Why and how to choose a good French immersion program for your child ?

Would you like your teenage child to do a French immersion program? Every parent wants his or her child to learn a second or third language because mastering a language other than one’s mother tongue is very useful in today’s multicultural and global world! And, it is known that a child learns a language fast!
But first, why should your child do a French immersion program?


A gift to learn easily, fast and have fun

A child’s mind is malleable. The malleable mind absorbs any information that it is exposed to. So during the French immersion homestay your teenage son or daughter will be able to grasp and master the French language quickly and easily. During the French immersion program your children will be exposed to a variety of cultural practices. They will get opportunities to experience music, art, media, literature, drama and dance in French. They will get relevant, authentic and varied exposure to all aspects of French life. The more exposure your children have to French, the more they use it. Therefore, improving their communication skills and increasing their confidence in their ability to use the language.

They will be either speaking in French or listening in French all the time. They will be constantly observing gestures, mimes, pictures, objects and situations. And through watching and listening, your child will be able to learn, recognize and understand words and phrases and respond appropriately. Your children will be able to master the minutiae of French grammar and vocabulary by observing the gestures, body movements, intonation and expression of the locals. In short, your son or daughter will learn the language in meaningful ways. Most importantly, they will be able to develop a native accent.

Language shapes our thinking, and sharpens our ability to reason, to reflect and to respond to the world. Helping your child learn a second language through immersion can boost his thinking and reasoning skill. This in turn will help him open doors towards new opportunities. Thus, making him more successful in life.

By learning and mastering the French language via a French immersion program will help your child understand that given the right circumstances, tools and attitude he or she can learn, master and achieve anything in life. And this is the greatest gift any parent or mother can give to his child.

But how do you choose the right French immersion program for your child?
To make the right choice you need to do a lot of serious research. You can do your research online or contac the French embassy in your city or enquire from parents who have already sent their children to a French immersion program.

Once you have a list of French families who organize French immersion homestays then you may want call them or send them an email to enquire further. You may want to enquire in what context your child will practice his French. What type of daily activities and tours will they participate in? Will there be adult supervision when they go out on a long excursion?

How about accommodation? Will they be sharing it with other children? Will they have a shared or private bathroom? Will the meals be prepared for them or will they manage on their own. These are serious and practical questions you need to ask if you want a safe and secure environment for your child. With the responses and feedback you get you can deduce if your child will get a relaxed, natural and encouraging environment for learning French.

If your child has any learning styles or special needs you may want to inform the French family host beforehand. You may want to enquire about different pedagogical practices, syllabus or integration of special needs. And see if they are adapted to your child’s personality. At the end of the day, whatever the practices and methodologies used, the ideal French immersion homestay is where your child can take risks and make mistakes without the fear of being ridiculed.

Hope the above arguments and suggestions have convinced you to send your child for a French immersion program. We are sure you will find the right one for your child. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


To read this article in French, click here.

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