What is Early Immersion in a Catholic School?
Early Immersion is a second language delivery model based on the understanding that young children learn languages more easily than older learners. Children receive Faith- based education centred around Catholic values. The model is specifically designed for students whose first language is not French. Entry into the program occurs in Grade One. Because students enter school with little or no knowledge of French, the program begins with a concentration on French language development to give students a sufficient understanding of French to learn to read and write and to learn subject area content in French.
How is the Program Delivered?
French is used as the language of instruction for a significant part of the day. In Grade One and Two, all subjects are taught in French except for Religion. In Grade Three, English Language instruction is introduced. In Grades Five to Eight, Science is taught in English. Special school-wide activities are also used to support the development of language skills and cultural appreciation. The language of communication between home and school is English.
Is French Immersion for my Child?
French Immersion is designed for a child whose first language and family heritage is that other than French. Researchers have found that Early Immersion students with a variety of difficulties—from learning disabilities to behavioural problems—will do as well academically as they would in an English program provided they receive the same support.
What can be expected upon completion of a French Immersion program?
A student who successfully completes a French Immersion program is expected to develop a high level of proficiency in French, and to develop positive attitudes towards individuals who speak French and towards French culture in general.
Is the curriculum the same in French Immersion as in an English school?
All publicly funded schools in Ontario are required to follow the same curriculum.
How can I help my child succeed in French Immersion?
French Immersion programs are designed for students of non-French speaking parents, therefore all communication between home and school is in English. As is true for all school settings, parental support and encouragement are essential. As well, exposing your child to French television or radio programs on a regular basis will help reinforce the language being learned at school. Working with your child on English language skills (i.e., reading and writing) is greatly encouraged.
Will my child’s English skills suffer?
Research clearly shows that learning a second language can actually enhance a person’s first language. Many years of testing and research also show that French Immersion has no negative effect on the development of English language skills as measured by standardized tests. There is an initial lag when a student first begins immersion, but after a period of time, language learning returns to its usual rate and sometimes even surpasses that of students in the English program.
How quickly will my child learn French?
Although the children can quickly understand what is said, they tend to express themselves in English at the beginning of the program. By Grade Two, most students are reading, writing and speaking using basic French.
How will my child get to school?
Bus transportation from locations within Perth County is provided by the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board and will be arranged at the time of registration.