French Immersion FAQ
1. Does the teacher speak all in French?
Initially in kindergarten the teacher speaks a mixture of French and English. Routines such as greetings, calendars, standard teacher expectations (such as come to the carpet, choose a centre) are taught immediately and then said exclusively in French. Throughout the year, the amount of French that the teacher uses increases. The same occurs in grade one and, by January or February, the teacher is speaking virtually all in French. Amazingly, the children understand!
2. What if the parents do not speak French?
French Immersion is a program designed for English-speaking children whose parents do not speak French. Most parents of French Immersion students do not speak French.
3. Will my children be behind their friends in English program?
French Immersion students learn to read in French in grades one and two. They are introduced to reading in English in grade three. Parents are sometimes concerned that their children will be behind in reading and writing in English. Research shows (and so does our experience) that the French Immersion students are reading and writing at about the same level as their English program friends by the end of grade Three. The concept of reading (individual sound/letter correspondence, blending sounds, tracking left to right, sight words etc.) is the same in French and English so once children learn the concept, learning to do it in their first language is much easier than learning to read initially. Reading skills (such as context clues, prediction, main idea etc.) and writing skills (such as sentence structure, punctuation, paragraph construction etc.) are virtually the same in both languages.
4. Can my children take French Immersion all the way to grade 12?
Yes, children in Red Deer Public have the opportunity to graduate with a bilingual certificate. Currently Central Middle School and Lindsay Thurber Composite High School both offer the continuation of French Immersion.
Other questions? Please do not hesitate to give us a call at 346-5765.