currently offer the French Immersion program for kindergarten to grade
Frequently Asked Questions:
How is French Immersion Funded?
federal government pays a portion of the costs incurred in French
Immersion programs, the Ministry of Education pays the majority of the
cost. Once a class is established, the cost per pupil is similar to
that in the regular English program.
Who Teaches the Program?
School District 23, French Immersion teachers must be fluently
bilingual (French and English) and possess a current BC Teacher's
Certificate. Learning Assistance is available to pupils who are
experiencing difficulties in the classroom.
What about my child's achievement?
In this program, pupils achieve a high level of proficiency in French
comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. By the end of elementary
school, French Immersion pupils develop a functional level of fluency so
they can communicate in the French language.
English language arts component is not introduced until the last year of
primary schooling (grade 3). By this time, pupils have learned how to
read in French. The decoding skills required for reading in French are
usually quickly transferred and applied to the English component of the
program. Although there are some initial lags in English language
development, namely in punctuation, capitalization and spelling, no long
term deficits in English language development have been noted.
How Can I Help My Child?
is a common question asked by parents who are English-speaking.
Parents are encouraged to listen to their child read out loud in
French. An older sibling or friend who speaks French can also read to
your child. Sentence structures are similar in English and French, so
parents can also read to their child in English. Lastly, French
Immersion teachers are willing to work closely with parents to keep them
aware of their child's progress.
Why learn an additional language?
Knowing an additional language can:
- Increase your child's personal pleasures such as the
enjoyment of literature, art, music, theatre, travel, and personal
- Increase your child's understanding of and respect for other peoples and other cultures
- Help your child to understand more about himself, his country, and his fellow Canadians
- Give your child access to a larger pool of information and to more educational and career opportunities
- Give your child a competitive edge in the job market anywhere in Canada and in many other countries.
The process of learning an additional language can also:
- Develop your child's listening and learning skills as well as the self-discipline that are useful throughout life
- Increase cognitive abilities, creating a more flexible thinker
- Enhance knowledge of the first language and improve communication
- Make learning a new language much easier.
How quickly do the children learn to speak French?
Comprehension of spoken French develops first. The ability to speak
develops more slowly. In the Early French Immersion program, students
start to communicate spontaneously in French by Grade 1. In Late French
Immersion, students are expected to speak with some fluency by the end
of the first year of the program (Grade 6).
What percentage of classroom instruction is actually in French?
As students progress through the French Immersion Program and develop
a strong command of the French language, the percentage of instruction
decreases. This allows for formal instruction of English Language Arts
and flexibility in course selection at the secondary level, while
ensuring the maintenance of a high level of proficiency in French.
Will my child's level of achievement be adversely affected if instruction is in the French language?
Most children who receive their education in French are able to
achieve the same levels of competency in all core subjects as those
children who have had all their instruction in English.