French Immersion

What is French Immersion?

A French Immersion program aims to develop a functionally bilingual student who can participate easily in conversations in French or English, further his/her education in either language, and accept employment using either French or English as the working language.

How is the French Immersion curriculum different?

The French Immersion program in School District 59 is intended to provide non-francophone children with a high degree of proficiency in French. Teachers follow the same BC curriculum as the regular program, but the language of learning is French. Immersing students in a second language provides the very best means of acquiring the second language, as they are engaged in vital, necessary communication.

How does French Immersion compare to Core French?

Core French is taught as one subject within a school's curriculum starting in Grade 5. In French Immersion, French is the language of instruction across the curriculum. Students learn to think in both languages.

When will my child learn to read and write in English?

When a child enters French Immersion, a parent can expect that the child is taught solely in French until Grade 3 (with the exception of the early part of the year in Kindergarten, where English may be used), at which point he/she begins learning to read and write in English as well. Students’ literacy skills in English typically ‘catch up’ to those of their peers in the regular program with two years. After elementary school, students take core subjects in French until graduation.

How can parents help If they don't know French?

French Immersion is designed for children whose parents don't speak French. Teachers are aware that you want to help but that chances are you don't speak French. Parent-teacher conferences are held in English and reports are always written in English.

Encouragement is important. It doesn't matter if you understand the subject matter. Be enthusiastic and supportive.

Provide French reference materials and encourage students to use them. Enjoy French books, TV, radio, movies; they can enrich language development and reinforce the fact that French lives outside the classroom.

Play an active role in encouraging extra-curricular activities in French. The more exposure to French the better.

Who can enroll in French Immersion?

All students who reside in the school district are eligible if there is a French Immersion program in the community.

Which schools offer French Immersion?

Why should I choose French Immersion for my children?

  1. Experience the challenge of learning in a new language.
  2. Develop a "bilingual brain": learn to understand and communicate well in both French and English.
  3. Foster a facility for learning other languages.
  4. Enhance creativity and problem-solving ability.
  5. Encourage a deeper understanding of their own and other languages and cultures.
  6. Meet new friends.
  7. Earn dual Dogwood Certificates, French and English, when you graduate from Grade 12.
  8. Enjoy a lifelong ability to communicate with French-speaking people here in Canada and around the globe.
  9. Increase the range and scope of career options.
  10. Fun!
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