Government of New Brunswick

Why is government moving to a grade 1 entry point for French Immersion?

Government is delivering on its platform commitment to restore early immersion to grade 1.  Studies have shown that the earlier children are exposed to and begin to learn a second language, the more likely they are to use it later in life.  For example, based on its research, the Report of the French Second Language Task Force (2012) recommended a Grade 1 entry point for French immersion.

When will this take effect?

The change will take effect in September, 2017.

What about the students who are currently in grades 1 and  2?

The Grade 3 entry point will remain in place for two years (the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 school years) to provide these students with an opportunity for French immersion.

How will the new Grade 1 program compare to the old Grade 1 entry program?

Improvements to the previous Grade 1 immersion program will be made.  A curriculum is being prepared that is based on best practices for young learners in second language instruction.

Will French immersion be offered in all schools including rural schools?

In order to improve access in rural schools, an early expression of interest from parents will be undertaken and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will work with districts to make immersion available in as many schools as possible.  In schools where there is some interest in immersion but insufficient interest to create an immersion class, research will be undertaken to find innovative solutions to enhance French learning in rural schools.

Will the intensive French programs remain in schools?

Yes. The commitment to quality French Second Language training remains strong and all other French programs outside of French immersion will continue.

How many students currently have access to French immersion?

125 out of 212 schools offer French immersion providing access to French immersion to 95 per cent of New Brunswick children, either at their school or by being bussed to a neighboring school.

Will more information be available?

Yes. School districts will be hosting information sessions this winter to help parents make an informed choice when it comes to immersion.