Why learn a second language?
There is a great 22 minute video here that answers the question from an Alberta perspective.
Studying French enhances a child’s education in many different ways. Research demonstrates that students who successfully complete a French Immersion program attain bilingualism while doing as well as, or better than, their unilingual peers in the content areas of curriculum, including English Language Arts. Learning another language expands communication skills, and gaining fluency in French can have career benefits and/or lead to other educational opportunities. While gaining confidence and proficiency in the language, students also gain an awareness of another culture and a broader view of the world – and with this they naturally develop a better understanding of our society. Finally, many would like their children to have the advantages of learning both of Canada’s official languages.
It also offers post secondary opportunities such as: travel and work experiences in Canada and abroad.
Students enter the Early Immersion Program in Kindergarten and if space permits Grade 1. From Kindergarten through Grade 3, all instruction is in French. English Language Arts starts in Grade 4
Many parents choose EFI because language learning poses few problems for the young child and the Early Immersion program capitalizes on the young child's inherent inclination to learn languages. The process of language learning works best when the learner is engaged in vital, necessary communication. Early Immersion works so well because a young child lacks self-consciousness, prejudice and negativism and loves mimicry, memorization and repetition. Early Immersion provides more time working in the second language and more time results in more learning. The success of the target language is directly related to the amount of exposure to it and the child learns to speak with more native fluency.
Late Immersion offers students an alternate entry point to the French Immersion Program. The Late French Immersion Program begins at grade 6 and continues to grade 12 with students who have no previous training in the French Language. In Grade 8, Early and Late French Immersion students merge into one program