Becoming bilingual is no easy feat. Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to speak two languages fluently.
Having a second language opens up career doors, it brings a greater appreciation of another culture and it exercises one’s brain in ways that can’t really be put into words.
Just ask a late French immersion student and you’ll find out how amazing it feels to speak two languages. These boys and girls just don’t learn it; they live it, breathe it and sometimes even dream in it.
The late French immersion program at Harwood elementary school takes in up to 30 students each year. What makes late French immersion students unique from their peers in early immersion is that they are old enough to decide that they themselves want to learn the French language. Students transfer from their schools at the end of Grade 5, and are welcomed at Harwood as an integral part of the student body.
So what exactly is Late French Immersion? LFI, as it is known to most in the school system, is a program designed for Grade 6 and 7 students that allows students to acquire the French language in just two short years. In Grade 8, LFI students join peers from early immersion at W.L. Seaton secondary, where together they can pursue a bilingual diploma.
Late French immersion will be going into its fifth year at Harwood and its ninth overall in the district. LFI is a life- changing program. Few educational programs do what LFI does for students. Learning a language in one school year is an amazing accomplishment. LFI empowers students in believing that they can do anything and be anything that they choose in life. The best kind of learning is that which transforms the learner. LFI does just that.
Registration for the late French immersion program has already started. Parents wishing to register their children need to do so in person on a first come first served basis.
For more information please call Harwood elementary at 250-542-5385.
Rita Tedesco teaches late French immersion in Grade 6 and is the vice-principal at Harwood school.