Core French Co-Teaching


Core french, French Immersion, School-level initiative, Kootenay-Boundary Region, 2016-2017


When we moved from an early-immersion model to a Grade 4 start immersion program in the community of Golden we undertook an initiative to strengthen Core French and to support families making a decision about entry into the French Immersion (FI) program to increase retention in that program. We engaged a French language specialist to work in all K-7 classrooms at least weekly alongside the classroom teachers to give all of the students a quality and positive experience with French language and build the capacity of our classroom teachers to incorporate French language into the learning at other times. The focus of the instruction is on experiences rich in song, games, and conversational use of language. 


It has been a very popular and successful program which we will continue. We plan to do a more formal program evaluation in the coming year but anecdotally we have have a tremendously positive response from parents who report that their children are coming home and sharing the language they are acquiring. We have observed greater French language content in school assemblies and other activities and the participation of non-immersion students in these activities. We have had a full subscription to our French Immersion program that starts in Grade 4 and attribute that to the early French Second Language (FSL) experiences our primary students have had already. We do not yet know the impact on retention in FI (by allowing students and parents to make informed decisions about committing to a French program based on experience with FSL) but will monitor that as the cohorts move through the higher grade levels.