Tips for supporting your child’s French immersion program

French immersion

Last updated on December 5th, 2023 at 07:10 pm

With more parents becoming aware of the benefits of multilingualism, the percentage of students enrolling in french immersion programs has risen over the years. Canada, popularly recognized as the inventor of this program, has witnessed a twenty percent increase, between 2012 and 2016.

Studies suggest that French is often viewed as one of the most straightforward languages for non-native speakers to learn. However, it’s important to acknowledge that this may not be the case for everyone. While some adults may find French to be relatively easy to pick up, others may struggle more with the language.

Conversely, children generally have an easier time learning French or any other language, especially when provided with effective guidance. It’s worth noting that the optimal age for language acquisition is typically between ten and eighteen years old.

The best parents and guardians desire to be actively involved in all areas of their children’s lives. Studies have proven that parental involvement consistently enhances the academic success and social skills of a child. The indication of interest and conscious effort from parents, act as a positive influence on the overall performance of a child. 

Enrolling your kids in French immersion programs is quite easy, but supporting them can be a bit difficult, especially as non-native-speaking parents. A lot of parents who genuinely desire to be involved have no idea how to act when confronted with assignments from class. This sometimes causes confusion, frustration, and in some cases withdrawal of the child from the program.

Thankfully, you do not need to completely learn french from scratch or speak the language to show support or involvement. There are a number of ways you can positively encourage your child to progress in French immersion programs. 

It is important to remember that kids learn and develop a better interest in activities that are fun. When encouraging them, utilize resources that are fun, pictorial, colorful, and engaging. This will improve their progress and ultimate success in French immersion programs.

Tips to help you support your wards or kids

We have carefully selected a few tips to help you in your desire for involvement and support. Below are things you should consider implementing.

Show enthusiasm and positivity

Whether you have some French education or not, enthusiasm and positivity are two major factors that would help your kids progress in the program. Your response to challenges is a priority over whatever knowledge or lack of knowledge you have. 

No matter how overwhelming or difficult it might seem to interpret assignments, puzzles or quizzes, keeping a confident and positive attitude is highly necessary. Displaying these in the process of learning with them, teaches them the principle of resilience.

Keep resources at home

Readers, they say, are leaders. Books are a great way to improve your child’s French vocabulary. Making materials easily accessible helps them study independently, this improves their overall learning process in not just French, but other academic areas. 

As much as reading is important, try as much as possible to not make it burdensome for your ward or kid. Depending on the age, select colorful books that are easy to read and comprehend. Do not forget that your child also learns by reading at school, therefore, you should make reading as much fun as possible at home. You could consider reading during storytime, while acting out the funny characters in the books.

Compare and contrast vocabulary

Comparing and contrasting is a great way to develop vocabulary. The best way to do this is by randomly asking questions of words in English and their direct translations in French.

You could make it fun by labeling objects in the home in your native dialect, and then dare your kids to guess the French words for those objects. You could also give out little prizes for every correct French word your child makes.

Attend French camps

Engaging in fun activities such as summer French camps would help improve your kid’s performance in French immersion programs. There are a number of camps appropriate for different ages.

This would help them mingle with peers who share the same interests. Being surrounded by kids who communicate daily in French, over a period of time, will certainly be a great help to them.

Play games and watch cartoons in French

Select and play fun games, such as Scrabble, Zingo Bingo Pictionary, or Taboo, in French versions. These games are mentally engaging and as such, they help in your kid’s progress.

Watching your child’s favorite cartoon with them in French is also a great way to show support and encouragement. These go a long way in improving vocabulary.

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