Immersion School Twinning

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French Immersion, Vancouver Island Region, 2016-2017

Description

In both the Fall and Spring of this past school year, a cohort of primary French immersion students were bussed from École Millstream Elementary (new French immersion elementary school in Langford) to Belmont Secondary School. Students were paired with a grade 11 French immersion student from Belmont.  Outings to Belmont happened during the school day and bus transit to and from Belmont, as well as purchase of reading materials was financed through school-based French immersion funds as well as Canadian Parents for French funds. This initiative saw young-career French immersion teachers from Millstream Elementary come to the district's flagship dual-track secondary school to work with more seasoned teachers. It also gave the opportunity for primary-aged immersion students to connect with 16/17-year-old immersion students (role models) and practice their French skills. The District Coordinator for Languages, school-based teachers and administrators and local chapter of the Canadian Parents for French collaborated to make this initiative possible.

Outcome

Teachers involved in the twinning project were able to network and learn from each other. This fostered a sense of connection and community between the teaching staffs in the two schools. The secondary students felt encouraged and affirmed in their own French skills - helping their younger immersion counterparts to read, play games and complete art activities was very rewarding. The elementary students were also affirmed and encouraged in their developing French skills. The excursions to Belmont also gave these students a good impression of where their language studies will take them. The initiative was definitely successful. We hope to continue supporting/facilitating this initiative and believe that it will help with program retention.

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