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  1. #1
    Super Moderator The Ultimate London Mom!
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    Default French Immersion/French as Second Language??

    Sorry to bother all of you with my french school questions again. I seem to have found myself slightly confused again. A while back ... like probably last spring ... the was a big debate on here about French Imersion, French As a Second Language or English for sending our children to school. Well lately I have asked a lot of questions about sending DD to a FI program at a local school ... which I grately appreciated all the help by the way ... but then I realised there had been another component to our friendly debaate ... the French as second language. What really is the difference??? Is it available in London??? Where do you go for it??? Are there waiting list or preregister??? And finally does it start in SK as well (so she would go somewhere else for JK)??? I am not saying that that is where we want to send her for sure ... or looking to respark the debate either really. I just am wondering about it so that we can make the best informed decision. Thanks for all your help ... and again sorry to bother you all again. Are there any websites I could refer to instead of continuing to pester all of you??

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    Senior Member Satin_Thoughts's Avatar
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    I'm confused... French as a Second Language would be the same as French Immersion, because i'm pretty sure we have specific schools which handle French First Language students... is that what you mean?

    in french immersion you are taught in french... its not english "this is how you say blue - "bleu" - ..." they show you the colour and say the french word - Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're asking - I dont think there is a difference.
    Mama to 3 active, beautiful, energetic, and always entertaining children.

    DD ~ K ~ April 22, 2005
    DS1 ~ K ~ May 17, 2007
    DS1 ~ K ~ July 23, 2010



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    Super Moderator The Ultimate London Mom!
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    No maybe I am just totally confusing myself. :? I thought that during the discussion last spring there was a difference brought up. i thought it had something to do with the percentage that your child was taught in french vs in english. However like I said I am totally confused :? and could be dreaming this up all together. If I am ... great one less option to look into.

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    Expert Forum User le cupcake's Avatar
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    There are 4 boards in our city:

    English Public that offers French Immersion

    English Catholic that offers French Immersion

    French First Language Public

    French First Language Catholic


    French Immersion (newsletters, report cards etc go home in English)

    French First Language (newsletters, report cards etc go home in French. Don't start English until Grade 4)

    I have a lot more I could write. I am in the computer lab with my students so I can't type more. Post your questions and I will answer them when I get the chance.
    mama to 3



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    Thank you so much!!!

    1. Is there a website that I can refer to so I do not have to keep bugging you???

    2. Is French First Language for children who come from French families and already speak french???

    3. I think someone had mention some of the schools offering night class type thing to keep the parents up to date with what the students are doing ... which board was that???

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    Expert Forum User le cupcake's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Ok- I had the time to type a response. One thing I love about French Immersion (in London) is that the bell rings at 2:45. FFL is much later. I think their day is over around 3:45.

    I donít mind answering any of your questions. My son is in Garde 9 FFL and my mom has been at the elementary school for 20 years. I am a former FFL student and now I teach in Immersion. Please ask your questions.

    French First Language is meant for French families. All the subjects are taught in French until they start English in Grade 4. However, there are many non-French families at each of the FFL schools in London because you can ask for special permission to be there.

    Keep in mind, all communication will come home in French and the Report Card is in French. The secretary, custodian, principal etc are all French speaking.

    Some of the teachers struggle with English. However, the English they learn is not any different than the English taught at English schools.

    Each of the 4 FFL elementary schools are JK-6 and then 7-12 is at the same building (Public and Catholic share a building) on Huron Street.

    French Immersion is a program offered by the English boards (Catholic or Public) All of the teachers speak English no problem. Communication from school to home is in English. The Report Card is sent home in English. English is taught before Garde 4. French Immersion is designed for those students who would benefit from being ďimmersedĒ in a second language.

    I donít know if any of the school boards offer classes to parents. I do know that the French Community Centre has French classes. You could also take a conversational French class at Western, or Fanshawe. The French Community Centre is in the same building as the 7-12 schools.

    Does this help? Go ahead and ask more questions. I might not get to them until tomorrow. Do I ever miss being on Mat leave!!!

    Good luck with your decisions.
    mama to 3



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    I thought I had seen on the TVDSB web site that Jeanne Sauve (and I didn't really look at any others) offered evening French classes for parents.
    Alison

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    Super Moderator The Ultimate London Mom!
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    Thank you so much for all the info. It is still a year off, but I like to be a little prepared ... actually two years because next will only be jk for us . I think we will probably go with FI ... although I would love for her to go to a french preschool now and then to FFL ... I think it may be unrealistic for me to think I could upgrade my french to that level on time to communicate effectively with the school :? However I am sure the FI will be excellent and give DD the option that we hoped to give her down the line. My DH's family is french ... although he does not speak it. Our last name is Guenette ... he even pronounces that more on the english lines However he does want DD to have the opportunity. I think I will look into a class at the college or university soon ... it would be a good start.

