French Immersion is a program offered nationally for children from primarily English-speaking backgrounds. Its purpose is to provide students with the opportunity to learn a second language whereby French is the language of instruction and classroom communication, not a separate subject studied in isolation of other subjects. Neither the child entering the program nor his/her parents need to have any knowledge of the French language or culture.
Speaking French: An Investment in the Future
Benefits of French Immersion:
|Un||Research proves that learning a second language strengthens first language skills.||Quatre||Knowing French enables people not only to function but to compete effectively in the global economy of the future.||Sept||Knowing French enhances travel abroad to Europe, the Caribbean & Africa.|
|Deux||Speaking French will increase job opportunities and salary potential.||Cinq||Learning a new language, like French, develops critical and creative thinking skills.||Huit||French is the language of culture, opening doors to art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine and cinemas.|
|Trois||Studying French increases appreciation of other people and their cultures.||Six||Proficiency in French will improve chances of being accepted to university and to graduate school.||Neuf||French is the language of many great literary masterpieces.|
|Dix||French opens up an entire world of sporting events to enthusiasts.|
Facts About French Immersion at the LKDSB
Junior and Senior Kindergarten
In Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten, the language of instruction is French. The children's introduction to the Early Immersion Program is "gentle," in that they may continue to express themselves in English as they build their French vocabulary, while the teacher speaks only French. This builds listening comprehension in French so that when academic content is introduced, children have little difficulty following what is going on.
A typical French Immersion Kindergarten classroom is a warm, stimulating place where the students are active participants in everything that goes on around them. There are play focused centres where children learn to manipulate objects. There are opportunities to learn basic vocabulary through the use of talk, rhymes, songs, short stories and drama.
Grades 1 & 2
All instruction, including Reading, Writing and Mathematics is in French. Speaking skills receive greater emphasis and the children are increasingly able to express themselves in French.
Grades 3 - 8
English language studies are introduced in Grade 3 for 50% of the instructional time. Specific study areas are designated for English or French instruction.
Grades 9 - 12
At the secondary level, students in the French Immersion program take one third of their course requirements in French. Upon successful completion of the program, they are granted a Certificate in French Immersion Studies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my child be getting the same program as he/she would in an English class?
Yes. French Immersion programs follow the Ontario Curriculum that is mandated by the Ministry of Education and Training. Reporting of student progress is the same in immersion programs as it is in English programs and students in French Immersion receive the Ontario Provincial Report Card with the language of instruction indicated beside subject areas.
To ensure student achievement, students in French Immersion participate in annual provincial EQAO assessments along with English program students.
Will my child's English suffer?
No. French Immersion pupils are able to read, write, speak, understand and use English as well as youngsters instructed in English. In addition, they can also read, write, speak and understand French in a way that English pupils who follow traditional second-language teaching methods cannot. Since French Immersion is an available option in the Lambton Kent District School Board, instead of asking “Why French Immersion?” We might very well ask “Why not?” No one ever says they wish they hadn’t learned a second language.
Must parents be French speaking?
No. The French Immersion Program is a French as a Second Language (FSL) program and there is no expectation that parents have any knowledge of French. Parents receive communication from the school and classroom teacher in English.
Is French Immersion right for my child?
Students who do well in Early French Immersion programs will probably be able to say "yes" to many of these questions:
- Do I like to talk?
- Do I follow verbal instructions?
- Do I have strong language skills?
- Do I enjoy books?
- Do I imitate easily?
- Do I have a good memory?
- Am I confident?
- Do I experiment and take risks without fear of making mistakes?
- Do I enjoy new challenges?
- Do I listen well?
- Do I have a good attention span?
- Do I adapt well to change?
Tips for Parents
How can I help my child at home?
- Show commitment to the French Immersion program by being positive, curious and encouraging.
- Read to your child at home in English, even though your child is learning to read in French at school. Showing your child the importance of this skill, regardless of language, is what will make the difference in your child's desire and ability to read.
- Go to your local library and borrow English and French books, videos, and cassettes.
- Communicate often with your child's teacher to keep informed of your child's progress.
- Encourage your child to bring home French books, notebooks, portfolios or other samples of school work and ask him/her to explain them to you.
- Purchase a French-English dictionary.
- Compliment your child on effort and achievement.
- Buy French music CDs or cassettes.
- Investigate opportunities for school exchange trips and summer programs.
- Offer experiences that support your child's learning such as visiting French restaurants or visiting a Francophone area.