To Enroll or not to Enroll...That is the Question
A Parent's Predicament!
Bravo!! You have decided on behalf of your child, or along with your child, that learning French, Canada’s other official language, is an important academic choice for your child’s educational career. For well over 30 years, many Canadian children have enrolled in French immersion programs offered throughout Canada in an effort to learn French. Like most unilingual parents, the decision to enroll your child in a French immersion program may be accompanied by trepidation and many questions. Will I be able to help my child? Will my child be able to meet the somewhat demanding program expectations? Will my child become bilingual? Will my child’s own language suffer by learning a second language?
Second language learning brings with it innumerable benefits. Research has yielded an ample amount of information that illustrates advantages of learning and knowing a second language. A second language can:
Ø Increase your child’s thinking skills as he/she processes two languages rather than one;
Ø Broaden your child’s appreciation and understanding of another culture and another people, as well as increase his/her sensitivities to the differences between cultures;
Ø Encourage your child to become an independent and self-disciplined learner;
Ø Enhance your child’s skills in listening and concentration;
Ø Boost your child’s self-esteem;
Ø Make learning another language that much easier;
Ø Increase your child’s opportunity for employment.
As a student in the Canadian school system, learning French as a second language seems the most logical and natural fit. Your child will be in good company.
Ø French is a language that is spoken from coast to coast to coast.
Ø French is the first language of more than 900,000 Canadians living outside the province of Quebec.
Ø French is spoken by approximately 128 million people in over 54 countries.
Ø French is the second language (after English) of the Internet.
Ø French is the working language in the world’s diplomatic and international arenas such as NATO, the United Nations, the European Economic Community, the International Red Cross and the International Olympic Committee.1
Despite the overwhelming evidence outlining the countless benefits of knowing a second language and the effectiveness of French immersion programs as the vehicle that can help achieve this, many parents choose not to enroll their child in French immersion.
The purpose of this web site is twofold:
1. Brehaut, P. & Slevinsky, R. (2002). Handbook for French Immersion Administrators. Alberta: Alberta Learning. French Languages Services Branch, p. 112.
This site was last updated 02/03/10