As Skeena Middle School French Immersion students, we are concerned about the proposed changes to the Coast Mountains School District’s French Immersion program.
The proposal is to eliminate all French Immersion courses in Grades 9 to 12 in Terrace if those classrooms have fewer than 18 students.
Alternatively, combining of grades may be permitted.
French Immersion is an important part of our lives both as students and members of our community. Most, if not all of us, have been enrolled in French Immersion since we were small children.
We have spent our entire school lives learning and striving in the wonderful French Immersion Program, and to discard it now would be a tragedy and not the best use of our time.
Graduating with the double Dogwood (the certificate that you receive upon graduating with French Immersion) is a great advantage when applying for universities and finding reliable and interesting jobs in the future.
It is also an important asset when travelling and communicating with others from across the country and opening up new opportunities.
Research shows that being immersed in a second language from a young age develops the brain and makes it much easier to learn in different styles, along with learning new languages in the future.
French is a Romance language, meaning that it is connected to Portuguese, Romanian, Italian, and Spanish. This connection in our brains makes these languages easy to learn and comprehend as well.
Some people have proposed that students without the opportunity to take high school French Immersion classes in person could take their equivalents by distance.
This is not a sustainable way to continue the program, as it is unclear whether these courses exist anymore.
Even if they were available, taking courses by distance education is also not the most effective way to learn a language as a primary part of our French education is spoken and oral language.
If the program at the high school level was in jeopardy based on numbers, parents would be less likely to enroll their children in French Immersion, therefore class numbers would be reduced and it would create a domino effect.
Although students make a small percentage of our region, we are 100 per cent of the future and this decision affects our future careers, families, lives and generations. The mere thought of having this program taken away from the students of the present and future is appalling.
French Immersion students,
Skeena Middle School,