Late French Immersion
How do I know if my child is suited for Late French Immersion?
Children who have the most success in Late Immersion appear to be the ones who:
- have a desire to take risks and accept challenges.
- have well-established work habits and organisational skills.
- are able to think critically, problem solve and can tolerate a certain amount of ambiguity.
- can use cues to figure out meaning, such as reading the room, watching gestures and actions and guessing based on the context.
The most important factor is a high level of student commitment and motivation to be in the program.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can I support my child if I don’t speak French?
You can support your child with schoolwork by supporting a positive attitude towards school. You can also support your child by providing a regular place and time for nightly review and French reading each day. Online resources are available for additional support.
How does language learning look in the beginning of the Late French Immersion Program?
Students learn how to read and write in French much like they would have learned in English, in early primary. At the beginning of the year, we study the French alphabet, and single letter sounds, then combined letter sounds, we work on high frequency words and participate in guided reading groups. In addition, they transfer all their English reading strategies over in French, such as sounding out words, making inferences and drawing conclusions.
How will my child’s English learning be affected?
Students do not do English Language Arts in Grade 6, but follow the English Language Arts curriculum from Grade 7-12. Studies show that learning a second language benefits first language development, and that French Immersion students complete high school with average or above average proficiency in English Language Arts.
Does LFI follow the regular curriculum?
The curriculum content and outcomes are the same in the French Immersion and English Programs, except for the additional outcomes in French Language Arts.
Will there be extra homework?
Yes! In Grade 6, students can expect nightly review and 15 minutes of French reading. In Grade 7, students will likely have 30-60 minutes of homework, in order to catch up to their Early French Immersion classmates before they have mixed classes in Grade 8.
Where is LFI offered, and is there any support for transportation?
École Puntledge Park is centrally located in the Comox Valley, near Downtown Courtenay. It is close to many public bus routes. Some students may have access to the district school bus at the end of the day only to return to Royston or Cumberland. Many families often organize carpooling groups.
What Do Students Say?
When asked why they signed up for Later French immersion, the students said:
- “I always wanted to learn a second language”
- “I begged my dad to sign me up”
- “I wanted a double dogwood.”
- “I wanted the challenge.”
- “I wanted to try something new and hard.”
- “I thought it would be cool to be able to speak another language.”
- “I wanted to learn a second language so that I could communicate with people and see the world in a different way.”
- “My mom speaks French and so I wanted to speak French with her.”
When asked what was challenging and how they overcame it, the students said:
- “My friends went to Lake Trail, but I made new friends and I still spend time with my other friends.”
- “Reading and writing in French is challenging, to overcome it I review, review, review!”
- “Writing in French is challenging, but the dictionary helps.”
- “I didn’t know anyone, but I made friends.”
- “I live in Black Creek and driving is a hassle, but now we carpool.”
- “Leaving my friends was a challenge but I found out it is easy to make friends.”
- “Speaking out loud in French was challenging, but I overcame it by doing it more.”
- “Understanding French is challenging, but I overcome it by asking questions and paying attention to actions and trying my best.”
What Do Parents Say?
“My daughter really enjoyed the program and learned many skills and a greater independence in her learning. I do not speak or read much if any French so I was a little nervous at first and unsure how I could support her along the way. She gained confidence in herself and was able to work independently at home. There wasn’t loads of homework and she felt supported when at school by her teachers. There were options for after school reading groups and French homework club if she ever needed the extra help too. She moved onto Isfeld and is doing great in Grade 8. It was a very positive experience for us.”
“Great opportunity for students seeking a challenge and a way to meet new friends. Puntledge school community welcomed them with open arms and quickly made them feel part of the culture, offering opportunities to challenge themselves academically, socially, musically (through school-wide productions), and physically (school sports teams). “
“I have children enrolled in both the early and late French immersion programs. It was clear early on that the early immersion experience would be a success, but I was uncertain that my older daughter would achieve the same command of the language in the late immersion program.”
“Six years later, I can say with confidence that the late immersion program fulfills its promise of intense, fast-track language instruction that prepares students for high school and post-secondary courses in French. My daughter feels that she has achieved a working command of French and has encountered top-notch teachers throughout the program. She is confident that learning a second language will improve her eligibility for employment and post-secondary opportunities including scholarships and bursaries.“