Being a Professor at a Bilingual University: Issues and Challenges related to the Development and Maintenance of L2 Proficiency

Huguette Bourgeois and Sheila Scott (University of Ottawa), organizers
Participants (University of Ottawa): Peruvemba Jaya (Communication); Maurice Lévesque (Sociology and Anthropology); Julian Little (Epidemiology)

ABSTRACT

Does the University of Ottawa campus, whose mission it is to be a bilingual university, succeed in offering its professors the necessary tools to successfully meet their administrative and teaching obligations, all while learning, maintaining and improving their second language capabilities, be they in English or in French?   Are the current services sufficient?  Do the students receive the same quality of education in both official languages? Are the workplace relationships between the ‘two solitudes’ harmonious or discordant?

This Round Table will present the points of view of three professors who are at different levels of proficiency and from three different faculties (Social Sciences, Arts and Medicine) as well as those of the representative of Language Training Service for Academic Staff, all of whom will address the different demands of a bilingual workplace, language training and language maintenance requirements. Each professor will share their opinions with respect to bilingualism on campus in the areas of Communication, Sociology and Medicine with a view to exploring whether bilingual teaching at the university level is possible given the need for language proficiency at a high level of intellectual ability.  The coordinator of Language Training Service for Academic Staff will respond to the professors’ comments in order to be able to identify leads which will help to improve the current service. The conversation with the public will center on how the  Language Training Service and university practices can serve as  models for other professional work milieus, colleges and universities

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