Whether your home is bilingual or not, enrolling your children in a French Immersion program is an option readily available in Calgary. When considering this option for your children, you are making a conscious choice for their future and are likely weighing the pros and cons.
A variety of variables can affect your decision-making process. Some of the questions you have may include:
Does it matter if no one at home speaks French? No, it is not important since the programs are designed for children from non-French speaking families. All communication between the school and parents is conducted in English.
How will I help them with homework? There is usually little homework in the early years. In order to further develop students’ French skills and to help parents become more involved in their children’s learning, home reading programs where students can bring books home daily are available. As for other homework, parents can help with any concept regardless of the language.
How do French Immersion students perform academically? Students do very well academically in science, mathematics and social studies and, over the years, have consistently demonstrated comparable or better performance than students who are taught in an all-English program. Immersion programs have proven successful in promoting advanced French language status and in leading English-speaking students to becoming functionally bilingual.
Now to explore some of the benefits:
Relationships. Students have the opportunity to develop unique new friendships formed by the common bond of developing new skills while practicing a new language together.
Supports. Not all of us picked up calculus easily. A new language can also pose a challenge initially. Although a child’s difficulties might be short-term and may be addressed in the French Immersion setting, additional assistance is available in these programs and managed based on the child’s needs.
Resilience. Even if the new language poses challenges, having your child commit to something and succeed certainly sets them up to take on future challenges and develop problem-solving skills.
Career and travel opportunities. When considering the bigger picture, second languages open more doors in some job fields.
With this information, consider the options for your child. The Calgary Catholic School District offers Early Immersion, Late Immersion and Extended French programs:
Take your time and do your research
Consider your options before you make this decision, and consult with your child one-on-one to determine what is best for them. How beautiful is it that if your child enrolls in a French Immersion program, they may be able to teach you a new language?
To learn more about the Calgary Catholic School District, visit cssd.ab.ca.
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