French Immersion

Parent Information Meetings for French Immersion Programs  - IMPORTANT CHANGE

With the change to the school district's registration date for students beginnning kindergarten in September, 2018 (moving to October 2 from April), registration for Kindergarten French Immersion will also be changing.
ALL kindergarten students will register at their neighourhood school. Parents of those interested in registering their child for Early Immersion are then asked to contact Isabelle Gervais at École Élémentaire Bastion Elementary (250 832 3741) to indicate their interest. These parents will later be contacted to attend an information session, and possibly register their child, for French Immersion.
This meeting will take place on November 30, 2017 at 7 p.m. at Bastion Elementary.

An information session and possible registration of students interested in late French Immersion will continue as in the past. The meeting for those interested in Late Immersion will be on March 6, 2018 at 7 p.m. at a L’École Intermédiare Shuswap Middle School (late immersion).

Please Note: Transportation to and from the French Immersion programs is the responsibility of the parent. It may be possible to ride the bus but it is not an absolute. Please contact the transportation department at (250) 804-7890 for further information.

It is essential for all parents new to the French Immersion program to attend the information meeting, which will be held in November.  If we have a maximum of 40, including sibling registrants, at the meeting, registration will take place during this meeting.

Registration forms are available at district and school offices (and will also be available on site at the parent information meeting at École élémentaire Bastion) and must be delivered in person by a parent or direct relative of the student.
40 Kindergarten registrations will be accepted for the Early Immersion program.  Remaining spots after sibling pre-registration will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis if it is necessary to continue with registration.  Additional registrations will be wait-listed on the same basis.  

LATE IMMERSION -  This format was successfully implemented in September 2013.
If there are between 22 and 28 (1 class) or between 44 and 56 (2 classes) parents, including sibling registrants, at the March information session, all students will be automatically registered.  Therefore, it is essential to attend this meeting with your interested student.

District practice provides opportunity for pre-registration of students who already have siblings in the French Immersion Programs (only siblings ... not parents who attended our Immersion program). Sibling registration forms will be mailed directly to all parents/guardians of students enrolled in French Immersion programs and must be completed and received at School District No. 83, P.O. Box 129, 220 Shuswap St. NE, Salmon Arm, V1E 4N2 by the deadline date noted on the form.

Early Immersion

Late Immersion
Grades 6-8 and expanding to secondary grades at Salmon Arm Secondary in successive years.

 Frequently asked questions about Early and Late French Immersion programs

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 math-ematics, 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 Élé-mentaire 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.

How is French Immersion taught?
• Students are taught the same curriculum as English students but the language of instruction is French.
• At first, students have limited vocabulary so teachers concentrate on language. Later as language skills de-velop the smaller details are filled in.
• The method used is very similar to that used in English as a Second Language classes, ie. a proven method-ology.

What about the students’ academic achievements?
• Research shows there is absolutely no detrimental effect on academic performance in any subject area de-spite learning in a new language.
• Larger English vocabulary as French words are often similar to English words.
• French Immersion students do better on average in all Foundation Skills Assessments; English reading, English writing and numeracy at all grade levels.

How does Late Immersion compare with Early French Immersion?
• Late French Immersion is not a continuation of Early French Immersion. It is a separate program, offered in addition to Early Immersion, which provides an alternative final entry point for English students who want to become bilingual.
• In Grade 8, the Early and Late Immersion students join together into one program. The two groups become academically cohesive during the secondary years.

Are all subjects taught in French?
• In EI, Kindergarten to Gr. 2 or 3 receive 100% instruction in French. Gr. 3 or 4 to Gr. 7 have 80% instruc-tion in French. In Gr. 8-10, 50-75% of instruction is in French, 25% in Gr.11 and 12.5% in Grade12.
• In LI, Grades 6 and 7 are taught 80-100% in French. In Gr. 8-10, 50-75% of instruction is in French, 25% in Gr.11 and 12.5% in Grade12.

Will my child learn the same things as peers in the English program?
• The French Immersion and English curricula are the same as specified by the Ministry of Education. The only difference between the two programs is the language of instruction.

What are the benefits of learning a second language?
• Develops your child’s listening and learning skills as well as self-discipline.
• Increases cognitive abilities, creating a more flexible thinker.
• Enhances his/her knowledge of and ability to communicate in his/her first language.
• Makes learning a third or fourth language much easier.

Why should I choose French Immersion for my child?
• In addition to receiving a French Immersion dogwood diploma, graduates of a full Immersion program can expect increased appreciation of other languages and cultures, enhanced career potential, a greater facility for learning other languages as well as a more global view of Canada and the world.

For any questions regarding French Immersion programs, please contact :
• The principal of École Élémentaire Bastion Elementary, 832-3741
• The principal of L’École Intermédiare Shuswap Middle, 832-6031
• The Director of Instruction at School District #83, Phone 804-7826

French Advisory Committee
Minutes from the French Advisory Committee meeting on Oct. 30, 2014 available here.