Q: Does my child need to know some French before enrolling in the French Immersion program?
A: No. Prior to entering the French Immersion program, students are not required to have any knowledge of the French language.
Q: As a parent/guardian, do I need to speak French?
A: No. The French Immersion program is an additional language program designed for students whose first language is NOT French. Parents and guardians do not need to speak French in order for their child to be successful in the program.
Q: How can I help my child if I do not speak French?
A: Parents and guardians play an important role in supporting their child’s success in French. The best way to help your child be successful in the program is to be supportive through activities such as:
- Enriching your child’s first language. Reading with your child and inviting him/her to read with you will develop your child’s knowledge and vocabulary, as well as foster an enjoyment for language and literature.
- Expressing an ongoing interest and participation in your child’s education.
For ideas on how to further support your child’s learning of French outside of school please contact your local chapter of Canadian Parents for French (CPF). http://www.cpf.bc.ca/cowichanvalley/
Q: What will happen to my child’s English language skills if instruction is only in French during the first three years of school?
A: Research has shown that there is no negative impact on students’ English language skills. In fact, most studies have shown that learning an additional language enhances the development of the first-language skills. Many literacy competencies transfer between different languages. These competencies can include phonemic awareness, comprehension and communication strategies, as well as critical thinking skills. This is the reason why children who are literate in one language are likely to be successful in learning an additional language.
Q: Will my child learn the same things as students in the English program?
A: Yes. All programs, regardless of the language of instruction, must follow the same curriculum laid out by BC Ministry of Education. The BC curriculum is available in both English and French at www.curriculum.gov.bc.ca.