Early French Immersion

The St. Francis Early Immersion Program

Beginning in Kindergarten, the St. Francis Early French Immersion program has been designed to provide non-French speaking children with intensive learning opportunities to attain a high level of fluency in the French language by the end of their secondary studies. Additionally, the program fosters favourable attitudes towards the French language, its speakers and their culture.

Are Immersion Programs Suitable For All Children?

With proper motivation and support, the Early French Immersion program can be a viable option for nearly all students. However, certain "at risk" factors have been identified for those few children for whom the program may not be suitable. Please contact the school Principal to explore the possibility of Early French Immersion for your child.

What About My Child's English?

The results of 30 years of studies are clear and consistent: Early French Immersion students tend to lag behind English-program students in the more technical aspects of the language (e.g. capitalization and spelling) until they have had a year or two English language instruction which begins in grade 3. By grade 5 or 6 (barring any language difficulties), students perform as well as their English-program peers.

Many studies have found that from late elementary on, Early French Immersion students often outperform their English-program counterparts in some English skill areas. It's speculated that enhanced abilities in a student's first language may be the result of a greater awareness of language in general and the ability to compare and contrast the two language systems. It appears that skills learnt through a second language can be easily transferred to the child's native language.

Knowing A Second Language Can...

  • increase your child's personal pleasures such as the enjoyment of literature, art, music, theatre, travel and personal relationships
  • increase your child's understanding of and respect for other peoples and cultures

  • help your child understand more about himself/herself, his/her country and fellow Canadians

  • give your child access to a larger pool of information and to more educational and career opportunities

A World Of Opportunity

Apart from being one of Canada's official languages, French is spoken by about 120 million people worldwide. It is the official language in about 30 countries and commonly used in another 12. French is also an official language of the European union, the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee. English and French are the main languages of diplomacy on the global scale. All embassies of all nations use either English or French or both as languages of communication.

French is a relatively easy second language for English speakers to learn because of the close historical relationship and shared alphabet. In addition, many English words come from French or Latin, a common root of both languages.

Research in education has shown that mastery of a second language can make it easier to learn a third and a fourth!

Some lifelong skills and benefits of French Immersion include:

  • knowing how to cope in a foreign environment

  • academic discipline and study skills

  • enhanced ability to learn other school subjects including math and science

  • confidence and positive self-esteem