    Anyway, Thanks again!! I am sure I will develop more questions down the line and probably send them your way

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    I went to one of the info sessions on FI this week and I was really impressed. I have *some* french but it is from a long time ago now, and although I would love to be fluent I think it is unrealistic to think I could be in time! But they were saying that we would only need to worry about the English part - make sure we read stories at home, etc, and as long as the English part was done by us then they would take care of the French bit. It sounds great to me!

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    FYI: The information night for the new FI program at Princess Elizabeth is tomorrow night (Feb 22) at 7:00. I know many mom's here live in that catchment area and might want to attend. (If you do, please come say hello to me

    Carly

  11. #11
    momof2cuties
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitlyn'sMommy
    Thank you so much for all the info. It is still a year off, but I like to be a little prepared ... actually two years because next will only be jk for us . I think we will probably go with FI ... although I would love for her to go to a french preschool now and then to FFL ... I think it may be unrealistic for me to think I could upgrade my french to that level on time to communicate effectively with the school :? However I am sure the FI will be excellent and give DD the option that we hoped to give her down the line. My DH's family is french ... although he does not speak it. Our last name is Guenette ... he even pronounces that more on the english lines However he does want DD to have the opportunity. I think I will look into a class at the college or university soon ... it would be a good start.

    Anyway, Thanks again!! I am sure I will develop more questions down the line and probably send them your way
    Sorry I'm new here so if my post seems a little outdated this is why. My son attends a FFL school (non-catholic) and I thought I would give you my 2 cents about what it's all about. It is actually the same school I attended many years ago and at that time it was the only french school in London, FI did not exist in this city until I was in grade 8 and then it was only offered at one school in the latter grades. My parents did not speak french, my father could understand it and perhaps communicate enough to get by if need be, but my mother not a lick. I find that at my son's school, a good estimate would be that approximately 30-40% of parents don't speak french at all or speak enough just to get by. The main problem that this presents of course is the communication and homework factor. They have become more "english" friendly and when need be, communication can be translated. I myself have offered to several anglophone parents my number so they can call me if they are having any difficulties, their calls are few and far between. As well there is a homework club both after school and online that can help with homework as the child gets older. Most (not all) teachers can communicate just as well in english as french, and those others will try. My husband does not speak french at all and does not feel like an outsider at all and has an excellent rapport with all staff, including the principal whose first language is clearly not english. He even volunteers to go on field trips as often as possible with the school and the children and teachers have no problem with the english/french distinction.
    One excellent aspect of the FFL schools are the class sizes, my son from JK to grade one has never been in a class with more than 17 children, this year there are only 15 and I hear the Junior and High School is even better, operating at a 1:9 student teacher ratio. From what I hear the FI system is becoming so overpopulated that the classes are pushed to the max. Not to mention the obvious difference is bilingualism between FI and FFL, my son started JK in Sept. of 2004 and was not exposed to French at all before, by January 2005 he was completely bilingual, it is simply amazing. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means saying that one is better than the other, we have seriously considered both the pros and cons and would if FFL was not working out have no hesitation moving our child to the FI system, they are all excellent schools with excellent standardized test scores. I just simply wanted to let you know that you don't have to be bilingual to send your child to FFL, you just need to know what's available to you.

    Hope this helps a little and good luck with your decision, if you want more information feel free to send me a message.

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    dor
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    Default Question re. FI

    Thank you Kaitlyn'sMommy for raising the topic and everyone else who have replied. Itís very helpful.

    Well, Iím new to London and actually new to this country. My daughter will be going to JK next year too and Iím also thinking of starting her off with FI at SK. However, what worries me most is that she might lose her English as we speak our language at home and English is not taught or stressed for years at FI schools, as I heard.

    I would like to ask MomtoS&E if you have students whose first or home language is not English and they are doing well with FI while keeping up their English. I also welcome suggestions and comments from other moms. Thank you for helping me make the decision.

    PS: my daughter right now speaks very limited English as sheís staying at home with me. But she loves exploring new languages and so am I. Iíve had French as my second foreign language and I loved it.

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    Senior Member Satin_Thoughts's Avatar
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    I have a 6 year old cousin who speaks Spanish at home and is in FFL - her English is doing just fine - children often speak English during recess and breaks - I am sure your child will still be exposed to the English and pick it up with out too many problems.

    That being said, of course learning multiple languages simultaneously will reflect a slight delay in communication right now, likely in English - it is to be expected, but fairly soon your child will be able to speak 3 languages when most people can only speak one.
    Mama to 3 active, beautiful, energetic, and always entertaining children.

    DD ~ K ~ April 22, 2005
    DS1 ~ K ~ May 17, 2007
    DS1 ~ K ~ July 23, 2010



  14. #14
    mattise
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    You could also enter her when she is in grade one if you want her to have more experince with english.

    good luck

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    I agree with Satin_Thoughts. She would still be exposed to english during recess and breaks as long as it's french immersion

    My daughter goes to French First and they are not allowed to speak english at all

    The way we've done it here. I speak french to her and everybody else speaks english (nobody else speaks french) and she can perfectly carry a conversation in both languages

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