The Nature of Principals’ Work and Leadership in French as a Second Language Learning in Ontario Schools
French as a second language (FSL) education is mandatory in Ontario from Grades 4 to 9. The majority of students enrol in Core French (CF), which has an obligatory status in policy but is marginalized in practice. Our study aimed to illuminate the dynamics behind this paradox, drawing from research on the nature of principals’ work and instructional leadership. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Ontario principals and CF teachers in eight schools. Thematic triangulation revealed principals working to contain problems typically associated with CF by positioning teachers as the first line of defense and viewing student engagement as success. Reminiscent of 1980s research, findings suggest little progress has been made in resolving this CF paradox.
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