More students in British Columbia are participating in French language programs than ever before, according to a recent report.
The report showed that province-wide, French immersion enrolment has been increasing for 17 consecutive years. The booming popularity of this well-established program is creating a shortage of qualified French language teachers.
As of the 2014/2015 school year, there were 1,069 students in French immersion in Vernon, or 12.96 per cent of all students in the school district.
Over the past six years overall student enrolment in Vernon decreased by 506, or 5.78 per cent. Over the same six years French immersion enrolment in Vernon increased by 116 students, or 12.17 per cent.
“We believe French programs are popular in Vernon because they are widely recognized by parents as providing young students with the tools and experiences that will enrich their lives and help them prepare for the future,” said Patti Holm, President of Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon.
“We urge post-secondary institutions and immigration authorities to address the serious shortage of French language teachers in B.C.”
The life-changing benefits of learning French as an additional language include: social mobility, career advancement, cultural understanding, and cognitive development.
Canadian Parents for French is a national parent-lead organization dedicated to promoting and creating French second language opportunities for all young students.