Spend a few moments with Arnott and you’ll quickly learn about her to French-as-a-Second-Language (FSL) education. What began with an introduction to the language in her Grade five French immersion class led her to undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field, time as an FSL teacher, and then a career as a professor in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education. Winning the is an acknowledgment of her dedication to preparing future FSL teachers and the national importance of her research in second-language education.
“This recognition is a testament to the inspiring community of mentors, colleagues, students, and teachers in FSL education I have had the honour of working with over the course of my career to date,” says Arnott. “I thank those who so thoughtfully nominated me for this prestigious award.”
Responding to teacher shortages
For Arnott, the chronic teacher shortage, especially in FSL contexts in Ontario and other provinces, is certainly one of those issues that can keep someone awake at night. Her leadership on provincial and pan-Canadian research projects that focus on teacher education, recruitment, and retention continues to shed light on the barriers and opportunities in the search for sustainable solutions.
As lead researcher on a nationwide study about , she and her team delved into the roots of workplace attrition. Findings from the study funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage informed actionable recommendations to help keep early-career teachers in the classroom. For a project financed by the Ontario Ministry of Education, Arnott, and her co-researchers identified how institutional investment in FSL teacher preparation and career support for their unique needs can lead to effective interventions.
“My hope is that through continued innovation, rigorous research, and open conversations, we can build community around a shared vision for meaningful change in Canadian FSL education.”
— Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
Promoting French as second language
“There is so much important advocacy currently happening in FSL across Canada – and I am incredibly proud to be a part of it. My hope is that through continued innovation, rigorous research, and open conversations, we can build community around a shared vision for meaningful change in Canadian FSL education,” she adds.
In praise of her many scholarly and practical contributions to the field, Faculty of Education Dean Richard Barwell says “Professor Arnott’s work deepens our collective understanding of what is needed to prepare, hire, and retain more educators. As a champion of second-language education, her devotion is evident in the research she leads towards advancing FSL teaching and learning.”