Board members of the Foothills School Division got an update on French Immersion education in the Divison recently.

Facilitator Leslie Doell said the program is growing every day.

"We have over 600 students that are enrolled in the French Immersion program," said Doell. "There has been nothing but growth. And we are seeing that there will be more and more growth across Foothills."

Provincially there are 44,000 students and across the country there are well over 300,000.

"There are school divisions where parents are lining up to enrol their students."

Doell is working on a lot of programs including ensuring students can write the French International Diplomas (DELF) which is a French language competency exam which is an international recognition of the students level of competence outside of France.

"We are aiming to have all of our French immersion teachers trained in the Delf."

There are new things happening with the partnership with the Nancy Metz Educational authority.

"We have three different projects a reciprocal student exchange, a two-week job shadowing for teachers and we are looking at a virtual platform so they can share their learning together."

They have a cultural piece which includes getting students involved in activities like a French Film Festival.

The program is working on teacher recruitment and student retention.
"We see all the benefits of bilingualism. There has been a lot of research on how it develops your brain. It is really good for kids with autism, and even for students that have learning difficulties. Two-thirds of the world is educated in a second language and no one ever regrets learning a second language."


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