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French Immersion

French Immersion

What is French Immersion? 
Immersion is a second language learning program whose goal is to develop linguistic competency in a foreign language as well as mastery of the English language, giving individuals the ability to communicate in both languages for both personal and professional needs. Immersion also fosters an awareness and an appreciation of an array of diverse people and cultures. Furthermore, immersion develops the skills necessary for individuals to become responsible future citizens, contributing to the economic, social, and cultural life in Louisiana.

 

Many of the students begin the program with little or no knowledge of French, and instructional strategies are designed with this in mind. Immersion offers a rich bilingual experience for young learners when their minds are developmentally best able to acquire a second language. Instruction is divided between two high quality, creative classrooms: one English and one French. Students enjoy the advantage of two teachers. The English teacher uses part of the instructional day to teach English language arts (reading, writing, and spelling). The French teacher uses his time to teach French literacy, math, social studies, and science. In class, the French teacher speaks exclusively in French and communicates using a range of engaging strategies including pictures, songs, games, body language, expressions, pantomime, drama, etc. Children at this age are adept at picking up language in meaningful contexts. After a brief period at the beginning of the year, students will speak only in French during French time.


*Information from the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL)

Why is Immersion Important?

HERITAGE: Immersion pathways are an essential element in the restoration and development of Louisiana’s primary heritage language; they provide access to further educational, economic, international, cultural, and professional opportunities in French that valorize all Louisianans in their linguistic and cultural identity.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT:French immersion students consistently achieve higher results on standardized tests than their non-immersion peers, regardless of socio-economic status. Immersion students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem-solving skills as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.

GLOBAL COMPETENCY: Immersion students are more aware of and generally show more positive attitudes towards other cultures and an appreciation of other people.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:Immersion students often are exposed to languages that are represented in today’s global economy, better preparing them for life beyond the classroom.



*Information from the Louisiana Department of Education