In Canadian Early French Immersion programs, students are simultaneously developing their language skills over time through all subject areas. Many studies have found that French immersion students acquire stronger receptive than productive language skills in French (Cummins, 2000; Genessee, 1994; Lyster, 2007; 2016), which affects their ability to communicate with accuracy in more complex situations such as mathematical reasoning. Intentionally targeting specific language components in mathematics and science is a proven effective pedagogical practice in second language learning (Cormier & Turbull, 2009; Lyster, 2007; 2016). Therefore, the objective of this study was to explore the effects of a literacy-based approach, centred on the use of the language of instruction as a cognitive tool, on the oral communication skills of middle years’ students studying geometry in French as a second language over a period of 6 weeks. The results showed a positive effect on sentence structure, which suggests that a literacy-based approach plays a key role in the facilitation of mathematical reasoning in FI.
Marie-Josée Morneau, Université de Saint-Boniface, Canada