French Immersion

Here at École St. John Paul II School we offer a diverse learning experience for Early Learning students ages 3-5 and French Immersion Programming for students Kindergarten-Grade 6. If you are interested in our French Immersion stream, no French language background is required. Parents do not need to speak French. MHCBE's French Immersion Programming is suitable for any child.

French Immersion well-established in our Catholic school

French Immersion is designed for families who have the desire to learn the French language. Students may register as early as age 3 in our Early Learning Program, Kindergarten or Grade 1. In elementary school, French is the language of instruction for all subjects except Religion & Music. Starting in Grade 3, students begin learning English Language Arts classes. At middle and high school, students receive between 50% and 80% of their instruction in French, depending on the grade level.

Students will:

  • Become bilingual
  • Develop an appreciation of the French culture through cultural events and/or entertainment
  • Acquire fluency to speak, read, write and listen in French
  • Retain, maintain and improve their competencies in their native language

Instruction in the classroom focuses on:

  • Teaching curriculum content
  • Responding to the child’s educational interests and needs
  • Creating an atmosphere in which second language development is nurtured and encouraged
  • Facilitating meaningful communication in French

Our French Immersion program provides students with a wealth of experiences and advantages within the classroom walls and beyond. The program follows the regular Alberta Education curriculum in French with the addition of a regular English Language Arts Program. The program targets students with non-French-speaking parents while enriching and complementing a child's first language. It also enhances a student's academic growth and encourages new ways of thinking.

Learning a second language also teaches students about other cultures and broadens their perception of their own culture. In Canada, knowing both official languages opens doors to many exciting career opportunities.

Please note: the language of communication between home and school is in English.

Why French? Why not!

Considering French for your child?

Learning a second language can:

  • Improve your child’s learning and listening skills
  • Increase cognitive abilities, creating “outside of the box” thinkers
  • Encourage your child to think critically and creatively
  • Make learning another language much easier

Consider the many advantages that knowing a second language can provide your child with:

  • Rich learning experience
  • Increased educational and career opportunities
  • A strong understanding of different perspectives, cultures, and people
  • An openness to new situations and experiences

French is also one of the easier languages for English speakers to learn because of the similarities in alphabets, sentence structure, and many words.

French Immersion benefits all students

French Immersion is open to everyone. There are no entrance requirements.

There are many benefits to being enrolled in the French Immersion program, such as:

  • Being fluent in a second language (French)
  • Having a greater understanding on the mechanics of a language
  • Learning about a new culture

French beyond High School 

When immersion students graduate from high school, they should have reached a level of proficiency that allows them to enjoy the benefits of bilingualism. Grade 9 students have the opportunity to write the B1 level DELF (Diplôme d’ études en langue Française) exam and our Grade 12’s can write the B2 level exam.  This allows them to attend university in French anywhere in the world without taking a French proficiency exam. 

Consider further studies in French:

  • All Alberta universities offer French courses such as literature and linguistics. Some offer a year in France!
  • The University of Alberta, Campus Saint-Jean offers Canada’s only bilingual commerce program. This campus also French language instruction in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) and many other programs of study.
  • NAIT offers a full-time bilingual business administration program and evening courses in business communications and marketing.
  • The University of Calgary offers a variety of undergraduate course taught in French, as well as a Certificat d’etudes francaises.

Alberta Learning offers scholarships to students with high academic standings to pursue post-secondary studies in French.