Official language minorities

Current and Completed Projects:

Skills for Success Implementation Guidance Development

The launch of Skills for Success in May 2021 leverages the core strength of the Essential Skills framework while tightening the alignment with modern labour market needs, with a greater focus on a range of socio-emotional skills. This project’s main objective is to produce a document outlining key principles and emerging practices to guide the implementation of Skills for Success, reflecting the Government of Canada’s commitment to create and update training programs, resources, and assessment materials, facilitate training participation of vulnerable groups, and build the capacity of stakeholders who serve these populations. Our approach will combine environmental scan and literature review with the involvement of an expert advisory panel representing training and sectoral organizations with nation-wide networks, to develop three broad kinds of content: i) identification of learning needs for underrepresented groups (e.g., Indigenous people, racialized Canadians, persons with disabilities) and key sectors; ii) guiding principles for the design of tailored training and assessment tools to align with identified learner and sectoral needs; and iii) implementation examples and approaches from early adopters of Skills for Success. These will be synthesized into a final report to facilitate tool customization and program implementation aligned with the unique learning needs of groups underrepresented in the labour market, as well as the job performance needs of major sectors of the Canadian economy.

Start-end date: December 2021 - September 2022
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Research and Evaluation Capacity Building for Francophone Service Providers

This project is testing an approach to building the research and evaluation capacity of Francophone service providers in Central-Southwestern Ontario, which consists primarily of practical interventions designed to increase their knowledge and skills in the field. Internal capacity in research and evaluation promotes learning from successes and mistakes in order to better adapt to challenges and be more effective in responding to the emerging needs of different French-speaking immigrant groups. SRDC is working in partnership with the RIF Centre-Sud-Ouest (RIFCSO) on this project. Through this project, staff from participating service providers and the RIFCSO will develop the skills and capacity to gather evidence, measure, evaluate, and report on the outcomes of their existing or future programs. The ultimate goal of this project is that participating Francophone providers will be able to adapt, design, and implement innovative solutions that are evidence-based. Through pre- and post-intervention data collection, the project will identify how capacity-building activities contribute to improved research and evaluation within service providers, as well as how new knowledge has been applied and influences decision making.

Start-end date: December 2021 - March 2024
Sponsor: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Grouped Evaluation of the Official Languages Support Programs (OLSP)

The Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) supports two official languages funding programs from which several initiatives are derived. The collective goal of these programs is to: 1) enhance the vitality of English- and French-speaking minority communities; and 2) promote the English and French languages in Canadian society. These two programs represent PCH’s largest grants and contributions programs. Through these programs and their respective components and sub-components, PCH provides financial support to provincial and territorial governments and organizations to support minority-language education, second language learning, and the provision of services and programs in both official languages. SRDC is responsible for the grouped evaluation of these two programs. The evaluation will take the form of a longitudinal impact study since the first Action Plan for Official Languages in 2003, and aims to measure the achievement of the program’s medium- and long-term outcomes as well as the relevance and efficiency. The evaluation will be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 of this project consists of developing an evaluation approach and appropriate methodologies. The full scope of the evaluation will be conducted in Phase 2.

A methodology combining various methods will be used to collect primary and secondary qualitative and quantitative data. The longitudinal impact study will establish the sequences of events that have marked OLMCs and bilingualism in Canada since 2003. It will cover the national level, and if possible, regional characteristics.  

Start-end date: September 2020 - May 2022
Sponsor: Canadian Heritage

CreateAction: Inclusive Social Innovation

CreateAction: Inclusive Social Innovation — This project is evaluating the role that six-month work experience opportunities in the social innovation, social finance, and social enterprise sectors can play in supporting youth who are either not in employment, education, or training (NEET). The project is being led by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) in partnership with SRDC and the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC). The project aims to recruit
100 Indigenous youth, new immigrants, young people living in poverty, those who identify as LGBTQ2S+, young people with disabilities, racialized youth, youth in rural/remote communities, and official language minority youth. SRDC is supporting the project design, coordinating tailored supports to participants, and leading the project’s evaluation activities. The evaluation is examining how the placement opportunities facilitate the transition of young people to secure employment in the labour market through the development of skills, workplace experience, professional networks, and tailored wraparound supports. It is also examining how hosting the youth placements will support the capacity and sustainability of innovative social purpose organizations across Canada to hire youth facing barriers from the communities they serve, connect to regional Social Innovation and Social Finance ecosystems, and leverage investments of the Investment Readiness Program and Social Finance Fund.

