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École de langues


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  • des cours universitaires crédités
  • une quarantaine de cours différents
  • un apprentissage sur le plan communicationnel et grammatical
  • une formation qui explore les dimensions culturelles de la communication

Nos Étudiants Apprécient 

Les enseignants

  • équipe dynamique offrant des programmes de qualité
  • spécialisés dans l’enseignement de l'anglais avec des formations en didactique des langues, linguistique,  linguistique appliquée et littérature

Les cours et les programmes

  • formation spécialisée selon vos besoins 
  • trois approches pédagogiques:
    • des cours communicationnels axés sur la présentation des idées (listening, speaking, reading, writing)
    • des cours grammaticaux axés sur l'utilisation des règles linguistiques (speech perception, pronunciation, critical reading, syntax)
    • des cours de langue et culture axés sur la littérature anglaise et l'influence des évènements sociohistoriques sur la langue et sur la culture anglophone

La technologie

  • laboratoires informatisés accessibles 24 heures par jour
  • intégration des technologies pédagogiques les plus récentes

Le soutien

  • auxiliaires d’enseignement compétents et bilingues pour assister les enseignants, assignés à tous les cours
  • soutien académique (« English Help Desk ») disponible sur rendez-vous pour aide individuelle
  • soutien académique virtuel (en ligne)
  • soutien aux étudiants en situation de handicap

Le campus universitaire

  • situé au centre-ville de Montréal, métropole bilingue avec de nombreuses activités culturelles à proximité
  • facilement accessible par transport en commun

Student's Corner

Le "Student's Corner" est une tribune qui nous permet de présenter des travaux étudiants produits dans le cadre de leurs cours. Les contributions ci-présentes proviennent de tous les niveaux (I à IV). En espérant que vous y trouverez autant de plaisir à les lire ou visionner que nous. Un très grand merci à celles et ceux ayant contribué.

Marie-Line Deshaies et Tabata Ortiz

Why Study English At UQAM?

Présenté dans le cadre du cours ANG2052 Speaking I 

Lorraine Lemay

Présenté dans le cadre du cours ANG5054 Writing IV

Getting Montrealers to Use the Metro

It seems fashionable to praise public transit in Montreal. Practical concerns are often invoked to promote public transit such as the imperatives of greater respect for the environment, the constant pressure of a more sustainable development, and reducing traffic congestion in the city center. 

Every summer, media portrays how factories and automobiles are responsible for much of the pollution in the city  how they directly relate to the increase in seasonal respiratory problems.  Every summer, inevitably, the same conclusion is drawn: It is imperative to reduce the number of cars in the city to improve air quality.  The population gets buried under endless facts about Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) or data from the Société de l’Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ) revealing that there has never been so many motor vehicles on the island of Montreal and that transportation sector accounts for X% of all GHG.  In 2015, it accounted for 43% of all GHG.

Over the years, the recurrence of media’s dramatict of certain allergenic pollutants and smog conditions in the urban center) became so expected, it made me lose interest in the topic until this year.  This year, I heard the Mayor of Montreal’s message re-affirming the crucial role of his citizens in lowering GHG emissions over Montreal.

He referred to the most recent statistics published in 2013 by the Development of territory of Montreal insisting on the fact that figures had probably not lowered in 2 years.  Montreal’s population was then of 1,996,000.  From 916,665 vehicles on the island that year, just over 750,000 were owned by Montrealers. This meant that 35% Montrealers were consciously choosing to use their automobile to travel within the city instead of using any other means available to them. It meant that 35% Montrealers having access to the Société des Transports de Montreal (STM) facilities known to be one of the easiest and most effective way to combat global climate change, were consciously choosing not to.  It meant that 35% Montrealers were accountable for at least 30% of the 43% of all GHG over their city. 

Were we Montrealers really misinformed about our carbon footprint, or had we simply not understood the urgency of acting with respect to GHG release, and its direct impact on human health? 

