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French Immersion

French Immersion

Old Apr 26th 2017, 12:43 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: French Immersion

My daughter's doing French immersion (in the UK though), not sure how much use it will be but at the very least it gets one GCSE out of the way early.

She could have done Mandarin immersion which may well have been much more beneficial in the future, but that hasn't come easily to her so I think it would have been a step too far.

I can only see an additional language as an asset personally, no matter what that language is.
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Old Apr 26th 2017, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

I think it is a great idea to get your kids bi-lingual at such an early age (when it is easier for them to learn). My buddy deliberately sent his kids to a French speaking school (Ottawa area) then spoke both English and French to them at home.


As a result they are both English / French bi-lingual. This can be very valuable (and in some cases necessary) in Canada (e.g. beyond a certain grade in the civil service you need to be bi-lingual, you need to be bi-lingual to be an officer in the armed forces etc.)
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Old Apr 26th 2017, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
I think it is a great idea to get your kids bi-lingual at such an early age (when it is easier for them to learn). My buddy deliberately sent his kids to a French speaking school (Ottawa area) then spoke both English and French to them at home.


As a result they are both English / French bi-lingual. This can be very valuable (and in some cases necessary) in Canada (e.g. beyond a certain grade in the civil service you need to be bi-lingual, you need to be bi-lingual to be an officer in the armed forces etc.)
You've really set your sights high.
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 3:04 am
  #19  
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Default Re: French Immersion

Not possibly the best thread for this...but...language has become a 'subject' I'm having to really make my kid listen to the fact that 'French' and 'English' are not merely 'subjects' but the very tools that will make communication better. The problem is that I'm not sure that that is true?
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 3:12 am
  #20  
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Default Re: French Immersion

Oink and I need to be popped into a different thread for Bilingual discussions I feel?
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 9:57 am
  #21  
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post
Oink and I need to be popped into a different thread for Bilingual discussions I feel?

Oink should probably be on a forum of his own!


I took no offence to his comment on my post at all and actually found it very funny (with perhaps a grain of truth)!


IMHO, he has a very particular 'p*ss-taking' sense of humour (which I recognise), but like all things on a written forum, it is perhaps easily mis-understood.
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 1:15 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
I think it is a great idea to get your kids bi-lingual at such an early age (when it is easier for them to learn). My buddy deliberately sent his kids to a French speaking school (Ottawa area) then spoke both English and French to them at home.


As a result they are both English / French bi-lingual. This can be very valuable (and in some cases necessary) in Canada (e.g. beyond a certain grade in the civil service you need to be bi-lingual, you need to be bi-lingual to be an officer in the armed forces etc.)
I don't really agree with the second paragraph. All public service job specs have language profiles. I'll admit that a senior position would probably require CCC (which isn't fully bilingual: E is close and P is totally).

There are plenty of not-very-bilingual officers knocking around, I can assure you. Even senior ones. Most of them are primarily Anglophone (no surprises there).
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
My daughter's doing French immersion (in the UK though), not sure how much use it will be but at the very least it gets one GCSE out of the way early.

She could have done Mandarin immersion which may well have been much more beneficial in the future, but that hasn't come easily to her so I think it would have been a step too far.

I can only see an additional language as an asset personally, no matter what that language is.
I saw one projection that showed under certain assumptions French could take over Spanish in terms of worldwide speakers within 25 to 30 years. I think if one speaks English, French and Spanish that covers a lot of the world.
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

I'm probably going to go against the grain here, but I'm personally not a fan of French Immersion. On the West Coast, French is not a language that is used. We have FI schools, sure, (in fact our closest school is FI). I suppose for some roles in the public sector French may be useful, even required. But for day to day, I don't think so. Learning is challenging enough. But to have to learn in a foreign language, when you may have no French speakers at home to help you with stuff is even harder. Another problem where we are (a local problem I admit) is that after Elementary School, the nearest FI Secondary School is over 30km away and with its circuitous route, the bus takes well over an hour to get there. As a consequence, most of the Elementary students from the FI school fall back into the mainstream local secondary where French isn't spoken. They just find themselves a bit behind in math and science where they have used up teaching time learning difficult concepts in a foreign language rather than the subject itself.
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post

She could have done Mandarin immersion which may well have been much more beneficial in the future, but that hasn't come easily to her so I think it would have been a step too far.
Unless in China, definitely a step too far. As tonal language, a huge amount of exposure is needed.

