No additional Punjabi classes, committee suggests

The Abbotsford school district is considering a report that makes eight recommendations about language classes

A committee reviewing language instruction in Abbotsford schools has made eight recommendations, including that Punjabi classes not be expanded at this time.

The feasibility review was conducted to determine the interest in offering specific language classes to Grades 5 to 12. Feedback from focus groups and a survey of parents were taken into consideration.

Among the other recommendations in the report were that Spanish classes be considered for Grades 5 to 8, and Mandarin Chinese be offered at the Grade 10 level outside of the school timetable.

Also suggested was that professional “learning opportunities” in the Punjabi language and culture be offered for employees, and that a full-time “additional languages helping teacher” be hired for two years to develop programming.

The review was launched as a result of a request from a group of parents to expand Punjabi classes, which are currently offered at five local schools.

All B.C. students in Grades 5 to 8 are required to learn a second language. At schools where Punjabi is offered in Abbotsford, French classes are also offered.

The Abbotsford school district also provides classes in German, Spanish and Japanese at local high schools.

A proposed implementation plan and budget will be brought back to the board of education in the fall.