The goal of French Immersion is to develop proficiency in French and English, and to have an understanding and appreciation of French culture. The ability to speak and understand French allows students to communicate with French-speaking people in Canada and around the world, and to benefit from a competitive advantage in the workplace. Learning French not only strengthens students’ ability to communicate, but helps to develop appreciation and respect for the diversity of Canadian and global societies.
Lakehead Public Schools offer an Early French Immersion Program designed for students whose first language is not French. The curriculum content in all grades is the same as the English curriculum, except that students receive instruction in French. Students enroll in the French Immersion program in Senior Kindergarten (SK). In SK and Grade One all instruction is given in French. A daily period of English language arts is introduced in Grade Two and increases gradually until Grade Six, where French and English instruction is balanced.
Hammarskjold High School offers a French Immersion Diploma to students wishing to continue their study of the French language. To obtain the Diploma, students are required to take ten credits with French as the language of instruction:
- Four of these credits must be French Immersion Language credits
- Geography of Canada | Grade 9
- Healthy Active Living Education | Grade 9
- Civics │ Grade 10
- Career Studies │ Grade 10
- Canadian History since WWI | Grade 10
- For the other French credits, students choose additional courses from the following:
- Food and Nutrition│HFN2OF
- Cooperative Education│DCO3OF
- Food and Culture | HFC3MF
- Introduction to Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology│HSP3UF
The variety of course offerings and full immersion experiences provide students with ample opportunities to enhance and refine their oral and written French language skills through structured and unstructured daily interaction. In addition, students will expand their
knowledge of the language through the study of francophone culture and literature.
By the end of the four year program, students will participate easily in conversations and discussions, will be able to take courses at the college or university level in which French is the language of instruction, and will be able to accept employment where French is the working language.
Lakehead Public Schools is a proud partner in the Centre DELF-DALF du Nord Ouest Ontario (Accredited Testing Centre) providing the opportunity for Grade 12 students to challenge the DELF exam. The DELF (Diplôme d’études en langue française) is an internationally-recognized certificate awarded by the French National Ministry of Education to certify the French-language competency of candidates whose first language is not French.
Learning A Second Language!
“The ability to communicate in French is a valuable skill, because French is one of Canada’s two official languages and because it is a language used widely around the world.
Research confirms that knowledge of a second language strengthens first-language skills and that the ability to speak two or more languages generally enhances reasoning and problem solving skills, as well as creative thinking skills. Learning a second language not only strengthens students’ ability to communicate, but also develops their capacity to understand and respect other cultures. In this way, second-language learning prepares students to participate more effectively in the workplace and in the global economy, and provides them with a distinct advantage in a number of careers, both in Canada and internationally.”
The Ontario Curriculum: French As A Second Language, French Immersion Grades 1-8, 2001
Is French Immersion Right for Your Child?
The French Immersion program can be a viable and exciting option for your child. It is helpful to consider the following:
- listens effectively (e.g., can retell or explain a story or event in proper sequence)
- plays with language (e.g., enjoys rhyming and ‘opposites’ games)
- enjoys new words (e.g., repeats and uses new vocabulary appropriately)
- has not experienced significant hearing problems
- focuses on stories, conversations or activities for at least five to ten minutes
- handles new situations using positive coping strategies and is able to communicate his or her difficulties when necessary
- demonstrates curiosity and a willingness to explore, experiment and make new connections.
- Good learning is a partnership that requires commitment from everyone.
Canadian Parents For French
CPF is the strong voice for parents and others who support French second-language education throughout Canada. CPF works with teachers and school officials to create and improve opportunities for French second-language learning. Visit their website at www.cfpont.on.ca.
Goals of the French Immersion Program
The French Immersion program is designed for children whose first language is not French.
The goal of the French Immersion program is to enable students to obtain what is recognized as a “top level” of proficiency, described by the Ministry of Education. Students in French Immersion programs should be able, upon graduation, to function well in a French-speaking community after a short orientation period.
To expect all students to attain the fluency of native speakers is, however, not a realistic aim even for an immersion program.
What the children will achieve is a high level of bilingualism, enabling them to function with ease in both English and French.
Enrolment in Senior Kindergarten French Immersion may take place at any time during the school year though a special time, the first week of February, is considered our Kindergarten Registration Week for both French and English students. Each Dual Track school Principal is pleased to invite interested parents and guardians to call for a personal introduction to the world of French Immersion at Lakehead Public Schools. Registration for Senior Kindergarten French Immersion takes place at your neighbourhood French Immersion school. All interested students must register specifically for the French Immersion program. Junior Kindergarten students who live outside of the zone of the Dual Track (both French & English) schools may register for JK at the Dual Track School if they intend to register for Senior Kindergarten French Immersion the following year. In this way, children do not have to switch schools between Junior and Senior Kindergarten. Late admissions to the French Immersion program will be considered after assessment of the student and in consultation with the Principal/Vice Principal of the school.
All eligible students will be transported to the Dual Track Schools to attend the French Immersion Program.