Province launches new parent information campaign on revamped French second language programs (10/01/19)

NB 69

Jan. 19, 2010

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government has launched a new campaign, called Making the Choice, to give parents the information they need to make the best choice for their child to learn French.

Making the Choice features a website where parents may:

The Making the Choice video will be featured at the upcoming information nights hosted by the districts for parents of Grade 2 who will be making the choice of English Prime or Grade 3 immersion; and parents of Grade 5 students who will be making the choice between English Prime with Post-Intensive French or Grade 6 immersion. Pamphlets about each of the options will be available on the website, at the information nights, and at the schools.

"We now have three strong French language options for students in the anglophone system, and it is important that parents understand each option and make the best choice for their child," said Education Minister Roland Haché. "Early indications of the revamped French Second Language (FSL) program are promising."

Enrolment is up in the Grade 6 late immersion program by 19 per cent. The increase in late immersion is being attributed, in part, to the Grade 5 Intensive French (IF) program, under which 58 per cent of students were either at or above the target level, compared to two per cent under the former core program.

"With the universal French language and cultural experiences that we now have in kindergarten to Grade 2, we are also expecting to see strong enrolment in the new Grade 3 immersion program as well as a new enthusiasm for learning French from students in the English prime program," said Haché.

The three FSL options are:

"Learning another language has many advantages," said Haché. "Students develop skills that benefit their first language. In addition, the 21st century economy requires people be multilingual and able to work and understand different cultures. The new approach to French language programming will give all students the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century economy."

Marlene Munn, past president, New Brunswick Association for Community Living, said her daughter is taking IF.

"Like many parents, I initially had concerns since Aimee does not have much speech in English, let alone French," she said. "But, she has enjoyed the IF program tremendously, and she did really well with all the interactive projects her teacher did to make learning French interesting and engaging for all the children."


MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Kilfoil, communications, Department of Education, 506-444-4919.