New Brunswick reveals a dismal success rate in French as a second language (with the success rate in core French estimated at 1% and French immersion at 10%) while Quebec reveals a dismal success rate in English as a second language:

Even translators of the Senate of Canada might not master both of their working languages well enough to produce trustworthy translations.

Foreign-Language Teaching as Public Policy, a report written by François Grin at the request of the High Council for the Evaluation of Schools (France), gives us an idea of the comparative learning difficulty of English in the following quote from Flochon on page 81:

‘The Institute of Cybernetic Pedagogy of Paderborn (Germany) has compared the learning durations of several groups of French-speaking, baccalaureate students to a so-called “standard” and comparable level in four different languages: Esperanto, English, German, and Italian. The results are as follows: to reach this level, 2000 hours of study of German produced a language level equivalent to 1500 hours of English, 1000 hours of Italian and ... 150 hours of Esperanto study. No comment.’

To put it in perspective, a child who studies Esperanto starting at the age of eight for fifty hours per year for six consecutive years will have received three hundred hours of Esperanto instruction by the age of fifteen, which would give him an Esperanto level equal to three thousand hours of English study, which a public school could not provide even in an intensive English course.

Forcing a child to invest his precious time in learning English or French as a second language in the face of such a dismal success rate when an easier alternative exists raises questions of ethics and economic efficiency. We recommend that the Ministry of Education study the possibility of requiring a mastery of a second language but allowing schools to teach and pupils to pass a test in the local sign language, International Sign, the local indigenous language, Esperanto, and perhaps other alternative second languages to fulfill this new linguistic obligation to obtain a secondary-school diploma, perhaps on the basis of a second-language-education policy similar to the Hungarian one. This would allow a future student who does not have the necessary aptitude to master French as a second language to learn a comparatively easier language like Esperanto rather while still fulfilling the obligation to master a second language by the end of his compulsory studies.

We believe that non-English-speaking visitors from Quebec would happily meet their Anglo-Ontarian hosts halfway in the communicative effort through an easier-to-learn language.


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