Elementary students interested in becoming bilingual in English and French may have a new option available to them.
Ecolé Lac du Bois principal Madeleine Crandell is hoping to find enough students to launch a Late French Immersion program. The program would be for students who have taken Kindergarten to Grade 5 in an English-based program and are interested in becoming fluent in French.
“I think Lac du Bois is a great place to introduce Lake French Immersion,” Crandell said. “What better opportunity to be immersed in French?”
When parents enrol their children in French Immersion at Kindergarten, the decision tends to be based on what the parents want, rather than a choice by the child, she said.
“It’s very important that the Grade 5 student wants the late immersion program, not just mom and dad. They realize that they need another challenge or enrichment,” Crandell said.
Students are more successful if they’ve made the conscious choice to take part in the program, she added.
Students entering Late French Immersion are assumed to have little knowledge of French, she said. The majority of students will have taken some French in Grades 4 and 5.
“Grade 6 is 100 per cent French, then in Grade 7 we reintroduce English language arts,” Crandall said.
Once the Late French Immersion students enter high school at Grade 8, they merge with the students who started French Immersion in Kindergarten.
Information about the program will be distributed to students and parents later this year. If at least 20 students express interest, the program could begin in September.
Late French Immersion is offered by a number of school districts, Crandell added, and is the only French Immersion option in some.