French Immersion is an optional program designed to provide students with opportunities to gain a high level of proficiency in French and at the same time maintain and develop English language skills.
The purpose of the French Immersion program is to provide anglophone children with the opportunity of achieving a meaningful level of functional bilingualism. In Grades 1-8, French is the language of instruction in the classroom for all subjects, with the exception of English and Mathematics.
In Grades 9-12 ten courses are offered in French, and students can select all ten over their time in secondary school and obtain a French Immersion certificate or take seven courses and obtain an Extended French certificate.
French Immersion is a very effective method for learning a second language. It provides more time to work in second language learning situations… which results in more learning. Essentially, children will learn the language in other curriculum areas rather than learning about language in isolation. The aim of the program is functional bilingualism.
This means that at the end of their secondary studies, the students can take further education in a French setting and receive training and employment in French, after some period of adjustment. French Immersion students in AMDSB are invited to pursue the DELF (Diplome d’etudes en langue Franciase) at the end of their secondary career. It is an internationally recognized certification of proficiency.
Will my child learn the same things as students in English classes?
The curriculum follows the guidelines of the Ontario Ministry of Education. Students work toward the same academic goals regardless of the language of instruction.
Which school does my child attend?
- Any student who lives in Bedford Ward, or who attends a school outside of the City of Stratford should attend Bedford PS for French Immersion.
- Any Student who lives in the City of Stratford, and does not live in the Bedford Ward, should attend Anne Hathaway PS for French Immersion.
How can I support my child if I don’t speak French?
The program is designed for children who normally speak English at home. It is not expected that parents are able to speak French. Reporting is done in English for this reason.
The internet is a great resource for supports, with many tutorials, web-sites and reference materials now available online. Reading for pleasure should be encouraged in both French and English. This way, your child’s vocabulary will be enriched and his/her self confidence will grow.
Other suggestions for parents are:
- Communicate with teachers your concerns, questions or suggestions;
- Volunteer in the classroom;
- invest in a good French/English dictionary and a book of verbs;
- Expose your child to French outside of school (books from the library, theatre, T.V., etc.)
- Get involved with Canadian Parents for French
What if my child has difficulties?
Additional practice with French, using such resources as the School Board’s, “Getting Students Connected” as well as investigation into curriculum content in English, outside of regular classroom time, can be helpful.
As well as:
- Encourage your child to ask the teacher for help;
- Consult with the teacher on a regular basis to discuss progress and remedial strategies;
- Consider tutoring.
- Supports vary year to year, but monitors, in-school tutors, co-op students and volunteers have supported our students in the past.
The French Immersion program is open to everyone.
For registration forms and an information pamphlet on the French Immersion Program at Anne Hathaway Public School, Bedford Public School and Stratford Central please contact your local public school principal.
Transportation may be provided for students within Stratford, but who live outside of the Bedford or Anne Hathaway attendance area. Students who live outside of Stratford may be accommodated on existing bus routes serving Stratford schools. Download the French Immersion Brochure