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April 30, 2007
For immediate release

New Keyboarding Tool Available for Students in French Classes

Community and Cultural Affairs

Students in French first-language, French Immersion and Core French programs throughout Prince Edward Island will have a new tool at their disposal when typing in French on a computer keyboard.

Minister responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs Elmer MacFadyen, and Education Minister Mildred Dover today announced that approximately 12,500 keyboard belts displaying keyboard functions for creating French accents and punctuation symbols such as quotation marks will be distributed to students in the French first-language, French Immersion and Core French programs.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first French Language Services Policy adopted by the Government of PEI and we are pleased to continue our contribution to the expansion of bilingualism on the Island,” said Minister MacFadyen. The Minister added that Prince Edward Island has the third most bilingual population in Canada after Québec and New Brunswick, based on the 2001 Census.

The Department of Education facilitated the distribution of the keyboard belts to schools Island-wide. “The information displayed on the keyboard belts will enable students to further develop their French writing skills and in the long run, this will contribute to their increased proficiency and understanding of the French language,” Minister Dover said.

The keyboard belt was developed and produced by the Acadian and Francophone Affairs Division as part of “The Toolbox: Providing Services in French,” a user-friendly kit to help public service employees in their everyday communications with clients in French. For more information on “The Toolbox” or the keyboard belt, contact Ricky Hitchcock, French Language Services, Interdepartmental Advisor, (902) 569-7592.

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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