French Immersion or Not?
Why do parents place their children in the French Immersion
- My friends put their children in FI
- Fewer students in each class
- Told there is fewer behavior problems
- Would be an advantage knowing another language living
- in a bilingual country
Parents never consider that something about their child might
make it very difficult for him to learn a foreign language, and
have all lessons conducted in French while living in an English
speaking home and community.
French Immersion works very well for many students, but it
isn’t always the best choice for everyone. There is a lack of
support in FI for gifted learners, struggling students, and those
with learning disabilities.
The following are just some of the reasons why a child may not
be a suitable candidate for the French Immersion program:
- Delayed talking (later than 18 months)
- Speech difficulties, or a stutter
- A history of ear infections or tubes in the ears
- Takes a long time to process and answer spoken language
- Unable to follow more than one instruction at a time
- Has eye problems which could cause tracking issues
- Has a learning disability
What do I do if my child is having problems in French
The answer seems easy – I just pull him out and put him
in the English Class. It is not that simple because the
child’s identity is bound up with that class; it is his
social environment and all his friends are there.
I had to pull one of my children out of the program. I did
wait until he entered High School, where he made new
friends. I was lucky because he did well in University
and has a good career.