Introduction to The French Immersion Option

frThe ability to communicate in French is a valuable skill because it is a language used widely around the world.

Research confirms that knowledge of a second language strengthens first-language skills and that the ability to speak two or more languages generally enhances reasoning, problem-solving and creative thinking skills. Learning a second language not only strengthens students’ ability to communicate, but also develops their capacity to understand and respect other cultures. In this way, second and third language learning prepares students to participate more effectively in the workplace and in the global economy. It provides a distinct advantage in a number of careers, both in Canada and internationally.

Since CISE reflects the Canadian-Ontario system of education, we offer a French Immersion Program as an option for parents and students who join the CISE learning community.

As a Canadian Curriculum School, CISE strives to hire Canadian French Immersion teachers to deliver the Ontario Curriculum to our Students.

The questions which follow are meant to provide a general overview of our French Immersion Program.

1. What is meant by “French Immersion”?

French Immersion is a program whereby French is taught as a subject and it also serves as the language of instruction to learn other subjects.

2. Why start children in Grade One?

Children are in fact capable of learning a second language from infancy. As with any subject, the more years a child can devote to learning a language, the better the outcome.

Academic studies and experiences have both shown that children who learn a second language before adolescence are more likely to acquire native-like pronunciation and fluency.

3. How does Immersion compare to “Core French”?

Core French is taught as one subject of the regular English-language school curriculum. While any exposure to a second language is beneficial, French Immersion broadens and deepens the learning and language experiences.

4. Will my child learn the same things as students in the regular English program?

Yes, the provincial Canadian-Ontario curriculum must be followed. French Immersion and English programs cover the same basic curriculum expectations.

5. What level of fluency can be realistically expected from French Immersion graduates?

The goal of Immersion is to equip the graduate with the ability to communicate naturally in French using a wide range of vocabulary and language skills. As with any academic endeavor, the personalities and abilities of students will affect individual outcomes.

6. Will my child receive any English-language instruction in the French Immersion program?

Most certainly. The amount of daily English instruction is gradually increased to ensure that the child leaves elementary school with a thorough grounding in both languages.

7. What about the achievement of English-language skills for French Immersion students – is it a problem?

Research and experience have consistently shown that the English-language skills of French Immersion students meet – or exceed – those of children in regular English-language programs.

8. What about achievement in Mathematics and other subjects?

Research and experience have demonstrated that French Immersion students’ performances in other subjects is equal to the performances of students in the English program.

9. Is it important for someone at home to speak French?

The French Immersion program is designed to accommodate students who are from non-French speaking families. Teachers are aware of this when they send home notices or assign homework. Reporting is in English.