Tuesday, January 13, 2015

RE: Second Language Training in NB

Dear Francine Landry, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour,
CC: Bruce Northrup, MLA Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins.

I am writing to you today shocked and disappointed with the discontinuation of the New Brunswick Public Library Service's offering of Tell Me More online language training.

I recently returned to New Brunswick from Ontario with full intentions of using free Tell me More access to rebuild the French language skills I lost over the course of my English-instructed undergraduate and graduate education. I returned to find the program has been suspended due to a discontinued grant, despite still being advertised on the New Brunswick Immigration and Settling website, WelcomeNB.

(Screen shot taken January 13/2015)

The loss of this program is a tragedy in an officially bilingual province. Without this program, there is no way for self-motivated low-income and unemployed New Brunswickers, like myself, to improve their second language skills for professional and personal development. The cancellation of this program is the most painful kind of irony, as the province boasts their free online skills training program, SkillsNB.


Bilingualism is a cultural and economic advantage in this province; speaking both French and English is required of many government and industry positions. The elimination of Tell Me More access serves to proliferate disadvantage among low-income and unemployed unilinguals in New Brunswick.


I hope you share my concerns and agree that access to Tell Me More (or equivalent second language training) be made available to New Brunswickers free of charge and as soon as possible.


Sincerely,


D$$

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