Taking a journey towards bilingualism

Grade 6 students in the Late French immersion program at Harwood elementary school are excited about learning another language. - photo submitted
Grade 6 students in the Late French immersion program at Harwood elementary school are excited about learning another language.
— image credit: photo submitted

Did you know that the Vernon School District offers a program called Late French Immersion?

This program offers students an opportunity to enter French immersion at a later age. The district’s program is housed at Harwood elementary school and is going into its successful ninth year.

The late French immersion program represents a joyful, transformational learning opportunity open to all Grade 6 students in the Vernon School District.

Late French immersion at Harwood school allows Grade 6 students the chance to learn to speak, read and write French in just one short year. Students do not need to be able to speak or know any French, nor do their parents for that matter.

LFI students are motivated, hard working and determined learners. All subjects are taught in French in Grade 6 and English is reintroduced in Grade 7. LFI students then go on to Seaton and integrate seamlessly with students from early immersion.

Late French immersion is more than just your average language experience. It is a type of learning experience that supercedes the “norm.” Where do you get the chance as a learner to be absorbed into a close-knit community where everyone has chosen to come together for the same goal: learn French, speak French, dream in French?

The happiness that emanates from the room in LFI is contagious. We’re a team and a family and we work hard to achieve our goal. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have tough days, because we do. Taking a risk is hard. But in the end, it is always rewarding. Students feel like they climbed a mountain and the view on the other side is this beautiful, bilingual landscape that we would have missed out on if we hadn’t taken the challenge. It’s so worth it and life changing.

A parent information evening will be held on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Harwood library for parents who wish to learn more about the program. Registration for the program, which takes place on a first come, first served basis, begins Feb. 4 at 9 a.m. at Harwood school.

If you have any questions, please forward them to Madame Tedesco at Harwood, 250-542-5385.

Written by Rita Tedesco, vice-principal and Grade 6 Late French immersion teacher at Harwood.



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