Learning the language of instruction is an indicator of academic success at both the elementary and secondary levels. Difficulties experienced in learning the language of instruction lead to the identification of learning difficulties and are one of the main arguments school authorities use to justify their decision to have a student repeat a grade at either the elementary or the secondary level.
Grade repetition and delay appear to be mostly related to gender differences in learning the language of instruction since no significant performance gap has been noted for the other subjects. A survey conducted among young secondary school dropouts in 1997 revealed that 52 per cent of them had failed French, language of instruction.
A study conducted as part of a concerted action to support reading research attempted to shed light on several aspects of reading at the secondary level. Among other things, the researchers were seeking to understand the development of reading comprehension in Secondary I, II and III, and to identify strategies that help students read to learn, as well as teaching strategies currently in use in the classroom.