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Twenty-one years of French immersion in Newfoundland and Labrador : a review of French immersion in the province from 1975-1996

Authors
Publisher
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Education

Abstract

French immersion (FI) has existed as an alternative approach to education in the learning of a second language in Newfoundland and Labrador for over twenty years. Both Early French Immersion (EFI) and Late French Immersion (LFI) have shown significant growth since the early days of their inception to the present. Enrolments have increased, learning resources have improved, teachers have become more qualified and experienced with the French immersion situation. Results from kindergarten through grade twelve show very good progress for those who remain in the program. There are strong support groups in place throughout the province for those who need reassurance or guidance. -- However, since the late 1980's enrolments have generally decreased in both entry points EFI and LFI. Factors such as family mobility, due largely to the economic state of the Province, have impacted significantly the number of students enrolling in FI: and the number leaving FI from grade to grade. Results of FI have also come under some criticism. Class size is declining; therefore, FI may not be an option in areas where numbers are too low to warrant the program. -- Even though many areas of the province have worked hard to build FI in their schools and advocate it in their communities, it will take the continued support of all involved in the process to ensure that FI remains a viable option for the children of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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