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.

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 in Elementary 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.

How many French Immersion courses does my child need to take in Secondary?

Secondary French Immersion

    • Between Grades 8-12 students must complete at least 13 courses in French in order to meet the requirement for the Bilingual Dogwood Graduation Diploma. Please click here for more information. 


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.