A Mixed-Methods Policy Analysis of Grade 8 Stakeholders’ Perceptions Pertaining to the Intention and Implementation of French Immersion Programming
The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of Grade 8 stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, and principals) related to the intention and implementation of French immersion programming in three elementary schools in two urban publicly funded school divisions in Saskatchewan. The challenges regarding student retention and decline in the enrolment rate in spite of large governmental investment in the French immersion programming have raised demands for more accountability and investigation. Using pragmatism as a philosophical base, I determined that a mixed-methods research methodology would provide the most fully informed answers to the research questions. A sequential explanatory research design was selected, wherein the first phase of the study was primarily quantitative, followed by a qualitative second phase. Utilizing a case study design, data regarding French immersion policy and practice in schools were collected by administering online Likert-scale questionnaires to principals, teachers, students, and parents in order to elicit their perceptions regarding their satisfaction with French immersion programming. In the final phase, individual interviews were conducted with principals and teachers to gain a better understanding of the actual practice and everyday decisions at-play in the implementation of French language policy. Contemporaneously, focus group interviews with Grade 8 students and individual interviews with parents were undertaken to explore their experiences regarding the context in which the French immersion program was implemented and practiced. Findings of this research study regarding the stakeholders’ perceptions and suggestions on the language policy practiced in their schools provided essential feedback for an evaluation of French immersion programming, and inform policy makers of French immersion programs’ effectiveness. This study could also serve as a guide for future research in this area.
Policy analysis, Micro-level stakeholders, French immersion, Satisfaction score, Importance score, Performance gap score
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)