Well done on French immersion in the UK. Have tried for year to teach and encourage junior in French, but he seems to have extraordinarily little interest. In fact, he's been picking up more German from a school pal than any French he has been taught. As a francophile, I despair...
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by rivingtonpike View Post
I'm probably going to go against the grain here, but I'm personally not a fan of French Immersion. On the West Coast, French is not a language that is used. We have FI schools, sure, (in fact our closest school is FI). I suppose for some roles in the public sector French may be useful, even required. But for day to day, I don't think so.
You don't have to speak French but, again, my child in Vancouver worked summer/evening jobs in French through university and secured a permanent job, at the prestigious location of Hastings and Main no less, partly on the strength of speaking French. It's an asset. In Canada I'd say it's a greater asset than any other second language.

There's certainly a case that some children, perhaps all children, would put something else in their heads if they weren't full of foreign nouns and so no second language is best. If there's to be a second language though, French is a better bet in Canada than any of the gimmicky ones.
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by rivingtonpike View Post
I'm probably going to go against the grain here, but I'm personally not a fan of French Immersion. On the West Coast, French is not a language that is used. We have FI schools, sure, (in fact our closest school is FI). I suppose for some roles in the public sector French may be useful, even required. But for day to day, I don't think so. Learning is challenging enough. But to have to learn in a foreign language, when you may have no French speakers at home to help you with stuff is even harder. Another problem where we are (a local problem I admit) is that after Elementary School, the nearest FI Secondary School is over 30km away and with its circuitous route, the bus takes well over an hour to get there. As a consequence, most of the Elementary students from the FI school fall back into the mainstream local secondary where French isn't spoken. They just find themselves a bit behind in math and science where they have used up teaching time learning difficult concepts in a foreign language rather than the subject itself.
An interesting take. In previous discussions on these boards about FI (one in particular springs to mind, I think ExKiwi was the principal west coast rep in that one) it is noticeable that there are significant differences in the FI system - and certainly in the politics of FI schooling - between Ontario and BC. While it can be argued in either jurisdiction that choosing French Immersion is a bit of a shortcut to academic streaming, it's hard to separate that from "social streaming" (there tend to be fewer ESL students, fewer students on IEP, fewer low-income students, etc., in FI schools). This really became a political hot potato in BC due to the heavily oversubscribed FI schools and the competition for places. That hasn't (with a few very localised exceptions) been the case in ON.

I know I've said so previously, but I think the slightly tongue-in-cheek answer on the 'academic selection' question I was given by one of my kids' kindergarten teachers sums it up well: "while French Immersion primary education is not academically selective, it is an inescapable fact that, where both are available, the more academically able students tend to gravitate towards the FI program while the more challenged tend to opt for English-track schooling."

Last edited by Oakvillian; Apr 27th 2017 at 7:34 pm.
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Old Apr 28th 2017, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: French Immersion

I was having a chat with my Iranian neighbour Hossein yesterday. I always talk to him in English (only found out yesterday that he can speak some French).

We were discussing tenses and the problems attached to them. There are seven in English (I think), 14 in French (I think).

In Farsi there are 32!

I think I'll give Farsi a miss.
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Old Apr 29th 2017, 8:47 am
  #29  
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by rivingtonpike View Post
I'm probably going to go against the grain here, but I'm personally not a fan of French Immersion. On the West Coast, French is not a language that is used. We have FI schools, sure, (in fact our closest school is FI). I suppose for some roles in the public sector French may be useful, even required. But for day to day, I don't think so. Learning is challenging enough. But to have to learn in a foreign language, when you may have no French speakers at home to help you with stuff is even harder. Another problem where we are (a local problem I admit) is that after Elementary School, the nearest FI Secondary School is over 30km away and with its circuitous route, the bus takes well over an hour to get there. As a consequence, most of the Elementary students from the FI school fall back into the mainstream local secondary where French isn't spoken. They just find themselves a bit behind in math and science where they have used up teaching time learning difficult concepts in a foreign language rather than the subject itself.
There have been numerous studies on the academic benefits of learning a foreign language. As far as learning being "challenging enough" while I wonder whether learning is as challenging as it used to be, I cant see why learning a foreign language, and learning well should be considered too much for a young student.

European students normally learn besides English another language, and I don't see them being behind in math and science compared to North American students, in fact the contrary in experiences I have had some exposure to.
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Old Apr 29th 2017, 3:40 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: French Immersion

Originally Posted by morpeth View Post
There have been numerous studies on the academic benefits of learning a foreign language. As far as learning being "challenging enough" while I wonder whether learning is as challenging as it used to be, I cant see why learning a foreign language, and learning well should be considered too much for a young student.

European students normally learn besides English another language, and I don't see them being behind in math and science compared to North American students, in fact the contrary in experiences I have had some exposure to.
I think you're missing out the "immersion" aspect of Rivington's post.
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