Early French Immersion
What is French Immersion?
French immersion students follow the same curriculum as their peers in an English program; however some subjects are taught in French. It is based on the idea that students learn more French when they are required to use it to complete authentic tasks (i.e. Mathematics and Science). Over 30 years of research in Canada has produced overwhelming evidence that French immersion is a successful program.
What does EFI look like?
Students begin Kindergarten with approximately 90% of subject instruction in French. This percentage decreases after Grade 2, as English Language Arts is introduced in Grade 3. In general, the following table illustrates which subject areas may be taught in French in the EFI program.
French Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Religion, Health, Math, Art
French Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Religion, Health
French Language Arts (3 courses), Social Studies Options (3 courses)
How is EFI different from other French programs?
The EFI program differs from the Late French Immersion program as it begins in kindergarten and it differs from the Core French and Intensive Core French programs as content (other subject areas) is taught in French. The following are descriptions of the other French programs offered at the Eastern School District:
- Late French Immersion (LFI)
Students begin in Grade 7 with approximately 75% of subject instruction in French. The percentage of French instruction decreases in each grade, as more English is introduced. By Grade 9, EFI and LFI students study approximately the same percentage of French.
- Core French (CF)
Students spend approximately 10% of the time studying French as a subject within the curriculum from Grades 4 to 9.
- Intensive Core French (ICF)
ICF is an alternate method of organizing the Grade 6 curriculum so that students receive an increased amount of instruction in French for half of the school year.
What are the benefits of second language learning?
- Provides a focus on literacy skills
- Facilitates learning of additional languages
- Develops cultural appreciation and diversity
- Enriches personal development opportunities
- Increases employment opportunities
What if we don't speak French at home?
The EFI program was designed for non-French speaking families. Regardless of the language spoken at home there are a variety of strategies parents can use to support their children. Here are some suggestions that may be helpful:
- Listen to your child read in French
- Discuss content and illustrations of French resources in English
- View French media together
- Continue to support and show interest in your child's program
- Create an atmosphere conducive to study
- Participate in French cultural events where possible
- Initiate open communication with your child's teacher
- Provide a French-English dictionary for use at home
- Continue to read with your child in English
Frequently Asked Questions
- How will EFI affect achievement in English Language Arts?
Achievement in English Language Arts will not be negatively impacted by being enrolled in a French immersion program. Once students are introduced to English Language Arts in Grade 3, English skills develop quickly. Children have already developed literacy skills in French, which are transferred to their first language.
- Will the course content be similar to that of the English program?
The outcomes and content are the same as the English program, as outlined by the Department of Education of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Will there be extra homework?
Homework will follow the regular pattern for subject areas taught in an English program. Homework will support learning and consist of work students may complete independently.
- Will my child be expected to speak French from the first day?
Children often express themselves in English while in kindergarten; only the teacher speaks consistently in French. After a period of continual input in French, students begin to use French as they become comfortable with the language.
- Will my child progress at the same rate as students in the English program?
In the beginning there may be differences in rate of skill development in all language areas, including reading and writing, because of the necessary time spent developing second language vocabulary. This gap will narrow as children continue to learn.
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