Start-end date: August 2020 - March 2023
Sponsor: Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet)

Nurturing the future!

The project is testing an intervention aimed at promoting conditions conducive to the development of children's socio-emotional competencies, a key determinant of well-being and mental health throughout the lifespan (CASEL, 2013). The project takes place from January 2020 to March 2022. The piloted intervention is made up of three components of integrated and complementary activities whose objectives are to: (1) build the knowledge and enhance the capacity of early childhood professionals to offer a quality program promoting the development of the social-emotional competencies of children aged 0 to 12 years old; (2) build parents' knowledge and capacity to support the overall development and well-being of their children by building on the alliance between early childhood personnel and parents; and (3) establish or strengthen intersectoral collaborations between childcare services and community and public organizations in order to achieve the first two objectives. The project also seeks to explore the strategies for extending the influence of early childhood professionals and key contributors to families in the community. The evaluation looks at the implementation of the intervention and its effects on intersectoral collaboration, early childhood professionals, parents, and children.

Start-end date: February 2020 - March 2026
Sponsor: Association francophone à l'éducation des services à l'enfance de l'Ontario (AFÉSEO)

Literature Review on effective labour market programs and services to assist youth and social assistance recipients to integrate into the labour market

ESDC has commissioned SRDC to undertake literature reviews of labour market programs that have been shown to be effective for integrating youth and social assistance recipients into the labour market. The focus is on recent (last five years) activation programs in Canada and OECD countries.

Start-end date: November 2019 - July 2020
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Integrating Essential Skills Tools for Employment Counsellors

This project is being led by Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society (AWES) and is building, testing, and refining a training program for employment counsellors to integrate Essential Skills (ES) tools into their practice and services. The ES framework that will be tested during the project will include how to incorporate ES assessments, occupational profiles, complexity levels, and job task terminology related to skills. The project will also reinforce practice by including mentoring and support services to ensure quality as practitioners begin to integrate the ES framework and tools (including all nine Essential Skills) in all their services. As the developmental evaluation partner on the project, SRDC’s research activities are supporting the development process to ensure that the training is practical, delivers results, and has high chances of replication and adoption in diverse sectors and with different populations across Canada.

Start-end date: April 2019 - February 2024
Sponsor: Alberta Workplace Essential Skills Society (AWES)

Evaluation of the Canada Media Fund

Funded by the government of Canada and private broadcasters/Internet distributors, the Canada Media Fund aims to promote the creation and viewing of Canadian content across television and digital media platforms. It includes targeted funding envelopes for Indigenous communities, official language minority communities, and other diverse cultural groups. SRDC is supporting the Evaluation Services Directorate of the department of Canadian Heritage in conducting an evaluation to assess the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of the Fund. SRDC’s role includes conducting document and database reviews, developing the evaluation framework, conducting key informant interviews and convening an expert panel, and synthesizing findings from all lines of evidence.

Start-end date: January 2019 - December 2019
Sponsor: Canadian Heritage

Field trials and evaluation of three WISE programs in Northern Simcoe County Ontario

SRDC is implementing a four-year research study in partnership with three work integration social enterprises (WISE) that are part of a co-operative network, known as the Karma Project. These social enterprises provide a range of services and green occupations in demand in the North Simcoe county region of Ontario. The study, spanning four years, will examine the effectiveness of WISE in improving the employability and social inclusion of youth in rural communities. At the same time, it will assess changes in the capacity of social enterprises and examine variations in outcomes by alternative models of work integration.

Start-end date: March 2018 - May 2022
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Understanding and developing professional collaboration

The project provides consulting and research services to the representatives of the Francophone Working Group on Professional Collaboration in their consultations with partner organizations and their members on the subject of professional collaboration within Ontario's education system.

Start-end date: January 2018 - December 2018
Sponsor: Groupe de travail francophone sur la collaboration professionnelle

Developing Provincial/Territorial Capacity for Innovation in Employment and Training Services

Following a Fall 2016 Best Practices session convened for the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM), SRDC is meeting with provincial and territorial labour market officials to share knowledge about labour market programming. The meetings, which include presentations highlighting innovation in the design and delivery of programs, aim to identify opportunities to promote innovation through learning exchange and collaboration among jurisdictions.

