Since June 2023, the Ministry of Education has been engaged in a vast project to present, from summer 2025, a provisional version of the new French program. This must be tested for the 2025-2026 school year in targeted schools, then implemented throughout the network from the following school year.

At the request of La Presse, Mr. Drainville’s office unveiled seven initial orientations that guide the reform. One of them is to ask experts to think about the question of corrected spelling (onion or ognon, entrapment or entrapment, etc.) and to comment on its teaching. To date, explains the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF), teachers who teach corrected spelling do so on their own initiative and Quebec takes corrections into account so as not to penalize students who use it.

The Ministry of Education also plans to update the vocabulary words that students learn in elementary school and is considering making this spelling list mandatory. In addition, while two types of calligraphy are currently taught in schools, and studies suggest that one should be prioritized, Quebec is wondering what to do. Should we stop teaching joined letters? “We have asked experts to look into the issue,” it says.

Among the other directions that the government wants to study in developing the new program, it is already assured that access to Quebec culture will be improved. The Ministry also intends to give a greater place to oral communication and introduce concepts from the end of primary school that are currently only taught in secondary school.

“French teachers need time, support and resources to implement the new program in classes. Without that, we are not sure that the program will be a success,” warns the president of the Quebec Association of French Teachers, Julien Taschereau.

Over the past few months, 7,500 people (teachers, educational advisors, remedial teachers and school principals) responded to an online questionnaire on the reform of the French curriculum, at the same time as 41 discussion groups were organized by the minister and its teams.

Martin Lépine, professor of French didactics at the faculty of education at the University of Sherbrooke, is one of the experts who met Bernard Drainville. He proposed to the minister to seal a new “p.a.c.t.e. » between the school, families and students so that French is learned through “pleasure”, that children have easy “access” to books and works, that they have a diversity of “choices” and “time” devoted daily to reading and writing, and that this is done in conducive and pleasant “spaces”.

“If school does not give them a taste for reading, writing and communicating, it is as if students were forced into English series in the evening because school, during the day, did not give them given the taste of their own language,” he says.

Érick Falardeau, director of the department of studies on teaching and learning at Laval University and full professor in French teaching, also believes that schools must work on the pleasure of learning.

How do you spark it? By working on the essential need to feel good, even while learning; by developing autonomy, which includes offering varied choices of works; and by discussing in class what emotions a book makes you experience rather than evaluating students with traditional reading tests.

For Olivier Dezutter, full professor in the pedagogy department of the faculty of education at the University of Sherbrooke, we must also strengthen initiatives to bring creators into schools and include these meetings in the program.

“The student must be in contact with culture and cultural actors. Authors, editors, journalists, people who work with language. We have just done research on the impacts of cultural activities in collaboration with artists and the effect is [beneficial] for all students, even the weakest,” he says.

Professor Elaine Turgeon, from the UQAM Department of Didactics, who notably directed the collective Rencontres: quand les créatrices et les créateurs de livres entrerent à l’école, confirms this: “When we invite a creator to school, we give children a model.”

“I was born in the 1970s. Books were written either by dead people or authors who lived in Europe. When children have the chance to meet people in the flesh, who demonstrate their pleasure in reading and writing, school creates the chance for this to develop in children,” she says.