John Abbott College teacher awarded a Minister’s Award in Higher Education

Maria Popica

John Abbott College recently announced that Maria Popica, French teacher at John Abbott, has received the Minister's Award in Higher Education for the Educational Research Reports category (collegial).

This competition highlights the commitment and inventiveness of those who innovate by creating current educational resources and adapting their teaching strategies to make them more effective,

“I am proud to recognize the innovative implications of higher education professionals who contribute every day to the success of our students,” stated Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education and Higher Education. “I warmly congratulate the 27 laureates who, through their involvement, promote the development of Quebec's talent.”

Recipients receive scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $10,000, a trophy and a certificate.

This award was presented to Mrs. Popica to recognize the innovative aspect of the course French as a Second Language, Learning through Community Engagement in French-Speaking Communities.

This course, given alternately in the classroom and in a Francophone community, helps create meaningful links between language learning, community service and the holistic development of the student. By doing community service, students improve their language and cultural skills, strengthen their critical thinking skills, develop empathy and the habit of engaging with their multilingual community.

“Maria’s work helps us better understand student motivation to learn French and the potential for increasing that motivation through the social interaction provided by community service-based course work,” added Gordon Brown, Academic Dean. “The importance of social interaction was one of the key results from extensive research of French second-language students she had conducted in collaboration with a number of English colleges.”

— John Abbott College

— AB

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