French Immersion

What is French Immersion?

  • French Immersion is a Canadian made educational program in which a child whose first language is not French studies in French.
  • French Immersion began over 30 years ago in response to parental demand; research shows that it is the most effective way for a child to become functionally bilingual.
  • The level of proficiency in French will vary from child to child in the same way as performance in mathematics, for example, will vary from child to child. Some students speak French making many mistakes while others might be mistaken for mother-tongue French speakers.
  • In British Columbia, Early Immersion (EI) starts in Kindergarten or Grade 1. Late Immersion (LI) usually starts in Grade 6.
  • In School District #83, Early Immersion was implemented in September 2003 and is housed at École Élémentaire Bastion Elementary.
  • Late Immersion was implemented in September 2004 and is housed at L’École Intermédiare Shuswap Middle School

Is French Immersion for everyone?

Immersion is suitable for children of all academic abilities. French Immersion may present an additional challenge to your child but it is not to be confused with a gifted program. It is a program developed for the specific purpose of giving Anglophone school children the opportunity to become bilingual, while still maintaining their English skills.

What are the goals of a French Immersion program?

  • To develop language skills enabling students to participate easily in French conversation.
  • To provide an insight into the French culture.
  • To take post secondary education with French as the language of instruction.
  • To gain employment using French as the work language.
  • To achieve skills in all subject areas equivalent to those in the English program.