How does French Immersion look in Chinook's Edge?

French Immersion is a program of studies which involves classroom instruction in French for a significant part of each day. It is designed for students whose first language is not French and, while the objective continues to be full mastery of the English language, functional fluency in French is the prime goal.

Early French Immersion programming begins in Kindergarten or Grade 1, to optimize the inherent ability of young children to learn languages. This early concentration on French language development allows students to achieve a strong foundation in French on which to base their continued learning. In Early French Immersion, reading and writing are first taught in French, and students then transfer those skills to English beginning in Grade 3.




Grade 2 students at École Steffie Woima Elementary

Chinook's Edge began offering French Immersion in September, 2000 at the request of parents. The program began at École Steffie Woima School in Sylvan Lake, and this pioneer community celebrated its first French Immersion graduates from École H.J. Cody High School in June, 2013. Since then, French Immersion programming has become available in Olds and Innisfail.



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The French Immersion program then progresses to include a strong English language component in Grades 3-12. Research shows that by Grade 6, the literacy skills of French Immersion students meet or exceed those of their peers in the traditional English program. French Immersion is designed to offer sufficient exposure to and practice with the language for students to gain functional French fluency or for students to become functionally bilingual by the end of Grade 12.

French Immersion was first developed in Canada in 1965. The program is based on decades of research into its effectiveness both in teaching a language and in achieving the outcomes of the provincial education curricula. Alberta Education's Programs of Study are the same for each subject, regardless of the language of instruction.