Foothills School Division's French Immersion Program provides learners with the opportunity to acquire fluency in speaking, reading, writing, listening, and communicating in French by the end of Grade 12. It is a program in which French is the language of instruction, beginning in Kindergarten or Grade 1 and continuing to Grade 3 when English is introduced. This program is designed for non-Francophones and is an effective way for learners to become fluent in French while achieving all of the learning outcomes of the regular programs of study.
First developed in Canada in 1965, the French Immersion program is based on decades of research into its effectiveness both in teaching a second language and in achieving the outcomes of the provincial education curriculum.
Benefits of a French Immersion Program
Immersing in the French language offers students significant linguistic, academic, and cognitive benefits. In addition, French Immersion studies:
- strengthens English literacy skills
- increases a student's feeling of self-esteem and pride
- makes learning a third or fourth language much easier
- develops listening and learning skills
- enhances problem-solving abilities
- increases cognitive abilities, making the student a more flexible and creative thinker
- provides graduates with more choices for advanced education and career options
- gives graduates a competitive edge in the job market anywhere in Canada and in many other countries
- broadens students' cultural life through access to literature, art, music and theatre in another language
- helps students to better understand the history, development and government of their country
- offers a gateway to national and international opportunities
How does the program work?
It is suitable for children with diverse learning needs, including those for whom English is a second language and students with special needs, where appropriate support is provided.
French Immersion begins with a period of concentration on French language development so students can achieve a strong foundation in French. Here's the significance of French Immersion in each grade:
Kindergarten, Grade 1 and 2: All subjects are taught in French
Grade 3: 80% French, 20% English (English Language Arts is introduced)
Grades 4-6: 70% French, 30% English
Grades 7-9: French Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies are taught in French; all other subjects are taught in English
Grades 10-12: French Language Arts and Social Studies are taught in French
The Alberta Education Programs of Study are the same for each subject, regardless of the language of instruction.
Who can enroll?
- Students entering kindergarten or Grade 1 can register
- Previous experience in French is not required; parents do not need to know the language for their child to excel
In addition to providing students with the opportunity to achieve proficiency in both of Canada’s official languages, English and French, our French Immersion program nurtures the cultural, social, intellectual, and emotional development of each learner.
The program is currently offered at the following schools:
- École Percy Pegler School – Kindergarten to Grade 6
- École Okotoks Junior High School – Grades 7 to 9
- École Secondaire Foothills Composite High School – Grades 10 to 12
- École Joe Clark School – Kindergarten to Grade 5
- École Senator Riley Middle School – Grades 6 to 8
- École Secondaire Highwood High School – Grades 9 to 12
Check out our French Immersion Information Nights
January 23 & 24, 2023 [more info]
Contact: Connect with your French Immersion Program school of choice from the above list.
Andrea Laubman, Division Language Services