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Vol. 24 No. 3 (2021)

Cours de français langue seconde pour personnes immigrantes : portrait des habiletés orales en fin de parcours

April 28, 2020


Language training programs for adult immigrants are an integral part of the political and educational landscape for many immigrant-receiving countries. However, little empirical research has addressed how language skills develop within these programs. To fill this gap, this exploratory and descriptive study documents, the oral skills of immigrants completing a language training program funded by a local government. We examined the global oral proficiency, perceived fluency and comprehensibility of adult immigrants (N = 31) enrolled in the highest level of Québec’s French language training program: le Programme d’intégration linguistique pour les immigrants (PILI). Global proficiency was measured using an oral imitation task (EIT, Tracy-Ventura et al., 2014). Two monological tasks that imposed different linguistic and cognitive constraints were used to assess participants’ fluency and comprehensibility. The speech samples were rated by 13 expert French-speaking judges, using a 9-point Likert scale. The results showed that the oral skills of PILI graduates are heterogeneous, and that participants who had studied French for several years before immigrating demonstrated better results across all three constructs.