Start-end date: April 2017 - March 2018
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Mapping of Specialized Services available in French in Ontario

The study provides a detailed inventory and geospatial mapping of specialized services available in French to children from birth to the end of schools and their families in Ontario. For the purpose of this study, specialized services include school rehabilitation services, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, child and youth mental health services, and addiction services. This comprehensive review of available French-language services provides information on what services exist, service volumes, their location and their availability in French or English as well as identified gaps in services.

Start-end date: April 2017 - January 2019
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education

Evaluation of the AILE program

Launched during the 2012-13 school year, the Appui intensif en lecture et écriture program (known under its acronym as AILE) is part of the Ontario Ministry of Education goal of improving the literacy achievement of children enrolled in grades one to six. The program aims to offer additional supports to students in grades one to three at risk of a delay in their reading and writing skills conducive to educational achievement. The intervention takes place outside the classroom, in small groups of three students for about 30 minutes, five days per week over a period of 12 weeks. The program AILE is the subject of an implementation study and outcome evaluation.

Start-end date: September 2016 - May 2017
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Forum of Labour Market Ministers' Senior Officials – Best Practices Session

SRDC was responsible for organizing a half-day session to share innovative approaches, lessons learned, and research and evaluation on labour market programs and service delivery strategies. It featured presentations from a number of jurisdictions on recent projects and initiatives to identify best practices, improve program effectiveness, and foster innovation. SRDC staff presented on three SRDC projects in this area, teaming up with provincial Senior Officials who provided context on how the projects respond to their respective program and policy objectives. SRDC was also responsible for producing an Event Report summarizing the discussion.

Start-end date: September 2016 - September 2016
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Active outdoor play

This project was initiated in response to two main needs identified by the community: (1) counter organizations’ tendency to limit occasions for children to engage in self-directed outdoor play, and (2) encourage children to engage in self-directed play. Project activities first focus on developing resources to inform adults as to the benefits of self-directed outdoor play to optimize child development and encourage lifelong healthy habits. Second, project activities center on the development and piloting of a series of workshops whose goal is to enhance the capacity of educators in offering children, aged 3 to 12, with opportunities for learning through exploration, outdoor play and inquiry. The project takes place in four schools, involves more than 600 adults (administration, early childcare educators, teachers and parents) and more than 400 children. To successfully carry out the first phase of the project, SRDC has partnered with the Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario (AFÉSEO) and the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO).

Aféseo notice (in French only)

Ontario Trillium Foundation award notice

CEPEO notice (in French only)

Project results (full report and summary) (in French only)


Start-end date: July 2016 - October 2017
Sponsor: Ontario Trillium Foundation

School Choices and Educational Trajectories of Youth of French-speaking Immigration Backgrounds

As stated in the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018 : Education, Immigration, Communities, education plays a vital role in strengthening Francophone minority communities (FMC). This project aims to understand the factors (environmental and social) and motivations of students (and their families) of French-speaking immigrant backgrounds living in FMCs in their choices and educational trajectories in three different education systems, namely French-language schools, English-language schools offering various French-second-language educational options, and English-language schools offering no classes in French. Moreover, the impact of these choices on Francophone identity and the sense of belonging to the Francophonie will be explored. The project scope is limited to Ottawa, Ontario.

Start-end date: November 2015 - February 2017
Sponsor: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

PSE Mobility of French Immersion Secondary School Students in Central Southwestern Ontario

The study surveys high school students in grades 11 and 12 enrolled in English high schools offering a French immersion program to establish the viability of offering PSE programs in French immersion in the central and southwestern regions of Ontario. A stratified sample frame is used to select 12 school boards and 22 high schools offering French immersion and Extended French programs. Secondary school students complete an online survey on their language preference for university and/or college studies (i.e., French, English, or both) and factors they are considering when selecting a postsecondary program and a location.

Start-end date: April 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: University of Ottawa

Analysis of PIAAC Data and Development of Evidence Base on Adult Learning for Ontario

This study examines the literacy skills proficiency distribution among key subgroups in the province of Ontario including recent immigrants, Aboriginals, Francophone, youth, and older workers. The objective is to inform policy direction with respect to resource targeting for adult learning initiatives in the province. Among other sources, the project utilizes the latest data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

Start-end date: March 2015 - September 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Transformation of CEPEO school readiness programs

This project aims to develop a suite of workshops targeting the parents of children aged 0 to 3.8 years old. Workshops will be offered in schools of the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO) starting in the fall of 2015. The intent is to equip parents so that they may better support their child’s school readiness and smooth transition to school. Topics covered will address the following: parent involvement over the short and long term, the construction of a family identity, the notion and importance of attachment to a significant adult, learning through play at home, and resilience in young children. The project is conducted in collaboration with the AFÉSEO (Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario).

