French Immersion FAQ's
What is a French Immersion Program?
The goal of the French Immersion Program is to develop proud, confident, engaged, plurilingual global citizens.
The French Immersion Program enables students to interact spontaneously, autonomously, and confidently in French with pride and ease. They seek opportunities to engage in the Francophone community. Their identity as Canadian citizens, competent in both French and English, creates lifelong opportunities and fosters openness to other languages and cultures. This program is designed for students whose first language is not French.
French is the language of instruction for all subject areas except for English Language Arts and music/band, which are taught in English. French Immersion students learn the same curricular outcomes as students registered in the English program. In addition, they take French Language Arts.
What are some advantages of learning a second language?
People who speak a second language tend to be culturally sensitive and capable of resisting stereotyping. They enjoy broader access to literature, drama, films and music. Communication skills in the first language can be improved by the study of a second language. Learning a second language positively impacts all learning. In the 21st century of a knowledge-based society, a bilingual person has "an invaluable added strength in life".
- Saul, John Ralston, Canadian Parents for French National News, Winter 2000
If I choose French Immersion, how will my child learn?
Learning French will be natural and spontaneous, much like learning a first language. In a French Immersion classroom, teachers speak French all the time using gestures, mimes, visual, auditory and concrete materials. The teacher only speaks English if the child’s health or safety is at risk or if a child has a problem and is emotionally distraught. As in learning a first language, understanding French will come much earlier than being able to speak it. Very quickly, your child will understand words and phrases and will respond appropriately.
Is French Immersion appropriate for all children?
French Immersion is a broad-based program appropriate for all. A child will do as well in French Immersion as he/she would do in an English program. Parents need to support their children and have a positive attitude towards whichever program they choose for their child. Research continues to show that learning in a bilingual setting has more advantages than disadvantages. Students have all to gain and nothing to lose.
Can I transfer my child into French Immersion at the beginning of Grade 1?
Yes, entry in the French Immersion program is possible in Kindergarten and Grade 1. Students may transfer from a similar French Immersion program at other grades.
I don’t speak French. Will this be a problem? How will I help with homework?
Most parents of Immersion students do not speak French, so most of the help at home will be in the language of the home. The language of communication between home and school is English. Help with concepts can be given regardless of language, and is always beneficial. All children should have a quiet place and a regular time for doing their homework. Teachers are always willing to work with families regarding homework. The Canadian Parents for French website (www.cpf.ca) also has valuable resources for parents.
What can parents do to help their children?
The following are links relating to the French Immersion program:
A Guide to French Immersion Schools in Manitoba:
French Immersion in Manitoba:
Manitoba Education in French Immersion:
Canadian Parents for French: