There are several benefits to enrolling your child in French immersion. Beyond making your child an engaged citizen of Canada by speaking both official languages, becoming fluent in a second language improves English language skills as well as mental agility and creative thinking.
In other words, learning French makes children better at math and science as well. The same areas of the brain that allow children to switch back and forth between two different languages also enhances abstract thought, mental manipulation, and recognition of visual patterns. Learning a second language also promotes alternative views and creative problem solving.
Immersion programmes produce better French speakers than other French options. The instruction is more intensive and children gain language skills faster to study other subjects in French. And with languages, the earlier the better. Early immersion programmes see much better results than middle or late immersion. Children’s language acquisition brain activity peaks between the ages of 2 and 4. Most French immersion programmes begin in SK (age 5) when a child’s ability to learn a new language has already waned.
Giles School students begin in an intensive French immersion programme at the Pre-K level. Although the majority of children at The Giles School do not come from French speaking families, children attain an impressive level of French fluency by Grade 1, and native-like pronunciation by Grade 3, without the assistance of bilingual parents.
The opposite is true. Studies show that while in the early grades, the written English language skills of French immersion students are behind that of unilingual English students, the lag disappears by the end of Grade 2. By Grade 5, French immersion students outperform English-only students in some aspects of English language skills. And by grade 6, immersion students clearly outperform English-only students in all skill areas.
Many new Giles School parents are anxious about giving children help with their homework if they, themselves, do not speak French.
Giles school parents are asked to encourage good study habits, however students should complete their homework themselves. Children are never given homework they don’t know how to complete. If a student is experiencing difficulties, teachers need to see that so the teacher can remedy the problem.
Some students don’t speak English at home. How do these students manage learning English?
Starting in Grade 2, students receive daily instruction in English (studying grammar and literature). Other classes such as Music, Art, and (in later grades) Math and Science may also be taught in English. Additionally, the majority of students have English as a first language and speak English during lunch, recess, and during after school care.
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80 Scarsdale Road, York Mills, Toronto, Ontario M3B 2R7
t 416.446.0825 f 416.446.0846