Questions and answers
IMMERSION PROGRAM AND
In a Francophone school, French is learned as a first language and the teachers are fluent in French. In an immersion school, French is considered an academic topic. In French-language schools, French is generally the staff’s mother tongue, thereby being excellent role models for students.
Regardless of the program, there is no difference in the level of instruction of English. A student graduating from a francophone school, an immersion school or an English-language school will end up with equal skills in English.
Beyond the academic aspects, Francophone schools allow students to grow in a francophone cultural environment, to participate in activities that promote the French language and to reach a very high level of bilingualism.
Francophone schools may also offer a variety of services in French, such as after-school care, preschool, day care and sports.
In a Francophone school, all subjects are taught in French, except for English, whereas in an immersion school, students sometimes take only a few classes in French at the secondary level, limiting their abilities to communicate in French. Francophone school students, on the other hand, achieve sustainable fluency in both of Canada’s official languages.
In some cases, the language used should be the language that the parent is the most comfortable with. As such, communications pertaining to the health and safety of our students (excursions for instance) are sent in both languages, as long as you request it. The same principle applies for parents/teachers communications – in the student’s organizer, on the phone, in person or via emails. Report cards will have additional information in English to help parents understand their content. Moreover, if the parents request it, comments can be written in English.
When we give homework to our students, it means that we wish to encourage them to read and to study. As such, at each level, the school follows administrative guidelines stating that the parent does not have to know how to speak or read French. Reading in both languages is encouraged and if there is no further homework, it means that your child understood what was asked of him or her and practiced it in class.
The school provides an inclusive and differentiated program to answer the francization needs of each child or student, from preschool to Grade 12. The resource that we use for assessment, support and follow-up is called “Seuil repères’’ and is published by Alberta Education.
All the students in Alberta follow the same education programs from the Ministry, as well as French classes. Our students benefit from quality guidance services. The fact that they went to school in French in an English speaking community for the most part makes them great bilingual Canadian citizens. The education that they receive at the Francophone school adequately prepare them to attend a postsecondary establishment in English or French.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE COURSES
The school must teach the same programs as all the English language schools. Starting in 3rd Grade, students have to attend English classes, as prescribed by the Ministry. Students who do not speak English can benefit from the same differentiated services as the students needing francization. We use the “Proficiency Benchmarks “, as prescribed by the Ministry, for assessing and following-up in English as a second language.
The school supports the education of students who have different learning needs. The school provides professional assessments and testing starting in early childhood. Personalized action plans are developed in collaboration with the parents, including the necessary programs and support for these students according to their needs.
Parents are always welcome at the school. Even if you do not speak French, you will have many opportunities to get involved in the life of the school. Parents are encouraged to give their name if they wish to volunteer and they will be assigned to appropriate activities according to their level of proficiency, in the language of their choice.
The school offers several options to initiate its students to different types of careers, hobbies and activities. These classes include 3 main categories: fine arts (music, plastic arts and theater), career and technology studies for Grades 10 to 12 (career and technology bases for Grades 5 to 9) and off-campus courses (on-the-job training, Registered Apprenticeship Program, special projects). We often see our students in classes such as orchestra, mechanics, woodworking, computers, etc. Moreover, our students have the opportunity to participate in theater festivals, leadership development sessions, etc.