It is universally acknowledged that poorer air quality leads to a greater risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems, as well as certain types of cancers in children and in the elderly. Not acting responsibly will lead to serious economic consequences.  The increasing risk of disease will have a cascading effect causing additional stress on our already fragile social support system.  Therefore, by switching to public transit, not only would Montrealers reduce their carbon footprint, but they would also save taxpayers’ money.  

“Could Montrealers be key players and help revert this trend?”  The Mayor raised the question for a rhetorical debate.  This rhetorical question gave me a major boost.  Was the Mayor really asking of his citizens to become Montreal’s savior?  Suddenly, I regained my awareness for the issue involved, and questions started to pop up in my mind.  

Does public transportation, really appeal to its users?  What importance does public transit have in Montreal?  What have political figures done to promote and develop universal access to public transportation?  When travelling outside, for example to Paris, London, New York or Toronto, rarely would we think of renting a car for our errands in the city.  Then why are we acting differently when at home?  Is it realistic to think that public transit could eventually act as a competitive edge over cars in Montreal?  Should the city adopt a sustainable mobility plan like in Europe and make public transportation accessible to all its citizens? 

I am a proud Montrealer; I am a STM commuter; I work downtown; I own a vehicle.  I support increasing bike circuit across the city as well as green alleys of Montreal and see those as a new way for citizens to appropriate the urban landscape.  But sadly, public transit does not appeal to me, and I admit that I do understand the 35% of Montrealers using their vehicle to travel within the city as I sometimes do myself.

At this moment, public transit appeals mainly to those commuting for work (day and evening shift only) and for students.  The two groups represent a fraction of the population. It is necessary to recognize that the STM does not meet most needs of the population. At peak hours, the wait is constant and when a bus arrives, it is not rare that it passes right under our nose because it is at full capacity.  As for the metro, trains are so full that sometimes we watch 2 or 3 passing by before being able to board.  Even for those having a professional and family life, it is difficult to rely solely on public transportation.  Repetitive delays, breakdowns and maintenance problems have left Montrealers with a somewhat ambivalent relationship to the STM.  When faced with an unexpected delay, the professional will hail a taxi to get to the daycare on time.  Sometimes forced to use a taxi once or twice a week to overcome the poor service, should we feel surprised that an automobile leaves commuters with a feeling of reliability and freedom?

And what about universal access?  Can we all count on the public transport system? 

The following corporate statement on the STM website reads: “An accessible transit system promotes independence and contributes to the social inclusion of persons with one or more functional limitations”. The STM offers a paratransit service to its mobility impaired population.  Again, on the website we find the following disclaimer: “At times, longer group trips can also mean longer time spent aboard our vehicle”.  Because of the door-to-door policy, and depending on the distance of the trip, it could take up to 120 minutes for a user to reach their destination.  A minimum 60-minute interval is built between the arrival time at destination and departure time for the return trip.  And depending on the reason users are requesting transportation, they are assigned a code which prioritizes their transportation, should road conditions become difficult.  Should we feel surprised that those who can, choose to have their vehicles modified and either drive themselves or hire an occasional driver? 

Now what about other groups like elders and young families carrying strollers?  Do they easily have access to the STM facilities?  All metro stations have escalators, but not all have elevators.   For an elder with balance issues, using the escalator could be challenging not only because of the escalator’s speed but because when it rains or snows, the stairs become more slippery.  Elders could easily lose balance and encounter serious injuries. For young families carrying a stroller there is a danger for a stroller’s wheels to get caught between the stairs and the bristles at the top and bottom of the stairs.  The STM conveys that when such incident occurs, the escalator will come to a sudden stop and people standing behind the stroller could fall on top of it.  They suggest to remove the children from the stroller, to hold them by the hand while holding the handrail with the other.  As for the stroller, the parent should have it carried by another person.  What the STM is not saying is that when the parent finds such a Good Samaritan at the right time and at the right station, they should not let the Samaritan off at the bottom of the escalator because to reach the train the parent will still need to go down one level using a staircase.

