Direct integration into regular classrooms without time spent in a welcoming class and with the support services required is currently among the approaches adopted by some school service centres to foster the linguistic, social and academic integration of allophone students, as more and more of them enroll in schools outside the greater Montréal area.
. Do the methods benefit students in terms of their reading and writing, which are two key skills to ensure their success in school? What challenges does this type of integration create for educators who teach French in regular classes and are not trained to work with learners for whom French is their second language?
Research conducted with a large sample in late and early primary schools, including about 15% allophone students, provided new information on both issues. The reading and writing skills of allophone students who are directly integrated into regular classrooms remain, on average, lower than those of their peers at the start and end of the year, though the gap closes as the year progresses.
In addition, a significant proportion of non-allophone students score similar and sometimes lower grades than allophone students, who are therefore not the only ones requiring particular support. Teaching methods may be adjusted to help students master certain strategies. Specialized training is also needed to better understand the specific challenges faced by allophone students.
Olivier Dezutter, Université de Sherbrooke
Original title: Les pratiques d’enseignement soutenant le développement des compétences en lecture et en écriture des élèves allophones intégrés dans les classes régulières à la transition du primaire et du secondaire