CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Approaches to Bilingualism in New Brunswick

History, Social Studies, Political Science
2 to 3 lessons
To investigate the evolution and effect of New Brunswick’s approach to bilingualism
Using a variety of web-based resources, students will complete in-depth research to chart the progress of New Brunswick’s approaches to bilingualism.

Lesson Plan


Louis Robichaud intended The Program for Equal Opportunity to equalize the haves and the have-nots in New Brunswick. Instead, it polarized the province into two opposing ethnic camps. Supporters loved his policies but detractors felt he was helping the French at the expense of the province's Anglophones.

The Task

Students will write a formal report on how the English- and French-speaking populations of New Brunswick responded to and were affected by the changes during the Robichaud era. In their research, students should note the implications for each group and the many barriers faced as new policies were implemented.

The students' reports should be organized around the following focus areas:

What is the approach to bilingualism in New Brunswick?
How has this approach evolved?
Who benefits? French? English? Both? Neither?
How do New Brunswickers benefit from the policies about and approaches to two cultures, languages, and traditions?

Students should include their opinions on whether the changes have been positive or negative for New Brunswick. Students should support their position with evidence from their research.

The Process

Students will work individually and begin their research with the clips titled "Louis Robichaud: man of destiny", "Robbing Peter to pay Pierre", "Becoming bilingual", "Cajun cousins", and "End of an era" on the topic The 'Other Revolution': Louis Robichaud's New Brunswick on the CBC Digital Archives website. Students should include the Did You Know? sections in their research and explore the links on the site. Students can then expand their search to include government sites to note the current policies on bilingualism and any other resources they find relevant. Students should note all resources consulted and cited at the end of their paper.


Over the course of a few lessons, ask several students to present their conclusions to the class. They should be able to support their conclusion and students should be prepared to ask and answer questions. After the presentations, ask the class: How does New Brunswick deal with bilingualism as compared to the rest of the country?

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