North Vancouver School District
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about French Immersion

Why learn an additional language?

Knowing an additional language can:

    • Increase your child's personal pleasures such as the enjoyment of literature, art, music, theatre, travel, and personal relationships
    • Increase your child's understanding of and respect for other peoples and other cultures
    • Help your child to understand more about himself, his country, and his fellow Canadians
    • Give your child access to a larger pool of information and to more educational and career opportunities
    • Give your child a competitive edge in the job market anywhere in Canada and in many other countries.

The process of learning an additional language can also:

    • Develop your child's listening and learning skills as well as the self-discipline that are useful throughout life
    • Increase cognitive abilities, creating a more flexible thinker
    • Enhance knowledge of the first language and improve communication
    • Make learning a new language much easier.

Will my child be successful in the French Immersion Program?

Your child is likely to succeed in French Immersion if he/she has a good knowledge of his/her mother tongue and speaks clearly.  Furthermore, you and your family should be willing to play an active role in your child's education.  Click here to learn more

How quickly do the children learn to speak French?

Comprehension of spoken French develops first.  The ability to speak develops more slowly.  In the Early French Immersion program, students start to communicate spontaneously in French by Grade 1.  In Late French Immersion, students are expected to speak with some fluency by the end of the first year of the program (Grade 6).

What percentage of classroom instruction is actually in French?

As students progress through the French Immersion Program and develop a strong command of the French language, the percentage of instruction decreases.  This allows for formal instruction of English Language Arts and flexibility in course selection at the secondary level, while ensuring the maintenance of a high level of proficiency in French. 

Early French Immersion

    • Kindergarten to Grade 2 students receive 100% of instruction in French
    • Grade 3 to 7 students receive 80% of instruction in French.

Late French Immersion

    • Grade 6 students receive 100% of instruction in French
    • Grade 7 students receive 80% of instruction in French.

Secondary French Immersion

    • Grade 8 to 10 students receive 35 to 50% of instruction in French
    • Grade 11 to 12 students receive 25% of instruction in French.

Will my child's level of achievement be adversely affected if instruction is in the French language?

Most children who receive their education in French are able to achieve the same levels of competency in all core subjects as those children who have had all their instruction in English.