Parents often ask me how would they know if French Immersion is the right program for their child?
Even though every child is unique and learns differently, based on 12 years of experience, I have found some common factors in children who do well in French immersion.
First and foremost, the first characteristic that I look for in the child is his/her happiness and excitement level about a French program. If he/she is not happy at the time, do I see a potential in him/her enjoying it later on if more support from a parent or from a French tutor is provided?
Also other characteristics are as follows. Children
-who are verbal and enjoy telling stories and talking.
-who easily transition from one activity to another; or transition from one teacher to another.
-enjoying new challenges, new risks.
-who come from bilingual families where they already have been exposed to foreign languages.
-with good memory skills. Learning a language requires lots of memorization by heart!
-who show confidence in themselves. This can be built upon with a strong support system from family and French tutors/teachers.
Last but not least, the role of parents is critical. Parents would want to show lots of enthusiasm and interest in what they are learning in French. Show that you are committed! Borrow French books, watch French cartons, listen to French music, visit Quebec, enrol them in French programs and so on. These will serve as building blocks and bit by bit your efforts will pay off!