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  • Matt Harrison

Fear of failure

This school year, I'm nervous for the students, including my daughter, who will begin Hadley's Grade 7 French immersion stream. This is a program where applicants had to take a French exam and where only a limited number of students were accepted into the program.

In addition to acclimatizing to a new school, hundreds of more students, and longer bus rides, I suspect my daughter's biggest challenge will be taking the majority of her courses in French. Wakefield Elementary has done a great job preparing her for the past six years with their 60 per cent English/40 per cent French immersion curriculum. But will it be enough to succeed in Hadley's much beefier French immersion stream?

My biggest concern for her: what happens if she can't keep up? I imagine that, if she does struggle, I might reassure her by saying: “Try your best; we can always pull you out of the immersion stream.” Yet, thanks to The Coalition Avenir Québec's (CAQ) Bill 96, pulling her out may no longer be a simple option.

Bill 96 will place caps on enrolment in English CEGEPs and force English students to take more French, among other impacts. If she does end up struggling in the French immersion stream and we pull her out, are we then setting her up for failure down the road? How about the majority of other Hadley students who didn't apply for the French immersion stream or didn't