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Say “Oui” to French Immersion

When it’s time to select a private school, language and linguistic education is an important element to consider. Do you want your child to be able to speak another language fluently? If you’re a parent who understands how important bilingualism can be for a child, consider a French immersion private school.

By definition, a French immersion school offers a bilingual education in which a child who does not speak French will receive teaching and instruction in school in French. In many French immersion schools, children will learn to speak French and learn most subjects such as history, geography, math, art and science in French. The skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are shared among all languages. Once those skills are learned and perfected, they are transferable between many other languages. Many educators agree that the key to success is a positive attitude both at school and in the home toward the language and/or program.

The Benefits of a French Immersion school

Over the years, several studies have surfaced on the advantages that come with attending a French immersion school. For example, students who attend bilingual schools and/or programs demonstrate a greater level of mental flexibility, have a deeper appreciation for different cultures, gain employability-related skills to increase career prospects, and can conceptualize ideas more creatively.

In addition, French immersion students have been shown to display remarkable success in mathematical studies because of highly developed critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Overall, by attending a French immersion school and/or program your child could benefit from a myriad of new skills and learning techniques that will stay with them throughout their lifetime.

Questions to Ask Before Saying “Oui”

It’s perfectly normal to have a few questions or concerns before sending your child to a school that teaches specifically in another language, so here are a few key questions to ask:

  • As a parent or guardian, do I need to know French?
  • How will immersion students perform in various subjects?
  • What are some of the less obvious benefits to learning a second language?
  • What will happen to my child’s English language skills?
  • Will French immersion affect my child’s social development?
  • If my child requires assistance, what can we as parents do to help?

Ultimately, developing proficiency in French means being able to use the language to obtain and enhance knowledge; and to use language and information in meaningful ways.

French Immersion is offered from kindergarten through Grade 12. As Canada is a French-speaking country, it’s important So no matter your child’s age, it’s never too early to begin your child’s bilingual education.

For more information on French immersion schools and programs in CanadaParentsCanada’s Private School Guide.

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