French Immersion is an education program in which students are taught some or all of their subjects using French as the language of instruction. As they continue in the program, students develop the ability to speak, comprehend, read, and write in both French and English.
When does French Immersion start, and how much French is taught?
Students may enter the program in either ECDP, Kindergarten or Grade One. In ECDP, Kindergarten and Grade One, students receive 90% of their instruction in French. Only music and physical education is taught in English. Grades 2-6 students receive English for one hour per day.
Can any student take French Immersion?
Yes. Students will have the greatest chance of being successful in the program if they possess the following skills:
- very strong speech and language development in English
- very strong auditory memory and auditory discrimination skills (because of the strong emphasis on oral language in the early years)
- patience, and an ability to tolerate ambiguity as they are learning the sounds and symbols of a new language
- parental support is also a big factor in ensuring student success in immersion.
When do students start learning English?
Beginning in Grade Two, students receive English instruction for one hour per day.
We don’t speak French in our home. How can I help my child?
The program is designed for children whose parents do not speak French. Students learn to be very self-reliant, and teachers understand that parents do not know the language. You can help by reading daily to your child in English. A child’s first language provides a sound base for the acquisition of a second language. Talk with your child about school. Ask to see their work. Ask your child to explain to you in English what their schoolwork is all about. Contact the Canadian Parents for French for information about their parent resource book entitled Yes, You Can Help! Call the school office for more information about CPF .
What is the effect on my child’s learning in other subjects?
French Immersion programs have been in existence for many years across Canada, and a lot of research has been completed studying the effects of the program. French Immersion students have demonstrated high levels of achievement in all subjects. Grade 3, 6 and 9 Achievement test results in English, Math, Science, and Social Studies show that French Immersion students perform as well as or better than those students who have been in English programs all along.
What if my child has difficulty in French Immersion?
Parents should expect that from time to time children will struggle with learning in French, just as many children do in English. Students have access at school to Early Literacy support, Learning Assistance support, and extra help sessions offered by teachers.
Is Transportation provided?
Yes, transportation is available for students in French Immersion. Annual bus fees vary depending on how far students live from École Dickinsfield School. Contact Sparksman Transportation Ltd 780-790-3960.
What if we are transferred to another district or province?
French Immersion programs are available in most urban centers in Canada.
Why should I choose French Immersion?
Through the French Immersion program, parents are able to give their children the gift of a second language. A high degree of fluency can be attained without any negative effect of the child’s first language. French Immersion expands the mind and gives students a broader perspective of their world. Knowing French is an asset which allows students to improve their ability to understand and adapt easily to other cultures. French Immersion students really do experience the best of both worlds.