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Q & A About French Immersion

Will French Immersion affect my child’s English language skills?

English language skills and other academic skills of Immersion students generally do not suffer. A lag often occurs in the development of English language skills in grades one and two, but once English language instruction begins, the deficit usually disappears. Studies indicate that by the end of Grade 6, French Immersion students have comparable academic skills to their peers in the English program while being significantly ahead in French.

Will my child be getting the same instruction as she/he would in the English program?

Yes. The program follows the identical Ministry of Education guidelines as the English program. French is the language of instruction in many subject areas. Textbooks and resources to support these areas are in French. The learning experiences are as rich and varied in the French program as in the English program.

No one at home speaks French. How can I help a child who is in French Immersion?

The French Immersion program is designed for children of non-French speaking parents. You don’t need special skills to help your child learn French. Parents play an important role by reading regularly in English to their children and by talking about what he or she is thinking about and doing in everyday life. School principals and teachers can suggest other ways to support the program at home.
While most children adapt and do well in the Immersion program, remember that each child is unique. Ultimately, parents must make their decision based on what they feel is in their child’s best interest.

What happens if my child has academic difficulties in French Immersion?

A child may experience difficulty in French Immersion for any number of reasons. Initially, the classroom teacher provides additional assistance for those having problems grasping the curriculum. If this does not address the difficulty, then a consultation is usually arranged involving the Special Education Resource teacher, the classroom teacher, the principal, the parents, and sometimes the child. From there, based on his/her individual situation, the best plan of action is discussed and acted on.

Is a special education program available to French Immersion students?

Special Education services are available in the English language for Immersion students. The school may provide some French language remedial help.