Black Gold School Division


  • Learning French opens up possibilities for students

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    The Black Gold School Division’s French Immersion program engages students with the French language and culture. Students work to become fluent by learning to read, write, and speak in French in an engaging, supportive, and student-centered environment. 

    From kindergarten through grade 12, there are many opportunities for students to grow and become functional in French. 

    According to Caitlin Pedersen, French Immersion curriculum lead teacher, the program is designed for children whose first language is something other than French. “As our students develop an appreciation for the French language, they become more confident learners,” said Pedersen. “What we have found is that literacy skills in a student’s first language can support the development of literacy skills in a second language. Reading, listening, and exploring language at home can also positively impact their overall literacy development.” 

    She emphasized that French Immersion is a long-term commitment for students. Families and schools work together to promote success in the program. Students can benefit from joining in French cultural activities, or in programs where they have opportunities to communicate with others in French. 

    “Older students may have the chance to participate in exchange programs with Francophone communities around the province, the country, or the world,” said Pedersen. “For instance, École J. E. Lapointe School recently organized an excursion for their grade nine students to attend the world-famous Carnaval de Quebec, where they enjoyed being immersed in French Canadian culture. I understand that a number of other schools are also planning language-based trips for their students.” 

    At home, families can support their children’s progress in French Immersion. Younger students may enjoy “teaching” their friends and family words or phrases in French. They may also benefit from watching shows, listening to music, or reading in French. Older students may engage in  activities where being fluent in French is an advantage, such as tutoring, working with others in the community, and jobs at the airport or with other government agencies. The opportunities to explore and engage with the world in a different language are countless. 

    As part of the language learning program, students will be taught their courses in French, such as science, social studies, and math. “The experience of being immersed in French throughout the school day allows students to engage with materials, their peers, and their learning in a fluent manner,” said Pedersen. “We pride ourselves in consistently providing opportunities for students to practice their language skills. When exploring a new language, students are encouraged to take risks.”

    The Black Gold School Division is proud to offer French Immersion at 11 schools in the cities of Beaumont and Leduc. In both communities, students are able to access the French Immersion program from kindergarten through grade 12. Families can register for the French Immersion program for their children entering kindergarten or grade one.

    Recently, the school division hosted French Immersion Open Houses in Beaumont and Leduc. “It was encouraging to see so many families at the events, wanting to learn about the program,” said Pedersen. “Our schools shared information, and we had interactive activities for families to explore. It was great to see so many children excited about learning French.”

    “French immersion is for students with a background in any language; families do not need to have any French language skills before entering the program,” said Pedersen. “We also accept French Immersion students transferring in from other school divisions. They can access the same programming in our schools.”

    “We look forward to welcoming new families to our French Immersion schools,” said Pedersen. “Learning a new language is an exciting endeavor that has so many positive benefits and career possibilities.”

    For more information about the French Immersion program, and to register, please visit:

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