CEGEP students require a French test upon arrival at CEGEP

CEGEP students require a French test upon arrival at CEGEP

To improve CEGEP students’ proficiency in written French, the Quebec College Student Federation (FECQ) is calling for the introduction of a diagnostic test for all students so that those who need it enroll in a spelling reinforcement course very early in their college can studies.

• Also read: French decline: see examples of mistakes made by CEGEP students

This rating would “support them once they arrive at Cégep,” argues its president, Maya Labrosse. Currently, the CEGEPs require a refresher course after failing the first French course. “Prevention is better than cure,” says Ms. Labrosse.

More reliable than the Bulletin

Other CEGEPs prescribe this catch-up course for students who have achieved poor results in French in lower secondary school. However, Maya Labrosse argues that it is sometimes difficult to compare the grade entered on the fifth secondary school report card from one school to another.

“A lot of colleges already use a test to rate students in English because a high school grade doesn’t always tell a lot about a student’s ability,” she notes.

That position comes as La Presse reported yesterday that the pass rate for the fifth secondary writing test at several school service centers fell drastically between 2019 and 2022.

However, the decline is much less pronounced in the overall pass rate in French at lower secondary level, which also takes into account the school grade achieved by the student.

The FECQ also wants this compulsory advanced course to be considered a complementary course and not added to those already foreseen in the student’s academic path.

Students are also calling for the creation of an online tutoring platform, a bit like Alloprof but for CEGEP students.

According to a recent poll, more than half of college students feel they need help writing correctly, Le Journal reported in December.

Not required depending on CEGEPs

At the Fédération des cégeps, we are happy to see that students are concerned about succeeding in French and looking for solutions.

However, its President, Bernard Tremblay, believes there is no need to set up a diagnostic test in French, “because these young people have just graduated from high school with results designed to assess the level at which they are condition. »

“We already have the information we should have,” he says.

It would be wiser to devote more resources to helping those students who have poor knowledge of French, he adds. Mr Tremblay also has reservations about substituting a French course for a supplementary course, as elective courses are primarily designed to “broaden horizons and develop new interests” in students.

In the office of Higher Education Minister Pascale Déry, we recognize that the impact of the pandemic is still being felt in the ranks of students. “In this worrying context, we want to better support students to succeed in their academic careers,” said Communications Director Lyann St-Hilaire.

The FECQ’s proposals were formulated as part of ongoing work by the Ministry of Higher Education aimed at increasing the success of the first courses in literature and philosophy at CEGEP.

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