What if I do not 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 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 having trouble with homework should consult their classroom teacher.

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 1, students receive 200 minutes of English language instruction each week. 

What if my child experiences difficulties in the French Immersion Program?

The first step would be to discuss challenges with the child’s teacher. In turn, the teacher can work with his or her school team, as necessary, to ensure support for each student. Early intervention strategies are important. Communication between the teacher and the parents are very beneficial to develop a plan for classroom and home support. 

Where is the French Immersion program offered?

Is transportation available for my child to get to a French Immersion school? 

Transportation will be provided for students meeting the Board’s eligibility requirements as per the Transportation of Students Policy 400.19. Courtesy transportation to a French Immersion site may be provided to siblings, not enrolled in the FI Program, if all the conditions of Courtesy Transportation, as detailed in Student Transportation Services Policy #017 are met. Courtesy transportation is not guaranteed and is reviewed annually.

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