Friday, April 23, 2004

Alberta's provincial government makes a good decision

I hope you were sitting down when you read the title of this entry.

As much as I despise the practices, policies and corruption of our provincial government, I'm quite willing to admit when they do something right (as opposed to 'Right(-wing)').

They are putting in place requirements - and support - for mandatory second-language learning in Alberta schools.

The province will make support available to school jurisdictions for "Cree, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Ukrainian". The jurisdictions will have authority to decide which language(s) they offer to their students, and will also have the option to develop and offer other languages ("such as Hebrew, Arabic, Polish or Portuguese").

Without question, my biggest regret about my own education is that I grew up monolingual. It's the thing I most wish I could change about my schooling.

I've long said that "if I were Prime Minister" I would make tri-lingualism mandatory in our schools: One of the dominant European languages (English, French), a language that actually comes from this place (Cree, Ojibwe, etc.), and any other language (Mandarin, Swahili, Latin, whatever). This move by the Alberta government is an excellent first step in that direction.

Seen at CBC: Province to mandate second-language studies.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)


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