Monday, September 26, 2011

French Immersion

Sophie is really enjoying Grade 2. The difference in her level of anxiety this year is so much lower. I drop her off in the morning and she easily wanders over to the playground to play and wait for friends to arrive.

We have started her tutoring again this year, but only once per week since I don't think anymore than that is necessary at this time. We can assess it again after the first report card.

I asked her Vice Principal, Madame Gervais (who is bilingual) to address the issue of when Sophie's reading in English will start to move up.

Isabelle, responded in an email to me, that I thought would be worth sharing in case anyone who happens to read this is curious about French Immersion. It helps reaffirm what Vic and I have been told about FI. The research states that:

"... a 1991 review of student outcomes research showed that
although French-immersion students sometimes lag behind at Grade 3, they
match and often surpass English program students' performance in
English-language skills by Grade 4 or 5."

This is what I have found to be true in my experience as a grade 4/5
teacher. At Bastion we have made a decision to start English at the
grade 4 level. (In some school districts they introduce English
instruction at grade3). This decision was made based on research. By
doing this, it allows students to develop a greater proficiency in their
second language before they are introduced to formal English

More can be found through this link:

In an immersion program a great deal of time is spent in the earlier
grades to develop vocabulary and some oral fluency. This is the first
step. Some students develop reading fluency earlier then others. Each
child is unique. The skills and strategies that students learn in French
concerning decoding and comprenhension are transferred to the English
language when the child is ready. For most students this happens on
average from grades two to grade four.

The best ways for us to support Sophie are to share our love of reading by
listening to her read in French and then reading to her in English until
she is ready to assume some of the reading. This can be done by sharing
reading of easy reading material or simply by choosing and reading to
her books from the wealth of good English children's litterature. It is
important to remember that reading should be a fun activity and that it
is especially important that children maintain a love of learning and a
desire to learn.

As my blog header photo indicates, books are big in this house, so there is no shortage of reading opportunities!

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