How do Bilingual and Immersion Programmes Differ in Québec English Schools?

How do Bilingual and Immersion Programmes  Differ in Québec English Schools?

Understanding the nuances of each French language programme will allow you to fully appreciate your child(ren)’s language development as they progress through elementary school in Québec. It is also helpful when selecting a school in which language learning is a priority for you. 

French programs taught in English Schools in Québec - Taken from the Quebec Education Program (Elementary School)

1. French as the language of instruction (français langue d’enseignement): This is the same program taught in French schools in Québec.  

2. French as a second language (français langue seconde)

3. Linguistic, Social and Educational Integration: (Intégration linguistique, scolaire et sociale)

This is the French programme for students new to Québec to assist them with language learning, social and cultural integration. It is commonly known as a “Welcome Class” or une classe d'accueil. 

Each of these programmes has different learning outcomes or “competencies” as described in the Quebec Education Program. In the first programme, the competencies are communication, writing, reading and appreciation of diverse literature in French. The second programme’s outcomes are to discover the francophone world through interactions with texts and different environments, and producing a variety of texts.The third program’s outcomes are communicating, writing and reading in French as a means to integrate into the francophone society of Québec.

The terms “bilingual” and “immersion” are used to describe two ways of language teaching. Generally, a bilingual programme provides your child with 50% of the teaching time in French and 50% of the teaching time in English. Immersion programmes tend to offer a 70/30 split (70% of the teaching time in French and 30% in English) or an 85/15 split (85% of the teaching time in French and 15% of the teaching time in English). 

Although an immersion programme allows for more time in French and spans across more subjects, it is generally taught at the “French as a Second Language” level. When exploring a school’s bilingual or immersion programme, it is important to inquire which of the French language programmes (langue d’enseignement or langue seconde) is being taught.

Our unique bilingual programme at The Study builds fluency and accuracy in both English and French starting from Kindergarten. The français langue d'enseignement programme and the English Language Arts program carries on through to our Senior School and provide our graduates the choice to continue post-secondary studies at either a French or English institution. 

If you like to learn more about our unique programme or have general questions about language learning, please reach out to us.