21 Facts About French immersion


French immersion is a form of bilingual education in which students who do not speak French as a first language will receive instruction in French.

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In most French-immersion schools, students will learn to speak French and learn most subjects such as history, music, geography, math, art, physical education and science in French.

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French immersion programming spread rapidly from its original start in Canada in the 1960s.

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French immersion education is optional and not compulsory; parents have the choice of sending their children to schools that offer such programming.

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Teachers in French immersion schools are competent in speaking French, either having acquired specific French as a Second Language qualifications or already being fluent in French and having a teaching certification.

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French immersion concept was designed to: capitalize on children's ability to learn language naturally and effortlessly; take advantage of their social ability and open attitudes to language and culture; reflect on the building blocks of language by emphasizing the use of languages for communication and not stopping the children from participating in native language development, academic achievement or general cognitive development.

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Students in French immersion demonstrate a superior level of mental flexibility, which is an ability to think more independently of words and to have a higher awareness of concept formation as well as a more diversified intelligence than students in the regular program.

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Data illustrates that students in French immersion programs have a linguistic advantage as they are able to adopt two different perspectives, offering alternative ways to look at the same information.

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French immersion students have a deeper appreciation and respect for various cultures.

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Students in French immersion programs have greater opportunity to understand their own culture or their own nation.

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French immersion students have the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of what it means to be Canadian through the French Immersion program.

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For example, many French immersion students do not reach native-like language proficiency in French.

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Scholarship and bursary programs for prospective Bachelor of Education students to gain French immersion teaching qualifications are suggested to alleviate these shortages.

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Report, by a PhD candidate scholar in educational policy at the University of Toronto, discussed concerns about French immersion creating a dual track academic stream in many schools.

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French immersion programs were introduced into Canadian schools in the 1960s to encourage bilingualism across the country.

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Now French immersion programs provide an alternative education stream for many students.

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Since their implementation, French immersion programs have become increasingly popular across Canada and school districts have seen significant increased enrolment in their French immersion student population over the years.

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French immersion programs are offered in most Anglophone public school districts.

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Historically, enrolment in French immersion is proportionally highest in Quebec, New Brunswick, both provinces that have their own provincial language laws, above and beyond the federal Official Languages Act, which made knowledge of French even more valuable in the local job markets.

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French immersion is used in Australian schools such as Benowa State High School and The Southport School; teaching mathematics, SOSE, science and French, entirely in French.

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The social stigma associated with speaking French immersion was sufficiently strong that many parents did not speak the language to their children, so generations born in the second half of the century rarely spoke French immersion in the home.

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