Greater choice and flexibility: Enhancement of Secondary French Immersion Program


French Immersion, District-level initiative, Metro Vancouver Region, 2016-2017


This initiative is aimed at enhancing the French Immersion program K-12 by reviewing and revising programming options at the secondary level. A collaborative process to review the French Immersion program started in January 2016. Throughout the spring of 2016 and fall of 2017, students, staff and parents took part in various activities, such as surveys, in-school feedback sessions and district-wide public input evenings. As a result of this consultative process, it was determined that students at the secondary level would benefit from having more choices of courses taught in French. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, four big changes will take place in Secondary French Immersion. This first is that students in Grades 8 to 10 will now have a choice as to whether they take Science in French or in English. The second major change is the addition of three new courses: Éducation physique et santé en plein air 8 (outdoor Physical and Health Education), Culture et communication 9 and 11/12 (Culture and Communication), and Leadership 10. The third change to the program is that more emphasis will be placed on French oral language proficiency in the new courses. The final change is greater choice and flexibility in completing the requirements for graduation development of the new courses began this spring and summer with teams of teachers meeting to develop course frameworks and model lesson plans. 


Change is always met with some resistance.  While parents and students responded positively to the idea of the new courses and more choice in the program, enrollment in the new courses was lower than expected.  However, the School District will pilot the new courses (Culture and Communication 9) next year and review the outcomes. We will continue to develop the new Culture and communication 11/12 course next year. Future plans include integrating the following components into the Culture and Communication courses: District field trips to Quebec (Grade 9) and France (Grade 11); work experience opportunities in Francophone environments (e.g. development of partnerships with local businesses), increased exposure to Francophone works of art (music, visual, film, etc.).