Pro Tem is the Bilingual Newspaper of Glendon College. Founded in 1962, it is York University’s oldest student-run publication, and Ontario’s first bilingual newspaper. All content is produced and edited by students, for students.

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Pro Tem est le journal bilingue du Collège Glendon. Ayant été fondé en 1962, nous sommes la publication la plus ancienne de l’Université York ainsi que le premier journal bilingue en Ontario. Tout le contenu est produit et édité par les étudiants, pour les étudiants.

Open Letter to the Proposers of Plurilingual Foundations: An Alternate Path to the Glendon BA/BSc

Open Letter to the Proposers of Plurilingual Foundations: An Alternate Path to the Glendon BA/BSc

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Tout d’abord, nous vous remercions du travail et du temps que vous avez investi dans le développement de cette proposition. Le débat qu’elle soulève est pertinent, voire nécessaire, pour une institution qui se veut en renouvellement perpétuel. Glendon a besoin de se repositionner et de bien définir sa marque par rapport à la nouvelle Université Francophone de l’Ontario.

Cependant, Glendon a déjà une marque forte, et unique. Nous sommes en fait le seul campus universitaire au Canada au sein duquel toutes les étudiantes et tous les étudiants sont réuni(e)s et motivé(e)s par l’amour de l’apprentissage de la langue, et particulièrement de nos deux langues d’engagement civique au Canada, le français et l’anglais.

This is not to say that we must study and learn only in English and in French. Au contraire, the Student Caucus believes that it is upon a strong bilingualism that the foundations for plurilingualism can be laid. We must value the learning of all languages, especially indigenous languages. But let us be clear, Plurilingual Foundations does not build on our strong bilingual ideal. By offering an alternative path to a Glendon BA that allows students to drop French in favour of another language after just one course, not only will we undermine our bilingualism, but we will undermine the very plurilingual foundations many in our community wish to build.

While Plurilingual Foundations recognizes the difficulties students face while learning French, the proposed solution only devalues our Glendon BA by creating two tiers of students: those who aspire to the summit of bilingual excellence, and those who seek only ‘plurilingual foundations’. Yes, the bilingual requirement is arbitrary, and no, it does not mean all our graduates are truly bilingual. But in the face of hardship and struggle, the answer is not to lower the standards, but to work harder to help all students meet them. It is for this reason that our Student Caucus voted unanimously to reject the proposal in its current form, and indeed any proposal or amendment that undermines the bilingual requirement.

Nonetheless, Plurilingual Foundations is correct in recognizing that the Centre for FSL should not be the only path to the BA for those students who are not already proficient in French. Our Caucus has identified the arbitrariness, discontinuity, and decontextualized learning environment of the FSL classroom as key factors in student disengagement. It is for this reason that we have struck our Duty to Consult motion to consult with students to see what this alternative path could look like, including experiential language learning. We believe that strong plurilingual foundations at Glendon must be built on a strong bilingualism.

Nous tenons à remercier à nouveau les auteurs de cette proposition, et nous anticipons une discussion vive autour de la question très pertinente du plurilinguisme et du bilinguisme au sein de notre institution.

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