This chart shows Overall Student Enrolment vs. French Immersion Student Enrolment in Southeast Kootenay (SD 5) between 2005-2015.

French immersion enrolment in Southeast Kootenay on the rise

More B.C. students than ever are taking French immersion at school; in this district, that number has nearly doubled over the past decade.

Findings from a recent report show that more students in British Columbia are participating in French language programs than ever before, stating that province-wide, French immersion enrollment has been increasing for the past 17 years.

In School District 5 Southeast Kootenay, French immersion enrolments nearly doubled over the past decade, while overall enrolment continues to decrease.

Heather Bartlett, acting executive director and project coordinator for Canadian Parents for French B.C. and Yukon, said the first French immersion program began in B.C. in 1968 and spread throughout the 1970s. Now the children of those first French immersion students are following in their parents’ footsteps.

“We’re seeing steady increase in enrolment with the second generation of French immersion students joining the program,” Bartlett said, adding parents are aware of the life-long benefits of learning a second language, and more specifically, the importance of learning both of Canada’s official languages.

“Studies have shown that French immersion benefits the cognitive and social development of students and gives opportunities for career advancement.”

One graph in the report shows overall student enrolment versus French immersion student enrolment in Southeast Kootenay (SD 5) between 2005 and 2015.

Over that decade there was a 12.3 per cent drop in overall enrolment (6,015 students in 2005 to 5,276 students in 2015). During that same period, French immersion enrolment increased by 46.3 per cent (246 students in 2005 to 458 students in 2015).

According to the B.C. Ministry of Education, “research demonstrates that students who successfully complete a French immersion program attain functional bilingualism while doing as well as, or better than, their unilingual peers in the content areas of curriculum, including English Language Arts.”

Bartlett said learning French is a great way to engage in the country’s two official languages and creates opportunities to grow cultural awareness and understanding.

“A second language opens doors for students to travel, increases career opportunities and keeps individuals competitive and relevant in an increasingly multicultural, multilingual world.”

With French immersion becoming more and more popular, the report said there is currently a shortage of qualified French language teachers.

If parents in the area are interested in enrolling their children in French immersion in the coming years, Bartlett suggests they check with their district to determine the opportunities and access within their region.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Wildsight turns a sour situation into sweet online learning

The group is offering a variety of resources for home learning

Chamber launches localized workforce attraction website

The Work in Fernie website intends on bringing workers to the Elk Valley during the off season

Fernie Heritage Library sparks sweet summer fun

The library hosted their annual Lemonade Social on June 24

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Elk Valley locals mountain bike for mental health

Strahan Loken leads a summer solstice fundraiser for the Elk Valley Suicide Task Force

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read