Frequently Asked Questions
Who should register in French Immersion?
- Any family wanting a rich learning experience for their child should consider French Immersion.
- While the program is primarily intended for students whose family is not French speaking, there are many French families who enroll their children in our French Immersion program.
- Instructional strategies and materials are designed for families who are not French speaking. Students are offered the same assistance as any English Program would.
When is English taught?
- From Kindergarten to Grade 2, students are taught in French. Religion is taught in English.
- Formal English instruction begins at Grade 3.
How will my child’s English skills compare with others?
- Our French Immersion students consistently score as well or better on the provincial standardized tests administered at Grades 3, 6 and 9 compared to their English counterparts.
- Many language learning skills can be transferred from French to English and serve to enhance the learning of English.
Who is the French Immersion program for?
- Students wanting to learn to speak a second language.
If I do not speak French, how will I help my child?
- One of the best ways to help your child is to continue reading to them each day in English to increase vocabulary and strengthen literacy skills.
- Help your child develop good study habits, such as re-reading homework questions, finding answers in notes or other resources and answering questions by formulating complete sentences.
- Have your child read orally to you and they can summarize what was said.
- Keep in contact with your child’s teacher. Your teacher can direct you to helpful websites, amazing mobile apps or resources and give you addition information about specific assignments.
- Set-up homework partners with the help of your child’s teacher, as then your child can contact their partner for support.
If I teach my child to read in English, will this be confusing for my child?
- If you notice that your child is confusing some letter sounds while reading in English, teach your child about the differences of certain letter sounds in French and English by making a chart or diagram. Usually, the initial confusion will be short-lived and your child will have the benefit of discovering that they are readers not only in French, but in English as well! The key is not to panic.
How can I support my young child at home?
- Read regularly to and with your young child at home, in English is fine to promote a love of reading.
- A child exposed to a language-rich environment usually performs well in the French Immersion setting.
- Provide an environment rich in experiences, such as visits to the nature centre or swimming pool. Talk about these experiences afterwards.
- Listen to French music or television shows or movies with your child.
- Attend a French community activity with your child, such as the “Cabane à sucre” (maple sugar shack), which frequently takes place in March. (Contact the Canadian Parents for French or L’association canadienne-francaise de l’Alberta)
- Be patient during the first months of school as your child becomes accustomed to their new class, teacher and language. Be appreciative of your child’s effort to work and play in a new language.
- Attend parent-teacher-student interviews and keep in contact with your child’s teacher to discuss progress.
How can I support my older child at home?
- Have your child use their school agenda to record homework assignments and test dates. Check and sign the agenda daily. Use the agenda to communicate with your child’s teacher.
- Keep up an open dialogue with your child. Try to learn your child’s likes, struggles and concerns.
- Review notes and assignments in preparation for exams.
- Attend parent-teacher-student interviews and keep in contact with your child’s teacher.
- Attend French cultural activities in the community. (Contact the Canadian Parents for French or L’association canadienne-francaise de l’Alberta)
- With the support of your child’s teacher, set-up a study buddy for your child. The study buddy can share notes or recap assignments if your child is at home and unsure how to proceed for an assignment.
My child is in French Immersion and won’t speak French at home. Is this normal?
- Take the cue from your child. If your child is uncomfortable speaking in French, have your child showcase an assignment or read aloud with you. Encourage and praise all your child’s efforts.