The fact is that the STM network was not initially planned nor built to allow universal access.  And despite public funds that were invested to revamp the STM infrastructure, a large segment of its clientele still has difficulty using its facilities.  To those Montrealers, Mr. Mayor, would using a car make sense? 

I am not impaired, nor have balance issues or carry a stroller.  Yet, I like driving my car in the city.  I like not having to worry about getting from point A to B in time.  I leave at the time that suits my schedule and the only stop I make is at a red light or at a stop sign.  I provide a lift to whomever I decide, and I am never stuck with someone coughing on my neck, sneezing on my shoulder, or breathing on top of my head.  If the smell gets bad in the vehicle, I roll down the window.  

What importance does public transit really have in Montreal?

The STM contributes by using the media and billboards as part of a large public awareness campaign to rally the public and encourage Montrealers to commit early in their lives so that using public transit becomes a habit, a part of their daily life.   For example, the STM provides free access to its facilities during major events such as Igloofest, and Nuit Blanche, or during certain day of the year like Christmas and New Year’s day.  A reduced fare is available for students and those 65 and up, and free access at all times for accompanied children under 6. 

To be fair, we must acknowledged that thanks to the Quebec government and the City of Montreal who have proactively worked together with the STM, and made significant transit investments, the STM network did improve in the last 20 years. 

The STM operates a network of metros, buses, and it promotes the use of active and complementary modes of transportation.  It provides a shuttle bus service between Montreal’s Trudeau Airport and downtown, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The STM allows bikes in the metro during certain periods of the day as well as providing bike racks on buses.  Pets, other than guide and service dogs, are allowed for as long as they remain inside a closed carrier.  To promote safety of women travelling alone in the city in the evening and at night, it offers “between stops” services on all bus lines. And for its customers using a mobility aid or simply experiencing difficulties boarding, buses are equipped with access ramps to help board the bus more easily.  

Although the STM has not yet opted for accessibility for people in wheelchairs, it made several changes to its metro network to accommodate some impaired commuters.  The STM improved it overall lighting system, it implanted ischial support in corridors, and replaced conventional doors with butterfly doors for commuters with mobility problems. 

Moreover, to improve bus service regularity and efficiency of the network, the STM implemented bus priority measures such as reserved lanes and priority traffic lights.  

Those are the major incentives made in an effort to convince Montrealers to let go of their automobiles.  I applaud all of them.  Thus why am I reluctant to use public transit regularly? 

The STM is not satisfying my basic needs.  I ask for two things: have access to a reliable service during extended hours, and when unfortunate breakdowns happen, to be informed in a timely manner to make arrangements.  Metro stations are equipped with TV screens showing departure time yet during delays the displayed information is rarely accurate.  Too often trains stop for several minutes without apparent reasons. At times, during peak hours, trains stop for several minutes with the doors close leaving commuters crowded, and gasping for air.  In the last six months, I have witness two young commuters who fainted because trains were overcrowded due to delays.  Commuting has become a stressful adventure for some of us.

Knowing this, is it realistic to think that public transit could eventually gain a competitive edge over cars in Montreal? 

The STM advertise on their buses that each time commuters choose the public transit network to get to work or to move about in the city, it translates into four to five time less GHG emissions than a single-occupant car user.  I agree that one way to reduce the GHG emissions is by having people to use public transportation but before encouraging Montrealers to change their travel habit the STM will have to upgrade their service offer to meet the needs of the majority. 

At first glance, Mr. Mayor on the issue you raised with your rhetorical question about GHG, I would agree with you.  But on closer look, while it is a good public policy to require increasing the use of public transit, we must remember that the STM infrastructure was never meant to accommodate universal access.  Would the best solution for Montrealers be to wish for a sustainable transport strategy promoting accessibility?

In short, let’s not public transit become an obsession.  This could be an opportunity for creating space for a public consultation on the best ways for Montrealers to act responsibly and help improve the air quality of their city.  Sharing a same concern, allow us to work together at finding ways to woo those 35% Montrealers of which I am a part.

References

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l02/cst01/demo05a-fra.htm  viewed on 25 Feb. 2016

http://www.stm.info/fr/info viewed on 25 Feb. 2016

Coup d’œil sur Les véhicules en circulation. Agglomération de Montréal, “Montréal en statistiques, Direction de l’urbanisme, Service de la mise en valeur du territoire. ” Février 2015. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.

Enquête Origine-Destination 2013, La mobilité des personnes dans la région de Montréal. 2013. “amt.qc.ca”. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.

Julio Eduardo Chaves Chaparro

Présenté dans le cadre du cours ANG5054 Writing IV

Language policy in subsidized public daycares: segregation from the crib?

Parents in Quebec believe that obtaining a place for their children in one of the subsidized public daycares (CPEs) of the province is almost like winning the lotto, in terms of both price and quality. That was the feeling for Carlos and Ana, Maria’s parents, when they were informed that, after two and a half years on the waiting list their only daughter was accepted to one of the CPEs in their neighborhood. However, that dream slowly turned into a nightmare in probably the most unexpected way, as Maria started to be isolated by her CPE’s caregiver for using Spanish, and not French, to communicate. The result: Maria now refuses all forms of interaction in French. Is this a sign that the language policy of the province, which imposes the use of French over any other language, has gone too far?

Ana and Carlos were born in Colombia, while Maria was born in Montreal, and they chose to speak Spanish at home not only for cultural and heritage reasons, but also because they wanted to raise Maria bilingually, which is the common decision for most immigrant families with children.

This decision was reinforced with the opinion of their friends who also had little kids. They explained them that children under five are like “sponges”: they learn every day, all the time, effortlessly. They told them also that children jump from one language to another in natural fashion, and that it is through interaction with native speakers that kids really learn. The final criterion to support this choice of a bilingual education was that Ana and Carlos are not as fluent in French as required to use it interchangeably with Spanish at home.

Consequently, they firmly believed that Maria’s French education would be a natural process that should start at the daycare, where French would easily flow through interaction with caregivers and other kids. And this was the case in the first private daycare that Maria used to attend. In fact, she was learning not only words and basic orders in French, but also in English, as one of her caregivers was Anglophone and the other was Francophone.

What they didn’t expect was that at the public daycare (CPE), Maria was going to be under the supervision of Denise, a caregiver with a very strict concept of French learning based not only on the language policy of the province, but also on her own linguistic limitations, as Ana and Carlos realized later.

At the outset, the relationship between Denise and Maria was pretty good, and Maria seemed to normally follow the process of adaptation to a new environment and new people. Kids at the CPE, as well as in any other daycare in Montreal, came from many backgrounds, and multiculturalism is part of ordinary life.

In the CPE, Maria met Juan, another Hispanophone child with Colombian roots, who eventually became her best friend. Playing with him was easier than with the other kids. Logically, they used Spanish to communicate with each other and this was the element that triggered Denise’s attitude change.

Her first action was to repeatedly ask the kids to stop talking in Spanish and express themselves only in French. Then, Denise’s strategy moved to separating the kids in the classroom, putting them at tables with no Hispanophones. Later, the separation extended into playtime, which lead to Maria’s isolation not only from Juan, but also from the other kids. Finally, seeing that Maria was adamant to use Spanish, Denise decided to ignore her every time that Maria addressed her in Spanish.

The consequences of this strategy appeared immediately. Maria didn’t want to go to the daycare, and she remained there every day crying and screaming. At home, she refused to watch and listen to TV programs and songs in French that she used to like, some of them a lot. 

Ana and Carlos were worried, and started to ask her why she didn’t want to go to the daycare, but Maria didn’t even want to talk about it. They started to pass by the daycare unannounced, at different hours, and noticed that Maria was alone most of the time. They talked to Denise, and then the bomb exploded: Denise told them that Maria’s isolation was due to her reluctant attitude to speak French, and that “we are in Quebec, and in Quebec ‘on parle Français’”, and that other languages, even English, were not allowed in her classroom because the other children needed a full French immersion. They simply couldn’t believe what they heard.

