Programs at Our Lady of the Prairies
French Immersion Programs
French Immersion is designed for students whose parents whose heritage is other than French. Parents typically do not speak French. Early French Immersion registers students at the kindergarten or grade one level (see also Late Immersion).
THE GOALS OF THE FRENCH IMMERSION PROGRAM ARE:
- a high proficiency in English,
- a functional fluency in French,
- a mastery of the skills and abilities in all other subjects.
Early French Immersion students use French as the language of instruction for several or all subjects with the exception of English Language Arts.
FRENCH IMMERSION IS SET UP AS FOLLOWS:
The language of communication between home and school is English. French Immersion students experience French in a meaningful context by using French as the language of learning in several or all subjects with the exception of English Language Arts.
Because French is not the prevalent language in the community the child is given as many opportunities as possible to function using French. Students therefore acquire vocabulary during science, math and other subjects and learn literacy skills in French Language Arts.
Students view their learning situation as normal given that their classmates are experiencing the same program.
THE FOLLOWING FAMILIES SHOULD CONSIDER REGISTERING:
- Students whose family is not French speaking.
- Students who do not know French. Instructional strategies and materials are designed with this in mind.
- Early Immersion is suitable for any child providing the program offers the same assistance as any English program would.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: How can I help my child if I do not speak French?
A: Parents have a strong role to play in helping their child develop thinking skills and learning strategies. Parents can help their child with homework in concrete ways such as asking many guiding questions to develop habits of mind.
- (Example: In a math problem, ask, Can you find the question first? What does it look for? Can you find the information? Are there any irrelevant pieces of information you can omit? etc.)
Q: Will my child's English suffer?
A: French Immersion students are typically very strong in English Language Arts. Studying French reinforces one's ability to consider all aspects of reading, writing and this serves to enrich their English.
Q: Will my child find math or science difficult in French?
A: Difficult concepts require the same effort to acquire whether in French or in English. Once the concept is mastered it is then labeled in the memory, for example, 'Division' or 'La division'
BENEFITS OF FRENCH IMMERSION:
- Students learn to be excellent listeners as they have to pay close attention in order to understand what is occurring in the classroom.
- Students gain an understanding and appreciation of francophone cultures.
- Students are better equipped to learn a third or fourth language.
USEFUL LINKS RELATED TO FRENCH IMMERSION:
FRENCH IMMERSION CATCHMENT AREAS
If you live in anywhere in the areas EAST OF 170 St, SOUTH of Whitemud Drive AND NORTH and West of 231 St you children are eligible for transportation to our French Immersion Program.
Transportation Services will provide for the pick up of our Kindergarten to Grade 6 students. Please phone and talk to our office staff to find out if your child qualifies for bussing. (780-481-0389)
French Second Language
French as a Second Language (FSL) Instruction - Grades 4-6
Extensive research in the area of languages clearly indicates a number of benefits come from learning second languages.
Firstly, research indicates that language acquisition is best introduced at an early age, recognizing that the brain of young children not only learn at a more rapid rate, but is also better able to absorb and transfer their learning to additional languages presented with in the future.
Secondly, it is suggested that learning other languages gives children a better understanding of their own first language. This is primarily because they develop greater phonemic awareness. Also, research indicates that language attainment has also helped children to become better with music, as well as develop critical thinking skills.
Finally, research clearly points to world and economic trends becoming increasingly more global, thus recognizing that people with skills in the area of multiple languages would be for many employers viewed as a big asset when considering prospective employees.
As such, we are confident that offering children the opportunity to learn multiple second languages from as early an age as possible will afford them increased opportunities to refine and develop their language skills over the years. We believe strongly that this will create many careers choices and opportunities for our students in their future.
BENEFITS TO STUDENTS
Learning a second language leads to...
- Enhanced learning in both the student's primary language and in related areas of cognitive development and knowledge acquisition, as well as, development of increased grammatical abilities in the first language
- Increased awareness of and sensitivity to cultural and linguistic diversity
- Improved potential to be more competitive when entering the workforce
- Increased opportunities to communicate directly with people from other language groups and gain a deeper insight into their culture
- Enhanced cognitive functioning particularly increased ability to conceptualize and to think abstractly; more cognitive flexibility; and greater divergent thinking, creativity and metalinguistic competence
Our philosophy is one that echoes the research related to the importance of introducing languages as early on as possible and focused on increasing students' level of exposure to the sights and sounds of the language from a cultural and global perspective.
The delivery of instruction in these language programs will be hands on and interactive in its approach. We will emphasize authentic learning that comes from active involvement and with the aim of developing an appreciation for the people, the history, the geography, music and most of all the richness of the language.
Instruction of the second languages is as follows:
Students in grades 4 through 6 will receive a total of 120 minutes of instruction per week in French as a Second Language. In addition, there will also be daily routine integration of the two languages as well as cultural events integration held throughout the school year.
The prescribed general and specific outcomes outlined in the International Languages Framework, the French as a Second Language Program of Studies, indicate what the students are to demonstrate at each grade level. Assessment practices will reflect a variety of evaluative methods, both formal and informal and will be in keeping with the philosophy of the Framework and Programs of Studies. Both formative and summative evaluations will make up the assessments to determine student growth and learning.
- See more at:
In addition to our regular programs in kindergarten through grade six, Our Lady of the Prairies offers a variety of academic and co-curricular programs. In the area of Academic programming, the following programs are available to your child:
* School-wide Balanced Literacy Model designed to develop strong skills in both, reading and writing.
* French as a Second Language instruction is offered to all students in grades 4 to 6.
* English as a Second Language is designed for new Canadians, or for students whose first language at home is that other than English. These students will receive extra support in the classroom through their homeroom teacher and the Learning Coach.
* Information and Communication Technologies are integrated into the core curriculum.
* Music, art and drama are integrated into your child's academic subjects.
* Students are encouraged to be active through daily physical activity, and through our extra/co-curriculum activities such as Sports Teams, Sports Program and Intramurals.
* In class and home Reading Programs, all classrooms at Our Lady of the Prairies have a wide range of learners. Our goal at Our Lady of the Prairies is to assist students to achieve their personal academic best.
* Program Intramurals
* Recycling Club
* Grade 6 Camp
* Ski trip to Snow Valley (Grades 4, 5 and 6)
* Slow Pitch Softball Teams (Girls, Boys)
* AMA School Patrols
* Volleyball teams
* Rhythmic Gymnastics
* Art Club
* Running Club
* Journal Games
* Music Clubs
* Uni Hockey teams
* Drama Club