What Our Students Say
Red Deer Public School Board’s 24th French Immersion class will graduate from École Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School in June 2016.
French Immersion was first introduced in 1980 with only 15 students. Chris Rozell and Jennifer Corrales are two grade 12 students who graduated with a bilingual certificate in Grade 12. Today there are nearly 1000 students in French Immersion program in four schools in the Red Deer Public School District.
Bilingual Diploma Worth The Effort
For Chris R., earning his bilingual certificate was worth the effort
“I wanted something to show for the extra effort that I have put into my education. It was an extra challenge, being fluent in another language is great. A big bonus has to be that when I hosted a student from France I could understand everything he said and now I couldn’t wait to go on the school trip to France.”
When faced with the question of continuing in French Immersion after grade eight Rozell decided to stick with the program in high school as he enjoyed Immersion and the sense of camaraderie in the class. The grade 12 student is glad he stuck with it, saying that knowing French will be an asset for travel and the world of work.
Jennifer C. was a classmate of Chris’ for 13 years. Her mom enrolled her in French Immersion because she felt a second language would be useful to her in the future. A trip to Quebec in grade eight confirmed Corrales’ commitment to the program.
“I started to realize the French went beyond what I was learning in French class.” Jennifer also believes that being bilingual broadens your knowledge of the world. “If there is a good book and I have heard about it I can read it regardless if it is in English or French....the same with television.”
Both Chris and Jennifer agree with parents who don’t speak French it was more difficult for them to help you. They got very good at translating for their parents. Jennifer believes that she studied harder because the courses were in French.
“You have to work harder.....French Immersion is definitely worth it , but the challenge isn’t for everyone.”
Bilingual Certificate Offered
Grade 12 students who have completed 48 credits in French will be eligible for a bilingual certificate. In addition, Lindsay Thurber is one of the few schools that allows students to combine French Immersion with the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) Program. Students enrolled in both programs will require 43 credits in French for the certificate.
Beyond High School
“Knowing French will facilitate travel and enhance work opportunities. Other languages will also be relatively easy to learn, like Spanish”, said Jennifer Chris adding, “being bilingual can only improve your credentials. Having been in Immersion can be an asset to you and your employer, being able to speak another language increases the number of places that you can work in the world."-From the French Immersion Courier Vol 1
What was it like starting French Immersion Kindergarten?
“It was sort of scary because I didn’t know any of the other kids. Now it is pretty good because I know them”.- Hayley G, age six at École Mountview School, Kindergarten.
What was it like starting French Immersion?
"I like it. I could understand what the teacher was saying in French because I heard my big brothers speak in French at home. Now I Iisten and I know what to do when the teacher says because I know a lot of French” - Steven K, age six at École Mountview School, Grade One
What do you like about Immersion?
“It’s fun speaking a second language. I am always learning new words that I can use in my writing and speaking”- Pamela P, age 10 École Oriole Park School, Grade Five
What do you think about enrolling in late Immersion?
“It was a tough decision, to come to Central but I’ve met a lot of friends here and I’m pretty happy here. When I first started it was pretty awkward, but I got through it and it was actually a lot of fun, it’s pretty amazing. I don’t even have to think, I can just say the sentence in French. I think the teachers have been great.- Dan P, age 12 Late immersion École Central Middle School, Grade Seven
How do you feel French Immersion will help you in later life?
"I will have a broader range of access of resources to use (ie French and English books, radio and television). In the business world I will be able to better relate to clients from around the world.- Mike J, age 17 Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Grade 12