3.2 Methodology

Over a period of three years, the CIRCEM evaluated five cohorts of families that participated in family
literacy programs offered by the six partnering literacy organizations offering literacy services in seven
regions. A total of 285 families participated in the research.

Four of these organizations are located in regions in which the Francophone population is very much a
minority. Only one is located in a region in which Francophones represent a majority (62.5%,in Russell
County). The other two fall somewhere between these two extremes. We can therefore say that the great
majority of the Francophone population from which participants for the programs were drawn present
special needs related to linguistic, cultural and identity issues that can affect the whole family.

Four questionnaires were used to gather data to enable the research team to define the conditions for
succes1sof the program, determine the challenges to be overcome, identify the specific characteristics of
each program model and draw information on the impact ofthe programs.

Three categories of participants filled out the questionnaires: the parents emolled in the programs the
practitioners7 and the directors ofthe partnering literacy organizations.

The questionnaire for parents was filled out at the beginning and at the end of the programs. The
interviews were semi-directed and allowed basic data on personal characteristics, attitudes, habits and
behaviour to be compiled. Eighteen questions enabled the research team to determine how often the
parents carried out literacy activities on their own and with their children, as well as the language or
languages they used for these activities. Another series of open-ended questions gave parents the
opportunity to give their impressions of the program and to describe the changes that had occurred in their
familier as a result of taking part.8

The practitioners answered a questionnaire during a semi-directed interview at the end of each program.
The research team was thus able to compile data on their profile and their reactions to both the positive
and negative aspects of the program. The practitioners filled out a form with general information on each
participating family at the outset of the program, as well as a road map at the end of each workshop to
document the changes they observed from one week to the next, and follow-up on the attendance of each

The directors of the partnering organizations responded to a questionnaire at the end of the program in a
semi-directed interview to describe the reasons for choosing the particular model offered by their
organization, the way the program was implemented, the recruitment strategies, the support from the
community, the conditions they identified as leading to success and the challenges to be overcome in
offering these programs.

7 In the present report the term "practitioner" refers to the people who do the intervention with the adult and the child.

8 If a family was absent from the program more than three times, their data was not included in the evaluation of the impact of the program.