Start-end date: February 2015 - May 2015
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

International students immigration in Francophone minority communities (FMCs) in Canada

Immigration is one of the proposed solutions to promote demographic growth, economic health, and vitality in FMCs. Amidst the diversity of the newcomers, integrating foreign French-speaking students into FMCs seems a promising avenue to ensure the viability and sustainability of FMCs. A series of three projects together aim to deepen our knowledge about separate but connected aspects of the immigration process for foreign French-speaking students to FMCs. The first project draws up a profile of the international student community in FMCs. The second identifies the recruitment strategies as well as the orientation, settling, integration, and retention services offered to foreign students in FMCs. And the third project studies the facilitators and issues connected with the immigration process for foreign students and looks at the promising services and programs that are already implemented at the FMC level or that could potentially reach the pilot project stage.

Start-end date: December 2014 - March 2016
Sponsor: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Market Study and Feasibility Study related to the offer of trades and applied technology programs in the Greater Toronto Area

The goal of the market and feasibility studies is to increase access to trades and applied technology programs for the Francophone population of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The market study focuses on various potential sources of labour force supply and demand based on labour market trends and economic forecasts in the GTA. Analyses address trades and apprenticeship training needs as dictated by the local economy, with an emphasis on the Francophone population. As for the feasibility study, it presents a partnership-based action plan to identify program and service delivery models in the GTA.

Start-end date: July 2014 - September 2014
Sponsor: Collège Boréal d’arts appliqués et de technologie + Collège d’arts appliqués et de technologie La Cité

Students' exit profile

The goal of this project is to develop qualitative and quantitative measurement tools to collect an exit profile for each student. This profile includes the main attitudes, values ​​and competencies that the Board wants to develop in every student from kindergarten to Grade 12. The tool will be used to populate the Board's Accountability and Improvement Framework. This framework will serve the planning and evaluation needs of teachers as well as those of principals and senior administrators. SRDC's mandate is to provide technical support toward completing the profile.

Start-end date: April 2014 - May 2014
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est de l’Ontario

Development of a master plan for the implementation of the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework

The Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord (CSCFN) retained the services of SRDC to evaluate the current state of the implementation of the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework with the aim to produce a master plan for its full implementation across schools. The master plan provides a guide for a collective approach to the development and delivery of early years programs and services for children and families. Its development was based on several sources of information: (1) an environmental scan of existing programs and services (i.e., quantity and quality; strengths and weaknesses), gaps in services targeting young children and their family, and overlaps in and links between services; (2) a comparative analysis between best practices and the current status of programs and services offered by the school board and by community partners; (3) winning practices and training needs identified by teacher/early childhood educator teams; and (4) a series of consultations on the shape an integral implementation of the framework could take.

Start-end date: June 2013 - February 2014
Sponsor: Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord

Transfert de la recherche ontarienne et des connaissances (TROC)

The TROC initiative (or the Ontario knowledge and research transfer) concerns the development of a portal to facilitate knowledge mobilization research and evaluation findings related to the 2011 Politique d’aménagement linguistique (PAL) policy framework in post-secondary educational institutions and apprenticeship programs. The need for such a portal was first identified during a 2011 symposium introducing the PAL policy framework. Participants at the time noted a gap in their capacity to access research which, in turn, hindered their ability to systematically investigate issues related to post-secondary education and training in a Francophone minority setting. As a preliminary step towards establishing a research agenda, the collective will was to initially invest in the design of a portal for the long term which would: (1) include a centralized directory of key stakeholders; (2) house a clearinghouse of scientific publications and grey literature; (3) focus on known best practices; and (4) provide a forum open to all key stakeholders for exchanging publications and knowledge.

Start-end date: April 2013 - February 2014
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Study of the gaps between French-language and English-language postsecondary education and training systems

SRDC reviews the French-language postsecondary education and training system in Ontario through comparative analyses of the French and English systems. Of particular interest is a review of the gaps between the two systems in terms of access, retention, and participation, as well as the quality of services offered by the French-language postsecondary education and training system in Ontario. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Education, SRDC developed a tool to assist postsecondary and training institutions self-assess the quality of the services they provide to Francophones. The results of this review provide information to both ministries on the strengths of the French-language system and aspects that would benefit from greater attention in order to better serve the student population wishing to pursue studies in French and increase the number of individuals studying in French in Ontario.

