French Immersion

Please read about French Immersion in Sylvan Lake here.

Welcome to French Immersion at École Steffie Woima Elementary School!

A look into our French Immersion Kindergarten classroom here

HAVE NO FEAR! Many of you have questions and apprehensions about placing your child in French Immersion. Most of you do not speak French yourselves and consider this to be a cause for concern. The French Immersion Program is designed for English speaking children. The program is built around the idea that the students we are reaching out to have no previous experience with French. Your children will learn French through a “gentle approach” where we gradually introduce them to the language through play, song, rhyme and stories. You may even find yourself learning right along with your child. The letters of the alphabet look that same in both French and English and sound basically the same (vowels are a little different). Numbers also look the same in both languages. All newsletters and communication from the teacher to parents will be in English!

HOW DOES FRENCH IMMERSION DIFFER FROM THE ENGLISH PROGRAM? Since children in French Immersion are learning a new language, most learning experiences are geared towards gaining a basic understanding, vocabulary and grammatical structure of French. For example, an “All about me” theme in French would have a greater focus on naming body parts and basic emotions.

HOW CAN PARENTS HELP AT HOME WITH LEARNING? Home is a super place to help with the development of your child’s English language skills. Reading, singing and rhyming are all fun things to do that can help broaden English skills. Counting practice and recognizing sets of different numbers is always a good idea! It is not necessary to worry about “teaching” your child English at home as students begin formal English instruction here at Steffie in grade 2. Parents often worry about the fact that their French Immersion child cannot read English at the same level of their English program friends. Please do not compare, this is not fair. After all, your child can read in French. Research shows that by grade 6 the gap in English reading ability will close and your French Immersion child should be reading at a comparable level with students in the English program.