Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en Anglais Américain.
We are very lucky to have both a French Immersion Public School and High School in our hometown! I am a francophone from Québec and if you do not use your French, you truly will lose it. I am a tutor and really encouraged by the number of parents who want summer classes so their kids retain their level over summer! Loved this article! My kids go to French Immersion and will be staying in even though they are francophone.
Thank you for your support and kind words. We could not agree more!
I recall years ago when the FSL consultant at the head of the room said something like, »I guess transportation to the extended French programme could be problematic if you don’t have a second car. » A parent’s acid retort was, « Some kids in our school don’t have a 2nd parent let alone a 2nd car! » The board was keeping numbers down by situating immersion programes in middle class schools and not providing transportation to their own programme which began in grade 5, but was providing transportation to francophone kids to the R.C. FFL school!!! Only carefully selected students got to go to that school though. You don’t mention exchanges. I think summer programmes in Quebec and exchanges really help you master the French language. My son profited enormously from working at Minto as a grounds keeper in Ottawa where a lot of the workers were French-Canadian! You don’t talk about the less than stellar student who may be unkindly treated by the classroom teacher and feels that he should leave a poor learning environment for greeener pastures and more understanding from classroom teachers in the English language stream.
Unfortunately where we live French Immersion also means being excluded from the kids in English speaking classes. They are few opportunities to make new friends. My son has been bullied by a boy in his class and there are no other classes to transfer him to. He does well with the French curriculum but his mental health is more important then him learning to speak French.
Use it or lose it is the phrase that comes to mind. I don’t see how someone who is speaking and reading and writing French at an elementary or intermediate level could function in an environment where French is required. I find now, at a point in my life where I use French infrequently, I am rapidly losing the breadth of vocabulary I once enjoyed. Using French as often as possible, with as many people as possible is the best way to keep it up but outside of school, most children just don’t have those opportunities. Parents need to know that the longer that child is exposed to French and using French, the better chance he or she will have to be truly bilingual.
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