Correction software for the French exam for future teachers?

Correction software for the French exam for future teachers?
Correction software for the French exam for future teachers?

We must completely review the written French test for future teachers and authorize the use of correction software like Antidote to complete one of the two parts, according to a group of experts responsible for its revision.

• Read also: Future teachers weaker in French

According to our information, this committee, which recently submitted a report containing around thirty recommendations, proposes to design a brand new exam which aims to better prepare future teachers for the written tasks they will have to do when they are in class with students. .

The new exam could include a longer writing task, between 500 to 700 words, inspired by a professional context, such as a letter to parents or an email to management concerning a situation experienced with a student.

As would be the case “in real life”, the Antidote software should be authorized in this part of the exam, but the passing threshold should also be raised accordingly, conclude the experts consulted.

“We try to be consistent. If we want to verify the professional uses of the language, today, we have tools at our disposal and it is in our interest to know how to use them,” says Olivier Dezutter, professor at the University of Sherbrooke and member of this committee. The dictionary and grammar are already authorized for this part of TECFÉE, he specifies.

If Quebec moves forward with this recommendation, “we will have to have a higher level of requirements”, so that the level of difficulty of the new exam is comparable to the current version, he adds.

Evaluate students in writing, but also orally

The committee of experts also proposes replacing the section of the linguistic code, composed of multiple choice questions relating to mastery of the language, with a feedback exercise based on the written production of an early secondary school student.

Future teachers should be able to identify and explain errors in this text.

“We hear about students who are preparing [à cette partie de l’examen] by learning very rarely used expressions by heart, so I prefer that they prepare themselves by looking at texts written by young people so that they identify formulas to improve,” explains Mr. Dezutter.

This evaluation would also send the signal that all teachers, and not just those of French, “have a role to play” in mastering the language, he adds.

The experts also propose adding an assessment of the oral skills of future teachers, also asking them to identify errors made by students, but this time orally.

“It’s completely new and, in my opinion, essential,” says the professor from the University of Sherbrooke.

If Quebec moves forward with all these recommendations, this exam will raise the bar even higher thanks to the evaluation of new skills, which will make it possible to further promote the teaching profession, says Mr. Dezutter.

“It is at school and through school that the future of French in Quebec is at stake. We must therefore be concerned not only with French among students, but also with the French used by teaching staff who have a major role to play,” he underlines.

Favorable reception

It remains to be seen what Quebec will make of these recommendations. A working team was formed to “study all of the proposed recommendations and assess their feasibility”, while “scientific validation steps must be rigorously carried out in order to ensure the quality of the new examination”, indicates the Ministry of Defense. ‘Education in a written response. A new version of the test, in digital format, will be tested this fall in the university network.

Olivier Dezutter assures for his part that the proposals of the committee of experts received a favorable reception. “Most of the recommendations that were made by the committee have been retained for the moment by the ministry,” he says.

These proposals are also received “very favorably” by ADÉREQ, the association which brings together the deans of the faculties of education sciences.

Its president, Julie Desjardins, is delighted that the ministry seems to want to align itself with these recommendations, which are the subject of rare unanimity. “It’s rare that we have [sic] consensus in education,” she says.

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