Intensive French: An Innovative Approach to Learning a Second Language.
In small rural areas, it is often challenging to attract sufficient numbers of students to offer and sustain programs such as French Immersion. For this reason, we have chosen alternative ways of enhancing the learning of French as a Second Language by offering the Intensive French Program. Through collaborative projects with the founders and researchers of the IF program, Alberta Education and the Federal Government, we offer this second language program beginning in Grade Five at Holy Spirit Academy in High River and at Sacred Heart Academy in Strathmore.
In the Intensive French year, the grade five students are immersed in at least 300 hours in Intensive French pedagogy which is a dynamic and innovative literacy-based approach to learning French that focuses on linguistic structures and accuracy. The first half of the year will have at least 200 hours of Intensive French instruction. The second half of the year is spent compacting the curriculum in Science and Social Studies and continuing with all other curricula. The results after this intensive experience leave students with the skills they need to engage in basic conversations, reading books and writing stories.
Without question, learning a second language provides a tremendous opportunity for personal growth and enrichment, opens the door to new experiences and encourages personal satisfaction for the students involved. Intensive French has proven to be an excellent program for this to occur.