The worried parents requested a meeting with the director of the daycare. And then, the surprise was even bigger than before. The director agreed that Maria had the right to express herself in her native language; she is in a learning process where transition to other languages is achieved step by step; that there is no harm in exposing other kids to a different language; and that Denise’s attitude was aggressive. But there was nothing he could do about it, because Denise belonged to the teachers’ union and he had no power to interfere with her pedagogical approach.

In a final effort to improve the situation, Ana and Carlos decided to try to convince Denise that she was using the wrong approach. They researched literature on the field of early bilingualism and shared with her the most relevant evidence that demonstrated the advantages and benefits of raising children bilingually. They showed her some studies made by serious Canadian linguistic researchers about the advantages of encouraging bilingualism for both native speakers and immigrant children. They also shared press notes that indicated how teaching two languages reduced segregation in multicultural societies, and how dual-language programs are turning into a major movement. They even found and shared a note reporting that the Quebec Government Office in New York City supports a French dual-language program with a local school.

Finally, they made it clear that they were not asking for a dual-language program in the CPE, or in Denise’s classroom, but that they were asking Denise to stop banning the children’s communication in languages other than French, and to take advantage of that opportunity to integrate immigrant kids to French culture and, at the same time, open the door to cultural enrichment for French native speakers.

Ana and Carlos are still waiting for Denise’s decision. The meetings with her were difficult, as they realized that Denise is fluent only in French and had to ask the director to act as a translator, a situation that was really uncomfortable for her. At the end of the day, it was clear that her reluctance came not only from her closeness to Quebec’s language policy, but also from her inability and fear to deal with other languages.

In conclusion, Maria’s particular case reflects two major problems that affect the quality of life of both parents and children in Quebec, whether immigrants or not: the first is that the strict language policy of the province has gone too far, reaching scenarios where its enforcement dispel non-Francophone speakers from French instead of attract them to it; and the second is that preschool educators of public daycares should be trained to address the needs of bilingual children, in accordance with the reality of the most multicultural province of all Canada, but they are not. The consequence of this is that isolation and cultural segregation occur from early development stages, which could lead to grown-ups who will  think that such kind of segregation is normal and will consider it as part of their life and society.

References 

Chumak-Horbatsch, R. (2008). Early Bilingualism: Children of Immigrants in an English-language Childcare Center. Retrieved from: http://www.ryerson.ca/mylanguage/images/Early_Bilingualism_Chumak.pdf

Chumak-Horbatsch, R. (2010). Toronto Childcare Centres: A Language Profile. Retrieved from: http://www.ryerson.ca/content/dam/mylanguage/images/Language%20Profile(2).pdf

Frost, E. (2015, June 17). Quebec Government 'Adopts' French Dual-Language School. DNAinfo New York. Retrieved from:

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150617/upper-west-side/quebec-government-adopts-french-dual-language-school

Genesee, F. (Jan/Feb 2007). A Short Guide to Raising Children Bilingually. Retrieved from:http://www.psych.mcgill.ca/perpg/fac/genesee/A%20Short%20Guide%20to%20Raising%20Children%20Bilingually.pdf

Genesee, F. (Revised April 23, 2008). Dual Language Development in Preschool Children. Retrieved from: http://www.psych.mcgill.ca/perpg/fac/genesee/Dual%20Language%20Development%20in%20Preschool%20Children%202008.pdf

Harris, E. (2015, October 8). Dual-Language Programs Are on the Rise, Even for Native English Speakers. The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/09/nyregion/dual-language-programs-are-on-the-rise-even-for-native-english-speakers.html?_r=1

Klein, R. (2015, December 16). Schools Are Incredibly Segregated, But Teaching Kids in Two Languages Could Help. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dual-language-school-desegregation_us_564cc274e4b031745cef329a

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