French Immersion programs in Toronto school boards
Over the past couple of days, Globe and Mail Education Reporter, Caroline Alphonso has written a couple of articles French Immersion in Toronto area school boards.
Today’s article titled “Ontario Schools struggle to keep students in French Immersion” looks at the dropout rate as immersion students progress through elementary years (drop out for many reasons – struggling academically, availability of alternate programs). ” School boards, as a result, are faced with new pressures: They initially struggle to find qualified French teachers to meet booming demand, and then shift their focus to find resources to help students stick with the program when they aren’t thriving.” and ” Mary Cruden, president of the non-profit Canadian Parents for French (Ontario), said that over the past two years, school boards have started to realize that students in French immersion need supports similar to those in the English program.”
Monday’s article titled “Ontario school board mulls delaying entry into French Immersion” looks at the growth of French Immersion and the Halton Board’s efforts to manage the demand ” In Ontario, students are offered entry into French immersion in either kindergarten or Grade 1. But after months of consultations, the Halton District School Board will put forward a recommendation to trustees on Wednesday to delay entry until Grade 2, from Grade 1, and have students spend the entire day speaking French, as opposed to just half the day.
“With this option, we believe parents will have more information and think more carefully prior to making the decision as it is a bigger decision entering into a 100-per-cent model. This should result in students who are more suited to the program,” said David Boag, Halton’s associate director. “Uptake will likely be reduced, and we would also expect to see lower attrition each year.”
Halton’s proposed change is controversial. Evidence suggests that the earlier children learn a second language, the better.”
Here are some additional useful links:
- TDSB French Immersion page
- Ministry of Education FSL page
- EduGains FSL
- Curriculum Services Canada Transforming FSL
Check it out! Rowan