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École Stanley Knowles offers the Early French Immersion program for Grades K-8. According to the Curriculum Policy for the French Immersion Program, the entry point to the Early Immersion Program is in Kindergarten to December of Grade 1.
French Immersion is a second language program designed for children whose first language is NOT French and who have little or no knowledge of French prior to entering the program. The goal of French Immersion is to have students at a level of bilingualism sufficient to function in a French environment when they graduate from secondary school.
French is used as the language of instruction for a significant part of the day. In Kindergarten, the language of instruction is totally in French, except when the emotional well-being of the child warrants the use of English. From Grade 1 to Grade 6, all subjects are taught in the French language except for 60 minutes of English Language Arts per day. Grade 7 and 8 students study all subject areas in French, with 50 minutes of English Language Arts per day. Practical Arts, music, art and band are taught in English.
Immersion teachers use many gestures as they speak, so the children are able to follow what is said, even if they do not understand all the words. Children try French words and phrases to communicate with the teacher. They progress at varying rates through the stages of language acquisition. With very few exceptions, Immersion is suitable for all children. Any child who can learn to communicate in one language can acquire a second language through the French Immersion Program.
How can you help at home? Most help will be in English. Parents can help with math operations, English spelling, reading and writing. Answering questions, explaining concepts and encouraging good study habits enhance learning in both languages. Provide French reference materials for use at home. Enjoy French TV, radio, music, games, software and videos. Encourage your children to read to you in French. Check out summer camps.
A couple of very helpful websites for information and resources are:
French Immersion Classroom Teachers
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