A BILINGUAL PROGRAM AT PRE-UNIVERSITY LEVEL (17-19 YEAR OLD): THE CASE OF COLLEGIAL INTERNATIONAL SAINTE-ANNE
Collégial international Sainte-Anne (CANADA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:There are many bilingual immersion programs offered to children worldwide, but research shows that few bilingual programs are offered to University students. This research project examines the experience of 17 French-speaking students (with ages ranging between 17-20 years old) who chose to enrol in a bilingual program to obtain their Quebec Diploma of College Studies in Montreal, Canada. The objective of this research is to examine the students’ perceptions of bilingualism and verify if taking half of their courses in English has a significant impact on the students’ motivation to succeed. Students were interviewed twice: first in Fall 2021 and again Winter 2022, with the objective of determining whether their perceptions changed over time. The semi-structured interviews demonstrated a very positive perception, among students, of this type of academic program. Participants considered their bilingual program as a reassuring steppingstone that might allow them the possibility of studying in an English-speaking university, giving them a greater openness towards foreign cultures, leading to better possibilities in the workplace, and a personal challenge. Students said that their bilingual program was motivating, and it allowed them to keep furthering their capabilities in French while improving their English. Lastly, students viewed being able to be evaluated in the language of their choice positively. All participants noticed that their English improved (especially their oral comprehension skills). However, they were confronted with some challenges, especially in their first semester, such as linguistic anxiety (hesitation to speak) and linguistic ambiguity (confusion caused by alternating between French and English).
Keywords: Higher Education, Bilingualism, Motivation, English, French, Canada.