With French-immersion programs and immigration the number of Canadian
readers of French has expanded in recent years. While there are ample
tests to assess the specific skills of English readers in the Canadian
context, there are no comprehensive tools for readers of French in a similar
context or in relation to North American culture.
Network researchers Alain Desrochers, Pierre Cormier and Monique SÚnÚchal
are working to fill the void by providing a high-quality reading test
battery for Canadian readers of French. This instrument will be used to
carry out more precise reading assessments in schools and guide the implementation
of remedial programs when problems are found.
"It will also help researchers investigate reading disability classifications,"
says Desrochers. It could even be used to investigate the relationship
between reading skills and other intellectual abilities such as holding
information in memory, performing arithmetic operations or logical reasoning."
Desrochers sees the work of his team as a contribution to the collective
efforts of everyone involved in language and literacy development. Adding
French completes the Canadian picture and provides a scientific basis
for comparison between the two official languages.