French immersion vs english school debate? Still confused!

Mercede - posted on 05/21/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hello dear moms,

I am really in need of some advice, experience sharing or inputs here. I kind of know the pros and cons of each program ( french immersion and english schools). What I need to know is that:

1-how fluently can french immersion students speak in french after graduation?

2- how much their english will suffer and if we need to work on their english literacy at home?

3- how important knowing french would be in their future job opportunities?

4-In ontario students study french for a few hours a week from grade 4 on, could that be enough for knowing french as a second language without compromising english as the main language?

5-what would be other advantage or disadvantage of french schools that you may know of?

I greatly appreciate any input on this.

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Jenn - posted on 05/21/2012

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I was in french immersion from Kindergarten all the way to grade 12. I still speak french to this day. Both my sons are going into french immersion as well, my 4 year old starts this Sept.
1 - Most students will be able to speak french very fluently when they graduate. It's an everyday language spoken from Kindergarten (or preschool) all the way up to grade 12.
2 - If the family at home speaks English then they won't have any troubles. I don't find that my son has any trouble speaking English as he learns french. He's in Preschool now.
3 - If you look at the specifications for most high paying jobs, it looks for people who know both french and English since those are the two main languages in the world. People who know both have a much better chance in the working world.
4 - Yes.
5 - Some kids have trouble learning the language and what would make it harder for them is if the parents at home don't speak french at all. It's important to stay in contact with the child's teacher to make sure they're grasping the language.

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Jakki - posted on 05/23/2012

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I believe the human brain is infinitely flexible, and learning one language does not compromise the other languages. Bi or trilingualism is a wonderful thing and I'd go for it in your position.

Have you read The Bilingual Edge - it's very easy to read - a great book on this subject. See link:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Bilingual-Edge...

Mercede - posted on 05/21/2012

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Thank you Jenn for your reply.

we are bilingual and speak another language at home. however my kids (8,6,6) are now speaking a mixture of both languages. If english was our first language I would have been less concerned but now I'm thinking their english is already suffering somehow and they may not be as fluent as other english speaking kids, now adding another language probably would make their english language weaker. they are smart kids and all 3 of them among the highest students in their classes with their levels of reading and writing ahead of many of their classmates. I know they can handle french immersion, I just don't know if that's the right thing for them to do in the first place.

The other problem is none of me or my husband know french and I'm so involved in their school activities and education proccess, now putting them in french is like putting me almost out of the circle and in the dark side not knowing what's going on in their learning proccess.

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