Why French Immersion?
Canada's French Immersion program has attracted positive attention from many countries around the globe, particularly Finland, Sweden, Japan, Australia and the United States. These countries have created their own immersion programs based on the Canadian model. Within Canada, the Immersion model is now being adapted to re-introduce native languages in First Nations communities.
French immersion significantly improves a child’s command of the French language with no detriment to English language skills. While core French students study French for forty minutes a day, Immersion students can spend up to 260 minutes a day interacting in French. French Immersion is one of the most effective ways for your child to become bilingual.
French Immersion was designed to provide non-francophone children with an opportunity to become fluent in the French language. The first program began in
1968 with a small group of Anglophone parents in St. Lambert, Quebec, who wanted their children to be fluent in both English and French. Today, over 315,000 Canadian students are enrolled in French Immersion programs. The majority of these students come from families where French isn’t spoken at home.
This program opens many academic, cultural and career options for children living in a global economy. Some areas where French is an asset includes tourism, the diplomatic service, politics, teaching, research, marketing and the civil service. Today, 30 percent of all job postings for federal public service jobs require the applicant to be fluent in both English and French.
Bilingualism is increasingly viewed as an asset that enables greater mobility. There are a number of Canadians running large international organizations across the world. The fact that they come from a bilingual country makes them more suited to understand and handle the various cultural sensitivities at play in the global economy.
Many parents who are thinking about enrolling their child in French Immersion commonly ask “how can I help my child with their homework if I can’t speak French?”
There are a number of steps you can take as a parent such as:
- Communicate regularly with the teacher;
- Read to your child in English or your mother tongue;
- Provide access to verb books, visual dictionaries and online resources;
- Provide access to French media such as books, videos and DVDs, music, TV, radio and the internet;
- Provide encouragement and support for their academic efforts;
We offer different Immersion programs that begin at different grade levels. Immersion programs share one common trait: it is one of the most effective ways for your child to become bilingual.