11.27.18 | Bilingualism, Blog

French Academy: Serving Tomorrow’s Citizens

In an ever-changing society where technology is an integral part of our daily lives, are we really meeting the current needs of students in the acquisition of French as a second language? How can children who opt out of French immersion (for a myriad of reasons) obtain a functional level of bilingualism? Are children graduating from French immersion really bilingual?

The approach to teaching French in immersive classrooms is above-all communicative, and values the transfer of a message and a meaning. This communicative approach suggests that the ultimate goal is learning to communicate in a foreign language. However, research (eg, Harley, Allen, Cummins & Swain 1991, Harley 1992, Day & Shapson 2001, Mougeon & Rehner 2001, Nadasdi, Mougeon & Rehner 2005, Genesee 2004, Lyster 2007; Harley, 2013; Nadasdi & Vickerman, 2017) points out that immersion learners continue to experience serious difficulties in their daily interactions in French, despite the importance given to communication in the classroom, not to mention the persistent challenges at the level of grammar, lexical choice and syntax. The traditional classroom of 30 students no longer meets the needs of tomorrow’s citizens, which are today’s students.

Tomorrow’s citizens learn from the comfort of their home. Using technology, they connect with a small group of learners, all of whom are at the same language level, and a francophone teacher, who guides them through their learning. Tomorrow’s citizens are truly at the heart of our Academy.



In order to provide an optimal learning experience, the French Academy curriculum has been designed based on recent findings that stem from experimental research on the effectiveness of second language teaching. The curriculum draws from a variety of instructional approaches and techniques in order to maximize the opportunities for successful acquisition of a given language feature. The three key concepts that form the basis of French Academy include:

You can review some of our lesson plans and independent work assignment here and here.

At our Academy, tomorrow is today. We are building step by step the future of our students in the acquisition of French as a second language. Come join us on this learning journey!

Written by: Annie Bellemare

About Annie: Invested in the world of education for over 10 years, Annie Bellemare has had the great opportunity to share her experience and passion for the French language at Camp Tournesol since 2009. She graduated from the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières with a Bachelor’s degree in Second Language Teaching. After her first degree, she decided to pursue her studies at the master’s level. At the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Annie completed her Master of Arts in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development. Her thesis was on youth identity and French-language education in Ontario. Her present role is Special Education Consultant at Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. As a Curriculum Director, Annie collaborates with the Camp Tournesol’s team in providing an optimal French learning experience to our campers as well as our students at the Brouillet French Academy.

Contact Annie Bellemare at annie@campt.ca | 905-891-1889

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