The Hockey Sweater

The animated film The Sweater, produced by the National Film Board of Canada and based on the short story The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier, is typically Canadian. It defines our national icons and, at the same time, highlights the universal notions of rivalry and camaraderie, cultural duality - anglophone and francophone - and common traits. The Hockey Sweater and Le chandail de hockey win the 2007 Best Educational award from the Digital Media Association of Alberta.

Left to right, four of the team members are: Darcy Rollack, Donna Mydlarski, Larry Katz and Michael Mattson.

Will Hosier

Penthes Rubrecht and André Bougaïeff with Roch Carrier (Saskatoon, October 2006)

Roch Carrier and French teachers enjoying Dr. Bougaïeff's presentation of Le chandail de hockey (Saskatoon, October 2006)

I'm glad to see my story being used by this team of most innovative teachers who are using technology to bring back excitement and fun in the classroom.

Roch Carrier

TESL Canada Journal The Hockey Sweater: An Interactive CD-ROM by Les Éditions 3D provides learners of English at multiple levels with a rich window onto important aspects of the Canadian experience: the national game, growing up in French Canada during the ’40s, and in a wider context, French Canadian culture and Canadian history in general. It provides an excellent tool for introducing ESL learners to the Canadian reality and to both sides of Canadian culture, all the while building their listening, reading, and comprehension skills. The material can be revisited time and time again to integrate new and interesting material with already acquired knowledge. Except for some ESL grammar exercises, most of the cultural content and activities could just as easily be used to enrich the experience and knowledge of students in English first-language programs.

Roger Kenner ( has been active in computer-assisted language learning since the 1980s. He was affiliated for many years with Concordia University in Montreal, but works privately as a consultant through his company RK-Idées. His current area of expertise is in learning management systems such as Moodle. 


TESL Ontario's newsletter, Contact

"... this [CD-ROM] definitely contains a ton of things to do."

"The beauty of the CD-ROM is that it is designed to be used independently."

"I tried this CD-ROM with two different groups of students....The CD-ROM was a big success."

"They really enjoyed watching the film and working on the activities. The different levels (Peewee, Junior, Pro) allowed the students to choose more or less challenging material."
"At the end of the lesson, many of the students stayed to continue working on other activities associated with the video, ..."

"There were absolutely no problems with the technology. It was very smooth."

"…the readings about life in Quebec at that time were great."

Karen Thomson has taught ESL to LINC and international students for over 12 years. She teaches with the English Language Program at the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto. 


TESL Toronto Newsletter

"… a CD-ROM based on Roch Carrier’s famous story, The Hockey Sweater – a distinctly Canadian learning resource that may fit your needs. With the renowned writer’s 1979 short story as its focus, this interactive package has almost everything you could want."

"It’s a flexible learning resource that can be used by individual students, small groups of learners, or with the whole class."

"The Hockey Sweater CD-ROM will not only help your students learn language from authentic sources but come to a deeper understanding of the importance of the sport of hockey in Canadian culture. All in all, it’s a classroom resource well worth exploring."

- Karen Thomson has taught ESL to LINC and international students for over 12 years. She teaches with the English Language Program at the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto. 


CALICO Journal

The Le chandail de hockey/The Hockey Sweater programs represent a visually appealing, linguistically and culturally authentic learning tool and cultural supplement. The popular and engaging story/animated film on which it is based provides an accessible context for practicing language skills and exploring hockey and related aspects of Quebec's cultural identity. The CD-ROM allows learners to proceed at their own pace and to work at their own level, providing opportunities for them to challenge themselves when and as they wish, and offering regular and useful feedback beyond the mere indication that an answer is correct or incorrect. This reviewer has taught the story and shown the film in courses at both the beginning and advanced intermediate levels and welcomes the addition of this program to her collection of instructional tools.

SCALED RATING (1 low - 5 high)

Implementation Possibilities: 4

Pedagogical Features: 4

Sociolinguistic Accuracy: 5

Use of Computer Capabilities: 5

Ease of Use (student/teacher): 5/4

Overall Evaluation: 4.5

Value for Money: 4.5

- Laurey Martin-Berg, University of Wisconsin-Madison


The Canadian Modern Language Review/La revue canadienne des langues vivantes, Volume 65, Number 2, December/decémbre 2008

"Two valuable characteristics of THS/LCH are its non-linear design and the study support it offers. First, the non-linear design gives learners flexibility to navigate the software based on the information, language skills and activity types of their interest by clicking on a permanent top bar menu. This flexibility is particularly evident in the 2nd period, where learners can select from various multimedia task types organised by proficiency levels. Second, learners can obtain language support from an interactive dictionary available permanently in a bottom bar menu and write down and print their own notes using an interactive notebook."

"Due to its potential contribution to learning (and enjoyment!), THS/LCH undoubtedly constitutes a valuable multimedia application for language teachers and learners in Canada and abroad."

Jesús Izquierdo, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, Mexico


Through the sport of hockey and Roch Carrier's classic story, our goal is to better acquaint learners with English language and Canadian culture.

Besides the film, The Hockey Sweater CD-ROM contains hours of interaction at three levels of difficulty.

  • video clips of an original interview with writer, Roch Carrier
  • Canadian art and interview with folk artist, Marcel Dargis
  • pages from Eaton's catalogue, fall-winter 1946-1947
  • The Hockey Song by Tom Connors
  • hockey cards
  • computer-based activities
  • multimedia lexicon