A Course or a Pathway? Addressing French as a Second Language Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Canadian BEd Programs


  • Cameron W. Smith University of Ottawa https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0781-2725
  • Mimi Masson University of Ottawa
  • Valia Spiliotopoulos University of British Columbia
  • Paula Kristmanson University of New Brunswick




French as a Second Language, Admission, Teacher Education, Language Proficiency


Institutions strive to offer programs that address both the needs of the educational system and incorporate current pedagogical research. Creating a program that is relevant, inspiring, and accessible to aspiring French as a Second Language (FSL) teachers, while also equipping them with the skills and knowledge deemed necessary by the education system, is a delicate balancing act. This study reviewed 44 FSL teacher education programs that lead to professional certification across Canada. Environmental scans drew information from the program websites related to admission requirements, program structure and content, practicum, and graduation criteria. Follow-up interviews with program stakeholders were conducted to verify or clarify the data. The results highlight the inconsistencies that exist among programs for developing FSL educators. We position the ways in which Canadian faculties of education might provide a more holistic “pathway” approach to recruiting, preparing, and retaining emerging FSL teachers.

Author Biographies

Cameron W. Smith, University of Ottawa

Cameron W. Smith is a doctoral candidate in Education (Societies, Cultures and Languages) at the University of Ottawa. He holds a Master's degree in Education Research from the University of Calgary and received his BEd and BA degrees from Brock University. With a background in teaching French as a Second Language, Cam's main interests are in teacher education, teaching French as a second language, and educational technologies. Cam's SSHRC-funded doctoral research explores the use of educational technology by FSL teachers, and the development of a community of practice to help these teachers improve their practice.

Mimi Masson, University of Ottawa

Mimi Masson is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, Université de Sherbrooke, where she teaches additional language education and pedagogy. Her research and teaching practice draws on arts-based methodologies to explore teacher identity and professional learning in such areas as antiracist, equitable and inclusive education. She began working with the pan-Canadian CASLT FSL Consortium as a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa, and has been working on questions relating to the equitable solutions for FSL teacher retention since 2018.

Valia Spiliotopoulos, University of British Columbia

Valia Spiliotopoulos is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa where she conducts research and teaches in the areas of university immersion/content-based language education, bi/multilingualism, and second language teaching (English and French).  Previous to this role, Valia was the former Coordinator of the French specialization of the Bachelor of Education program at the University of British Columbia. Since 2005, she has also held faculty and leadership roles in teacher education and faculty development, where she focused on innovations in language education, curriculum design, assessment, and technology-based education in the western Canadian post-secondary context.

Paula Kristmanson, University of New Brunswick

Paula Kristmanson is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and the current Director of the Second Language Research Institute of Canada. Her research and teaching interests are set in the context of both French second language and English as an additional language education. She is a member of the pan-Canadian FSL Teacher Education Consortium and been deeply engaged in projects related to initial teacher preparation since she becoming a faculty member at UNB in 2006.


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How to Cite

Smith, C. W., Masson, M.-E., Spiliotopoulos, V., & Kristmanson, P. (2022). A Course or a Pathway? Addressing French as a Second Language Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Canadian BEd Programs. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 1. https://doi.org/10.53967/cje-rce.5515