PEI

'A very positive place': French immersion enrolment increased on P.E.I.

An increase in enrolment in the Island's French immersion programs is creating some challenges when it comes to staffing.

There are over 5,000 students enrolled in French immersion on P.E.I.

With increased enrolment in French immersion programs there are challenges when it comes to finding qualified substitute teachers. (Shutterstock/Syda Productions)

An increase in enrolment in the Island's French immersion programs is creating some challenges when it comes to staffing.

Though there are no vacancies for permanent jobs, Rene Hurtubise, the director of French programs with the Department of Education, says finding qualified substitute teachers can be difficult.

"It's a very positive place to be as a province," Hurtubise said.

"We do have teacher challenges, obviously we need to find and now we grow our own ... it's an exciting challenge, it's better than the opposite."

French 101

The Department of Education is working on finding a solution to the substitute shortage.

"What we're looking at is our certified English teachers. Are there some in there that do have French background but don't feel comfortable enough to use it in a substitute situation," Hurtubise said.

"Then maybe we can work with them in some kind of a French language 101 training that we can give them enough support to put their name forward as a French substitute."

He said that many of the French teachers on the Island learned it as a second language which comes with its own set of difficulties as well as positives.

"That comes with challenges to support them in maintaining and improving that language and getting that cultural part," he said.

"But they're quite keen and I always say they know something I don't know, they know what it's like to learn French as a second language."

With files from CBC: Island Morning