Start-end date: December 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Focus Groups for the Expert Panel on French-language Post-secondary Education

To conduct focus groups with high-school and post-secondary students, learners, and parents from Francophone communities in the Centre and South-West regions of the province, with a view to inform the work of the Expert Panel on the most efficient models to adopt in order to increase the capacity to offer post-secondary education in French in those regions.

Start-end date: February 2012 - May 2012
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education

Evaluation of the 2009-13 Agreement for the Development of Francophone Arts and Culture in Canada

In collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage, SRDC developed and conducted an evaluation of the objectives and issues of the Agreement for the Development of Francophone Arts and Culture, as well as of its four management and collaborative mechanisms. This evaluation identifies findings on processes, direct and indirect results, as well as lessons learned from the Agreement. These findings support recommendations on potential areas for improvement to this cooperation mechanism as well as inform the future direction of the Agreement.

Start-end date: January 2012 - August 2012
Sponsor: Canadian Heritage

Community Maturity Model

With this project, SRDC provided technical assistance to HRSDC to build on prior work done to develop a Community Maturity Model (CMM), a tool that is designed to allow Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) to assess their own capacity for human resource and community economic development. SRDC reviewed and revised the CMM tool to make it more relevant to the Enabling Fund’s Performance Measurement Framework, and to the role of recipient organizations within their communities. SRDC’s work also focused on making the tool clearer, more practical, and user-friendly.

Start-end date: March 2011 - April 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Children’s Lives in Context

A panel discussion was held with experts in child and adolescent development with a focus on the importance of time (e.g., age, cohort) and place (e.g., home, school, social interaction) in conducting research as intervention. Three Canadian projects are presented: Better Beginnings Better Futures, Pilot Project: Readiness to Learn in Minority Francophone Communities (formerly the Child Care Pilot Project), and Understanding the Early Years (UEY). Invited panellists examine the element of time and place according to their unique perspectives.

Start-end date: February 2011 - July 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Successful Programs That Were Effective at Economically Integrating Immigrants Into Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs)

This research project seeks to understand the support and services available or needed for newly arrived families in Official Language Minority Communities to help them settle and adapt to life in Canada and to find gainful employment. It also seeks to identify promising ideas that can be implemented and evaluated in the Canadian OLMC context.

Start-end date: November 2010 - April 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Successful Programs That Were Effective in Developing Entrepreneurship Skills Among Youth and Contributed to Sustainable Settlement of Youth in Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs)

This research project focuses on understanding and developing the role of youth entrepreneurship as a strategy to encourage the sustainable settlement of youth in Official Language Minority Communities. It also seeks to identify promising ideas that can be implemented and evaluated in the Canadian OLMC context.

Start-end date: November 2010 - April 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Petits pas à trois – Monitoring System

To provide advice and technical assistance with the development of a program monitoring system with the objectives of ensuring that the program delivered is of high quality and that the training needs of early childhood educators are identified and addressed in a timely fashion.

Start-end date: October 2010 - July 2011
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est de l’Ontario

Petits pas à trois

Impact and outcome evaluation of a new preschool program targeting minority Francophone preschoolers and their families.

Start-end date: July 2009 - June 2010
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est de l’Ontario

Readiness to Learn in Minority Francophone Communities

This large-scale demonstration project was part of the Government of Canada’s 2003–2008 Action Plan for Official Languages and was continued under the 2008–2013 Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality. The tested preschool program combined a childcare component developed specifically to meet the needs of Francophone children in minority settings with a family literacy component targeting the parents of these children. The program aimed to develop children’s language skills, knowledge and use of French, knowledge of and engagement in Francophone culture, as well as to foster their school readiness and overall development. The project involved some 400 children living in six minority Francophone communities in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta. A mixed-methods approach was used to conduct an implementation study and an impact evaluation. Project findings will serve to inform decision-makers, service providers, and program developers on the delivery, effectiveness, and efficiency of a program whose aims are ensuring children master the language of instruction in addition to the preservation and strengthening of minority Francophone communities’ vitality.

Start-end date: March 2006 - May 2013
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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