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French Immersion Program

Oui, je parle français!

The French Immersion program is an optional program offered to students in Early Learning Kindergarten (ELKP) to Grade 8 within the Board. It is designed for children who do not speak French at home. Any parent/guardian who desires his/her child to study in French may enrol his/her child in the French Immersion program. Please refer to the Board’s French Immersion Policy 200.30 for a more detailed description of the French Immersion elements and structure.

French Immersion Locations

French Immersion Kindergarten program is offered at four BHNCDSB locations:

  • St. Leo Catholic Elementary (City of Brantford) 519-759-3314
  • Jean Vanier Catholic Elementary (City of Brantford) 519-753-5283
  • Sacred Heart, Paris (County of Brant) 519-442-4443
  • St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary, Simcoe (Norfolk County) 519-426-0820

Transportation is provided to all students enroled in the French Immersion program to the school in their location. For information about the program in your area, please contact your closest French Immersion program school.

Who can be successful in French Immersion?

Research has suggested that French Immersion can be suitable for any child; however, children with the following general skill set tend to excel in French Immersion environments.

These children:

  • appear to be risk takers
  • appear to be interested in learning new things
  • attend school regularly
  • have a positive attitude toward school
  • communicate well verbally in their first language
  • have good memory skills

Please visit the Ministry of Education website for more information – www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/amenagement/FLS.html

The Importance of Learning French

The ability to speak and understand French allows students to communicate with French-speaking people in Canada and around the world, to understand and appreciate the history and evolution of their cultures, and to develop and benefit from a competitive advantage in the workforce.

While the knowledge of any language has value, French is not only a global language, but the mother tongue of many Canadians and an integral part of the Canadian identity. Learning French equips students with the ability to communicate with French-speaking Canadians and millions of French speakers around the world.

In addition to strengthening students’ ability to communicate, learning another language develops their awareness of how language and culture interconnect, helping them appreciate and respect the diversity of Canadian and global societies. When a student is exposed to another culture through its language, he or she begins to understand the role that language plays in making connections with others. Learning an additional language not only challenges a mind, it also teaches understanding, encourages patience, and fosters open-mindedness.

Ontario Curriculum: FSL, Ministry of Education, 2013

Questions and Answers

MY SPOUSE AND I DON’T SPEAK FRENCH. WILL OUR CHILD BE AT A DISADVANTAGE?

French Immersion is a French second language program designed for students whose first language is not French. It is not necessary for parents or guardians to know or speak French. The best way to help your child is to be positive and supportive.

WILL MY CHILD BE GETTING THE SAME PROGRAM AS HE/SHE WOULD IN AN ENGLISH CLASS?

Yes, French Immersion programs follow the Ontario Curriculum that is mandated by the Ministry of Education. Reporting of student progress is the same in immersion programs as it is in English programs.

WILL MY CHILD’S ENGLISH SUFFER?

No. French Immersion pupils are able to read, write, speak, understand and use English as well as youngsters instructed in English. In fact, research shows that learning a second language can actually enhance a person’s first language. There may be an initial lag when a student first begins immersion, but in time, language learning returns to its usual rate.

Transportation

Depending on how far you live from the French Immersion school associated with your home school, your elementary child may qualify for busing. Please see the Board’s Transportation of Students Policy 400.19 to determine your child’s eligibility. Transportation to the French Immersion site will not be provided for siblings not enrolled in the French Immersion program.