French Fluency & Support
There are over two million Canadian students in official second language learning programs, and French Immersion enrolment has been steadily rising over the last two decades. Whether for academic, cultural or other reasons, French language instruction is a key goal for many parents.
In Canada, French Immersion is offered in two stages. During the first, from kindergarten to middle school, more than half of classes are delivered in French. Then, through Extended French in high school, at least 25% of classes are delivered in French. The French Immersion program is designed to develop bilingual speakers who are proficient in both Canada’s official languages: English and French.
How Can I Help My Child In French Immersion?
While school delivers the additional practice and immersion in the French language, you can consider your role as mostly delivering the additional practice and immersion in English, and/or your native language.
Make plentiful conversation with your child and use a diverse and adventurous vocabulary. Protect reading time in your lives and model it in your own life. Support your child in their homework and test preparation. Helping your child become fluent and skilled in reading and writing in English, and/or your native tongue, will impart transferable language skills that can only assist in their French acquisition, as well.
Free French Resources for French Immersion Parents
Supporting your child’s native language devlopment is of utmost import, even in a second language immersion program. But maybe you’ve got a real keener on your hands! If your child is interested in learning more, and you want to include French in your child’s educational screen time or reading time, here are five valuable free resources to help.
This aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-access app features “free access to hundreds of books, games and quizzes” and is designed to get kids excited about reading in French. Stories are available for children as young as four years old, and you can track progress in the app.
The CPAF is an advocacy group of parents in support of bilingualism. Among other offerings, they have online conversation and social circles for French immersion learners, from Senior Kindergarten through Grade 12, to meet virtually, play games, read and practise their conversational skills together.
Funded with the support of various private and public entities, including the CPF and the Government of Ontario, among others, Idello is a massive collection of resources. Access expert-certified resources at home, including videos, games, apps and publications.
This well-known online library is a common resource in Canadian classrooms, and particularly since distance learning proliferated in 2020. Find a robust collection of grade-levelled books and readers available in multiple languages, including French.
Let your child kick back with a French game or two from the national broadcaster’s dedicated sites for kids: Zone des Petits and Zone Jeunesse. Vibrant, online games, videos and shows will draw them in for French educational screen time.
What is your favourite way to encourage and support your French Immersion student at home? Share your resources and ideas below!