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French Immersion

French Immersion

Old Apr 25th 2017, 3:51 pm
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Default French Immersion

Does anyone have any personal experiences with putting their kids through a Canadian French Immersion programme?

My 5 year old son is due to start in an SK FI programme in September and I'm curious to see what we might expect.

I'm very keen on giving him the chance to be bilingual and I'm looking forward to brushing up on my own very rusty French at the same time! But are the any pitfalls or unexpected consequences to taking this route?
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Not immersion but my children went to the college francais at College and Jarvis. I suppose the only real surprise for me was discovering how many francophones there are in Toronto and what a wide range of countries they come from.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by humanist View Post
Does anyone have any personal experiences with putting their kids through a Canadian French Immersion programme?

My 5 year old son is due to start in an SK FI programme in September and I'm curious to see what we might expect.

I'm very keen on giving him the chance to be bilingual and I'm looking forward to brushing up on my own very rusty French at the same time! But are the any pitfalls or unexpected consequences to taking this route?
When I read that I thought you meant an FI programme in Saskatchewan.

WTF I thought. Why bother?

But if in fact you meant a Senior Kindergarten FI programme in Toronto, then go for it IMHO.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by Novocastrian View Post
When I read that I thought you meant an FI programme in Saskatchewan.

WTF I thought. Why bother?

But if in fact you meant a Senior Kindergarten FI programme in Toronto, then go for it IMHO.
Yep, that's what I meant. Overuse of acronyms!
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

If my children were to learn third language since they are bilingual, it would be Spanish.

Last edited by geoff52; Apr 25th 2017 at 5:54 pm.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Some children do have problems in that their ability in English is not as well developed as their facility in French, and is lower than the ability of children who did not do French Immersion. Many more have no problems at all.

I'd opt for a Chinese language in Vancouver


FYI .......

like Novocastrian .....

.......... I thought you meant an FI programme in Saskatchewan.

acronyms ............ bah humbug!!!
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by humanist View Post
Does anyone have any personal experiences with putting their kids through a Canadian French Immersion programme?

My 5 year old son is due to start in an SK FI programme in September and I'm curious to see what we might expect.

I'm very keen on giving him the chance to be bilingual and I'm looking forward to brushing up on my own very rusty French at the same time! But are the any pitfalls or unexpected consequences to taking this route?
I believe the research suggests that if your child is an academically high achiever then adding a second language through immersion provides much needed enrichment. If your child is not, they often struggle at both languages and by the time they move into grade four or five they're significantly behind. How do you know if early immersion is right for your child? At that age only your experience with them will tell you how they might handle it.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by Oink View Post
I believe the research suggests that if your child is an academically high achiever then adding a second language through immersion provides much needed enrichment. If your child is not, they often struggle at both languages and by the time they move into grade four or five they're significantly behind. How do you know if early immersion is right for your child? At that age only your experience with them will tell you how they might handle it.
Great question. Obviously we're biased, but his language ability seems to be very good and he's a smart kid. He has a wide vocabulary and talks non stop, all day ...drives us insane actually.

So on that basis we think he's a good fit. But only time will tell. It's just hard to get your head around a concept like French Immersion, seeing as nothing like this exists in the UK state school system.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by humanist View Post
Great question. Obviously we're biased, but his language ability seems to be very good and he's a smart kid. He has a wide vocabulary and talks non stop, all day ...drives us insane actually.

So on that basis we think he's a good fit. But only time will tell. It's just hard to get your head around a concept like French Immersion, seeing as nothing like this exists in the UK state school system.
You said he is five, does he read yet and if so, how well?
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 7:29 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by Oink View Post
You said he is five, does he read yet and if so, how well?
Yes can can read a little, I haven't really thought about how he compares with others.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by humanist View Post
Yes can can read a little, I haven't really thought about how he compares with others.
I was just curious how much English reading he's had. It's not terribly important either way. Just stay on top of his learning development and if at anytime you feel it's not beneficial take him out of the programme. Good luck.
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Old Apr 25th 2017, 9:22 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by humanist View Post
Does anyone have any personal experiences with putting their kids through a Canadian French Immersion programme?

