Schools in the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial have a cultural, as well as a pedagogical mandate to support students.

Through the first pedagogical mandate, the French language school contributes to the individual development of young Francophones by enabling them to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and competencies necessary to fully live their adult lives. By virtue of its second mandate, its community and cultural mission, it has the responsibility to support young Francophones in their identity construction by facilitating the discovery and development of their language, culture and community. The construction of identity is without a doubt an essential factor of academic success.
 
For many students, the school is the only place where they can discover and better understand the francophone culture. The teaching staff brings them closer to that culture. The role of teachers in the construction of a francophone identity is therefore essential. For many students, the teacher is perceived as the one who contributes the most to their awareness and their commitment to the francophonie. The school must seize every opportunity to ensure that all students, in all their diversity, can have positive experiences in French.

Pedagogy in a minority setting provides teachers with tools designed to ensure the success of students, both academically and culturally.

The six components of pedagogy in a minority setting are integrated into the teaching-learning-evaluation process. The six components are:

  • positive relationship to the French language
  • active francophone acculturation
  • consciousness and engagement
  • community leadership
  • self-determination
  • mastery of learning

It is important that the students, as they progress through school, develop a positive relationship with the French language and feel confident to speak French in their daily lives. Developing a positive French-language relationship is one of the first steps towards linguistic security. Linguistic security is present when speakers feel confident in the way they speak regardless of their accent. When students feel linguistically secure, they feel more confident in their language abilities. While continuing to develop linguistic security, teachers support the development of the students’ language fluency in all communication situations. This fluency is developed by teaching and developing oral language skills.

Language fluency means being able to think in that language without internal translation.

Being able to speak French spontaneously and adequately implies the ability to think in that language. More specifically, in a minority setting, it is important to allow all students to enrich their language repertoire in all school subjects and in all social contexts in order to enable them to handle the language with ease and to value French. As the students do not always have the words to speak about their day to day lives, it is essential to allocate time in class to teach and develop these skills. Time must also be earmarked to allow students to express themselves in French in all academic and extracurricular subjects. The development of this fluency will further secure this feeling of confidence.

In order to ensure linguistic security, there must be a change in the way we think about language. We must start thinking that

  • language is as much a language of work and learning as a culture and identity that needs to be cultivated and valued;
  • French is also a language of socialization that must find its place outside classrooms (in extracurricular activities, in social networks, in community spaces and in everyone's culture);
  • French (all of its dialects, all its variants) must be heard in regional and national media;
  • French, like all languages, has the right to evolve, adapt and grow;
  • with the appropriation of the language comes the development of pride and pleasure of French.

To develop linguistic security, the school can play a role in

  • allowing an awareness of the existence of other French-speaking Canadian [HS4] accents;
  • teaching the distinction between accents and variants of a language;
  • explicitly teaching how to be flexible in adjusting the student’s variant to the communication situation;
  • developing the ability to adjust one’s variant according to the communication situation;
  • promoting French as a language of socialization in addition to a working language (and distinguishing between the two);
  • giving students opportunities to discuss and exchange with each other in French, in a context where they will not be judged.