Do parents of children in French Immersion have to be able to speak French?

The program is designed for children who normally speak English at home. It is not expected that parents will be able to speak French. Teachers are aware of this when they send home notices or assign homework. Reporting is in English.

Will my child learn the same things as students in English classes?

The curriculum must follow The Ontario Curriculum. Materials in French cover the same basic program as in English, although perhaps in a different sequence. Students work towards the same academic goals regardless of the language of instruction.

Will my child be behind in English if he or she takes French Immersion?

Evaluations of Immersion programs across Canada have indicated that although there are certain lags in English language skills for the first few years, children in Immersion very quickly catch up to and keep pace with children in the English program once English is introduced. It is important that you read stories in English at home and expose your child to English songs, nursery rhymes and books that will enrich his or her first language experience, just as you would if they were in the English program.

What type of French is taught in the classroom?

Standard French vocabulary and structures are taught. A variety of accents exist in all languages; during a school career a child will be exposed to teachers from various parts of the world who are models of well-spoken, grammatically correct French.

What if we are transferred or move to another district or province?

French Immersion is available in most urban centres in Canada. A full directory is published by the Canadian Parents for French (CPF) and information is available both from the Thunder Bay Chapter of CPF and dual track Lakehead Public Schools.

How can I help my child?

From the early stages of the program, parents can be of great assistance by being supportive of the program. They can talk about all new experiences and read regularly to their child in English. Most often if a child is experiencing difficulty in a particular subject area, the confusion lies with the concept, not the language. Discuss and explain the concept in English.

What if my child experiences difficulty in French Immersion?

As with children in the regular English program, help will be available from the classroom teacher in consultation with the school’s facilitator. Feel free to discuss any concerns you have with your child’s teacher.

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