In a French language school, students learn and live in French. The student's experience is different from that of immersion programs. Immersion programs play a complementary role in increasing the number of anglophones studying French as a second language.
In French schools, students not only learn the different subjects of the curriculum in French, they are immersed in a French-speaking environment and can participate in many cultural or sports activities in French.
In French language schools, all subjects are taught in French except English. Upon graduation, students are highly proficient in both French and English and can identify with the French culture and community.
Many parents wonder how they will be able to support their child and prepare them for a French education if they do not speak French themselves.
In most of the families in our schools, only one parent speaks French.
It is your attitude that will make the difference and have a significant impact on your child's experience. Show your child that you value the French language. By encouraging them to play in French and experience French culture, they will develop their cultural identity.
There are many ways for parents to ensure that the French language is valued in the home.
If you are French speaking :
- Speak French as often as possible
- Participate in French preschool programs (Centre Grandir en français in Thunder Bay) or meet other francophone families
- Give an important place to French at home by favouring for example French TV channels, radios and books or by speaking in French during meals etc.
- Read to your child in French (15 minutes per day)
- Play with your child in French
- Do daily activities in French, such as writing a shopping list or notes for your child or leaving a phone message in French
- Don't hesitate to speak French in public! Cheer on your favorite field hockey team in French!
- Participate in school council meetings and volunteer for school activities
If you speak English :
- If your spouse is French-speaking, encourage him or her to speak French at home
- Encourage your child's French-speaking family to speak to him or her in French even if you don't understand
- Develop routines that include basic French such as songs, nursery rhymes or counting to 5 before bedtime etc.
- Show your pride in speaking French: say "bonjour" to your child's French-speaking friends and learn to pronounce their names in the French way
- Listen to French music with your child at home or in the car. Try to learn the songs with your child.
- Thunder Bay School Bus Services External link for Thunder Bay and area.
- Thunder Bay East Transportation Consortium External link for the Greenstone (Longlac, Geraldton, and Nakina), Terrace Bay and Marathon areas.
- Northwestern School Services Consortium External link for the Ignace, Dryden and Red Lake areas.
The Ministry of Education develops the curriculum for ALL schools in Ontario. The expectations and learning content are the same in both English and French language schools. However, the French system curriculum takes into account Francophone cultural elements. The student learns the curriculum in French in a French cultural environment.
English is taught from 4e at 12e grade. In high school, students take the same English courses as students in English language schools.