Educational Pathways and Academic Performance of Youth of Immigrant Origin: Comparing Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver (2009)

This report examines and compares the educational pathways and the academic performance of immigrant students who attend high schools in Canada’s three largest cities, and who do not speak the majority language of their school when they are at home. The three cities – Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia – are Canada’s three major immigrant destinations.

The target group for the study consists of non-French speaking students in French-language Montreal schools, and non-English speaking students in English-language Toronto and Vancouver schools. The comparison group consists of French-speaking students in French-language Montreal schools and English-speaking students in English-language Toronto and Vancouver schools.

The author notes that students in the target group were clearly at a disadvantage in terms of socioeconomic status and other traits. However, despite those risk factors, the educational outcomes of students in the target group were actually better than expected. In some cases, students in the target group showed higher graduation rates, performance in various subjects, and participation in selective or university-bound courses than their counterparts in the comparison group.

At the same time, the overall positive result masks major differences between groups. For instance, the author points to a hierarchy that emerges quite consistently, with high-achieving Chinese speakers at the top and, farther down on the ladder, Spanish and Creole speakers.

The implication for policymakers is that non-French or non-English speakers, or even immigrant students, should not be considered, on the whole, as a group that is at risk educationally. Any “one size fits all” plan for supplementary support for these students, or for the schools they attend, is not supported by the evidence.

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2013-06-19
APA citation
Marie McAndrew. Educational Pathways and Academic Performance of Youth of Immigrant Origin: Comparing Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver 2009. Web. 30 Nov. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/educational_pathways/educational_pathways.pdf>
Marie McAndrew (2009). Educational Pathways and Academic Performance of Youth of Immigrant Origin: Comparing Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Retrieved November 30, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/educational_pathways/educational_pathways.pdf
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