several CSDM schools. Accompanied by Sonia Fréchette, pedagogical advisor in support of learning French in secondary school, Sonia Robitaille, pedagogical advisor in support of learning French in preschool and elementary school and Réginald Fleury, pedagogical advisor in education and intercultural relations, ethics and religious culture, they sought to answer the following questions:

  • How to promote learning French and learning in French?
  • How to facilitate the transition from the reception class to the regular class?
  • How can we better collaborate with immigrant parents?

This web documentary, in its dual dimension of prevention and student aid, is aimed at all those who wish to support their students towards academic success. The educational process illustrated here contributes to the reduction of inequalities, to the improvement of the school climate and to the success of all. It also contributes to the development of teaching practices. Let us not forget that 51 % of CSDM students do not have French as their original language.

We are also seeking to develop in French-speaking Quebec an area of expertise on the acquisition of French by allophone immigrant students.

The title of the project takes its origin from this Hebrew proverb which says: “We only give our children two things, roots and wings”.


Learning French, a long process

Research shows that learning a new language takes about 7 years. But beyond a perfect knowledge of the new language, various stages have been identified to facilitate the first steps of the newcomer student towards his integration into the Quebec school system.

The web documentary covers this area. Not only can you view a number of testimonials and examples of practice, but also references and educational resources that will be useful to teachers working with recent immigrant students who must learn French and with plurilingual students on a daily basis.

6 modules to cover a broad subject

It is easy to find your way around this tool and find the information that is nevertheless abundant. The six main information blocks, introduced in the first sub-menu, remain accessible throughout the viewing, in the form of immersive content along a timeline. Each block gives access to various educational resources relating to this stage.

1 - Arrival in Quebec: Ricardo, an 11-year-old boy from Brazil, leads us to five questions to be answered in the form of TRUE or FALSE aimed at debunking some myths about immigrants.

2 - Entry into the Quebec school system: It deals with the school's reception protocol so that the student does not feel lost when he arrives in this new environment where it is impossible for him to communicate. We also talk about mentoring / tutoring, school-family-community collaboration, the place of native languages.

3 - The student in the reception class: In particular, it draws up a portrait of the reception class. It also talks about decompartmentalization activities, which are particularly favorable to facilitate the transition of the newcomer to regular classes.

4 - The transition from the reception class to the regular class

5 - Plurilingual students in ordinary class

6 - Educational success: Students with an immigrant background do less well than others. TRUE or FALSE, a myth to be deconstructed.

An index allows you to navigate directly to:

  • the submenus;
  • questions that deal with immigration myths heard in our societies;
  • all resources;
  • the multiple videos;
  • reference documents;
  • research results.

To find out more, you can contact the main officials of the project.

See the webdocumentary.

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About the Author

Ninon Louise Lepage
Ninon Louise Lepage
Ninon Louise LePage is a pedagogue and museologist who recently came out of premature retirement to be reborn as an educational designation. She has taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Université de Sherbrooke in science education, in addition to working at the Canadian Heritage Information Network as a museology consultant. She also writes for our French friends at Ludomag. She also invites all interested to contact her so that she can talk about you, your students, your school and your particular experiences in digital and computer education.

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