Mr. Speaker, I was very interested in the quote from my colleague with respect to French immersion. I have worked for a number of years in the field of education and have known the best experts not only in Canada but throughout the world.
It was my understanding there was a consensus that the immersion model was the best one in terms of learning a second language. I am really quite surprised with his assertion. However I recognize it is always possible to find someone who will disagree with any body of knowledge.
Is it true that those educated through the immersion mode supposedly do not speak it very well? The studies I have seen show that they do as well as their peers do. In fact they very often do better even when we throw in factors such as socioeconomic status and intelligence.
Why is it that people such as I who have French as a first language and others who have Greek, Italian or another language are able to learn English? They are able to learn their own languages and not speak frenglish. I think my English is reasonably good.
Could the hon. member somehow try to explain to me what appears to be a contradiction? Most French speaking people I know whose first language is French and most other Canadians who have another language as a first language end up speaking the English language very well. If that is the case, why should English speaking students who have English as a first language and learn French not be able to do the same? It does not make a whole lot of sense to me. I would certainly like some clarification.