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French Immersion Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t speak French?
The French Immersion program is designed for families of students who do not speak French.  School communication is sent home in English and many resources are available to support students’ French language learning journey from home.

A child can still be successful in the FI program even when parents do not speak French. Our French programs are designed for children of non-French speaking parents.  For useful information and links on how you can help your child from home if you don't speak French.

What if English is not our first language?
Evidence indicates that English Language Learners enrolled in French Immersion perform as well as their Anglophone counterparts, and ELL students who come to French Immersion having already developed literacy in their home language often perform even better than Anglophone students (Canadian Council on Learning, 2007).

Will my child’s English skills suffer in a French Immersion program?
This question has been studied extensively in Canada and abroad.  The conclusion is: knowledge of another language is actually beneficial in improving capabilities in the first language, and increases the ability to learn a third and fourth language.

A recent study of the EQAO reading, writing and mathematics assessment conducted in English revealed that at grade 6 “immersion students outperformed those in the regular program in all skill areas.”

How can I support my child? 
Parents can play an important role in ensuring their child’s success by:
  • Showing an interest in their child’s progress.
  • Encouraging and supporting their child’s efforts.
  • Reading to their child regularly and listening to him/her read aloud.
  • Finding ways to expose their child to French outside of school time.
  • Listening to children’s music by French artists.
  • Visiting French communities in Ontario and Quebec.
  • Communicating your questions, suggestions, and concerns with teachers.
Even if you do not speak or understand French, you can discuss your child’s work with them, communicate regularly with the teacher and read to them in English or in their mother tongue.

How can I help my child with French homework if I do not speak French?
There does not need to be French language support at home for the child to complete the work. The French as a Second Language Homework Toolbox/Trousse pour les devoirs is a resource that many parents find helpful. This site supports parents who have children in a French Immersion program and wish to assist them with their homework. Homework is an extension of the work begun in class. Students experiencing difficulty with homework should consult their classroom teacher.

Where can I find French tutoring?
  • School principals, resource teachers and classroom teachers are good contacts for French tutors.
  • Math Plus Tutors in Sarnia attempts to have French tutors. 
  • My Education Room (www.myeducationroom.com) offers online tutoring, where your child can enjoy learning from the comfort of your own home
Will my child be getting the same program as he/she would in an English class?
Yes. French Immersion programs follow the Ontario Curriculum that is mandated by the Ministry of Education and Training. Reporting of student progress is the same in immersion programs as it is in English programs and students in French Immersion receive the Ontario Provincial Report Card with the language of instruction indicated beside subject areas.

To ensure student achievement, students in French Immersion participate in annual provincial EQAO assessments along with English program students.

When do French Immersion students begin English instruction?
In Grade 3, the FI program changes from 100% French to 50% French and 50% English instruction. This percentage weight continues from grades 3-8.

What if my child experiences difficulties in the Immersion Program?
The first step would be to discuss challenges with the child’s teacher. In turn, the teacher is able to work with his or her school team, as necessary, to ensure support for each student.

What French Immersion schools are in my region/zone?
There are a number of schools offering French Immersion programs in the LKDSB. Please refer to our map to see which schools are in your area.

Is transportation available for my child to get to a French Immersion school?
Yes, depending on the distance from your residence to the school, transportation may be available for your child.  For further information, see here

How do I sign my student up for French Immersion?
Please refer to our FI FDK Registration page for details.