My 5 year old son is due to start in an SK FI programme in September and I'm curious to see what we might expect.

I'm very keen on giving him the chance to be bilingual and I'm looking forward to brushing up on my own very rusty French at the same time! But are the any pitfalls or unexpected consequences to taking this route?
We have 2 kids now age 20 and 16. They both did french immersion starting at SK and the 20 year old (female) is specializing in french language studies at university (a bi-lingual college in Toronto part of York University) but is in the south of France right now doing a year of university there amongst french students. She seems to have thrived there.

Sixteen year old boy is in french immersion/gifted programme at high school and doesn't enjoy french as much but realizes the importance of it here in Ottawa. At Christmas time his french while were in France really impressed my wife and I.

I have very rusty french but understand more than I can speak. Wife is the same despite being born in Shawinigan (moved to Ontario when she was 2. Anglophone parents).

It can only open doors for your children although not sure how relevant french in in the GTA. Mandarin, hindi, tagalog, arabic, urdu, persian, tamil are probably more applicable.

One downfall to consider is if your kids go to french immersion they are not always guaranteed to be able to walk to school and friendships with kids on the street are harder to maintain if your kids school is a bus ride etc away.
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Old Apr 26th 2017, 2:13 am
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by Partially discharged View Post
It can only open doors for your children although not sure how relevant french in in the GTA. Mandarin, hindi, tagalog, arabic, urdu, persian, tamil are probably more applicable.
Well, no. Firstly, one frequently sees jobs in the GTA advertised wanting bilingual applicants, bilingual that is, in English and French. One does not see jobs advertised for people bilingual in Urdu and Tagalog (although, if there were such adverts, I admit that I wouldn't be able to read them anyway). Secondly, the languages cited are those of specific cultural minorities, knowing the language doesn't make you part of that minority; speaking Tamil doesn't make you a Tiger. In the context of the GTA, speaking the language is an amusing novelty and no more.

A bilingual child of mine has managed to work in French in part time jobs through university and to obtain a permanent job based, in part, on her bilingualism. In Vancouver. If bilingualism is an advantage in Vancouver, not the world's most diverse nor francophone city, it must be in the GTA.
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Old Apr 26th 2017, 3:04 am
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Default Re: French Immersion

I'm always a bit dubious of 'immersion' if you aren't living in a bi-lingual society. My son was born in France, attended KG from age 3 and then went through Primary there. Certainly at age 6 I was worried about his 'Phonics' as he didn't sound like the rest of the class. I, and he, lived an all French life, on a daily basis until the end of Primary when he was 11.

Now, aged 16, and having been in a French School, no immersion, just French, for the past 4 years, he is happy to study in either French or English. I don't think of him as bi-lingual, he just speaks French much better than most of his fellow students. His English has improved no end since moving to Canada.

Now, when his learning has been taken out of my hands...I can encourage, but I can't force... I realize that I probably over thought the whole thing - I've grown a nice, entertaining, kind and pleasant individual, and that is surely a cause for celebration. He is also getting 'A' in every subject, but he tells me that's because we are in NB and in TO it would only be a 'B'.

He thinks I've screwed him up because he speaks English like Mary Poppins and French like a Sapier Pompier and switches the accents at the drop of a hat...hearing him say the words 'France', 'can't, 'Tomato' and 'Banana' in mixed company, is a revelation!

Life with a young learner is enlightening, try to enjoy it and don't sweat it too much...

Very best of luck

Last edited by MillieF; Apr 26th 2017 at 3:06 am.
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Old Apr 26th 2017, 3:35 am
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post

Now, aged 16, and having been in a French School, no immersion, just French, for the past 4 years, he is happy to study in either French or English.
Which gives him a longer list of potential universities should his brain not be full by then. More doors opened. It's all good.
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