Early French Immersion

Early French Immersion (EFI) has a Grade Primary Entry Point (approximately 80% of learning time in French)

Early French Immersion is an optional French program designed for all students.  The program begins in Grade Primary and ordinarily lasts until Grade 12.  In Grades Primary to 2, the language of instruction is French except for Physical Education and Music which are usually taught in English.  In Grade 3, English Language Arts instruction begins.  At the junior high level, Social Studies, Math, Science and Personal Development and Relationships instruction is in French. Language Arts instruction is in both French (20 percent of learning time) and English (10 percent). At the senior high level, French Immersion students must successfully complete at least nine courses in French over three years in order to receive a French immersion certificate.

Although the Early French Immersion program begins in Grade Primary with the intent of continuing until Grade 12, if any Early French Immersion class dips below 15 students, and a combined class is not possible, the class may be discontinued.  Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will be informed in advance if this appears to be necessary.  At the senior high level, course offerings in French will depend on student enrolments.  The availability of qualified teaching staff will also be a factor in deciding which and how many courses or subjects will be offered.

Early French Immersion Locations:

  • Truro Elementary School
  • Spring Street Academy,
  • Elmsdale District Elementary School
  • A.G. Baillie Memorial

FAQ

Information about Early French Immersion (Download a PDF of the FAQ)

1. What is Early French Immersion?

Early French Immersion is an optional French program designed for all students.  The program begins in Grade Primary and ordinarily lasts until Grade 12.  In Grades Primary to 2, the language of instruction is French except for Physical Education and Music which are usually taught in English.  In Grade 3, English Language Arts instruction begins.  At the junior high level, Social Studies, Math, Science and Personal Development and Relationships instruction is in French. Language Arts instruction is in both French (20 percent of learning time) and English (10 percent). At the senior high level, French Immersion students must successfully complete at least nine courses in French over three years in order to receive a French immersion certificate.

Although the Early French Immersion program begins in Grade Primary with the intent of continuing until Grade 12, if any Early French Immersion class dips below 15 students, and a combined class is not possible, the class may be discontinued.  Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will be informed in advance if this appears to be necessary.  At the senior high level, course offerings in French will depend on student enrolments.  The availability of qualified teaching staff will also be a factor in deciding which and how many courses or subjects will be offered.

2. How is the regular Core French program different from an Early French Immersion program?

The regular English program including Core French is offered in every school. Core French is the compulsory French Course offered to students in the English program, beginning in grade four.  Students in Grades 4 to 9 are required to take Core French for approximately 10 percent of their total learning time.  Senior high students who choose to take Core French as an elective learn French for 12.5 percent of instructional time.  

3. Do Early French Immersion students learn as much as students in classes taught in English?

Yes. Students are learning curriculum provided by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. It offers an alternate approach to teaching and learning through the use of French as a second language, beginning in Grade Primary.

Research shows that, over time, French immersion students usually perform as well or better than other students on standardized assessments.  Research has also shown that students experience a level of success that is similar to what they would achieve if they were learning in English.

4. Will students become bilingual?

Research shows that there are a number of factors which influence language acquisition.  Since students will spend most of their time learning in French, most should become functionally bilingual, and some may become fluently bilingual if they remain in French Immersion until high school graduation. Students learn at different rates depending on their aptitude, work habits and motivation; therefore, individual results will vary.

5. Are students at a disadvantage if only English is spoken at home?

French Immersion programs are designed for children who come from English-speaking homes.  Parents can support their children by reading with them in English, by encouraging them to do their best, and by working collaboratively with the teacher and the school.

6. What happens if a student wants to leave the Early French Immersion program?

In such a case, parent(s)/guardian(s) should share their concerns with the school.  The school Program Planning Team and parent(s)/guardian(s) will explore supports and make decisions about the student’s program (as is the case for all students).  All available means of supporting the student within the Early French Immersion program will be offered.  A meeting with a French Programs Consultant, parent(s)/guardian(s) and school staff is required prior to any decision about student placement being made.

7. What support services (such as Resource, Guidance, etc.) are available to children in Early French Immersion?

Children in Early French Immersion are eligible to receive the supports offered at their school, (such as Resource, Guidance, etc.) however, some of these supports may only be offered in English.

8.  Where will Early French Immersion be offered?

Early French Immersion will be offered at Truro Elementary School, Spring Street Academy, Elmsdale District Elementary School and A.G. Baillie Memorial.

9. May students apply if they do not normally attend the school offering Early French Immersion?

Yes.  Children who are entering Grade Primary in September 2019 at any school may apply; however, priority will be given to CCRCE students. Children living in Halifax County may apply to the Early French Immersion program at Elmsdale District Elementary School.  Approval for transfer from the Halifax Regional Centre for Education is required before any application will be considered.  Halifax County students will be notified about the status of their application prior to the commencement of the 2019-2020 school year.

10.  How do students from other schools travel to the school offering the program?

Transportation is the responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student, if the student does not normally attend the school.

11.  How will students be selected?

Early French Immersion is an optional French program designed for all students.  All students and parent(s)/guardian(s) who are willing to make a long-term commitment to the program may apply. If there are more applications than there are places, public draws will be held.  If necessary, a waiting list will be established.  Minimum enrolment to start a class in Primary will be 20, to a maximum of 22.
Parents should not expect confirmation prior to the completion of staffing, which is usually in April, after the announcement of the 2019-2020 budget.

12.  If my child is accepted in the Early Immersion class, is it possible for siblings to transfer to that school?

Parent(s)/guardian(s) must follow the student transfer policy/procedures.  Approval of a transfer request is not automatic.  For more information, contact your neighbourhood school or your Family of Schools Office.

13. How may we apply for the Early French Immersion Program?

Applications for Optional French Programs for the 2019-2020 School Year are now closed.

If you have additional questions, please contact one of the Regional French Consultants.