French Programs Academics
 

The French Programs at CCH include French Immersion and French as a Second Language (FSL), which are offered to students in grades 10 through 12. For French Immersion students, this program is the final installment for those working towards a Bilingual Diploma upon graduation. Complementary courses include Religion, Career and Life Management (CALM), as well as French Film Studies. For FSL students, they have the opportunity to continue or, in some cases, begin their second language learning to develop a functional capacity in French.

Both programs are based on the four principles of language learning: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. French culture is also an important part of the learning. Activities such as La Sainte Catherine, La Fête des Rois, and La Cabane à Sucre help to reinforce the cultural importance and connection to language learning. These celebrations typically involve food, which also tends to greatly inspire the students! As an additional, authentic learning opportunity, there is a trip to France organized typically every three years, to provide a rich culural and linguistic experience, as well as to further validate the students' language efforts.



Without a doubt, French Immersion has been one of the single most important contributions to my life (whether I knew it at the time or not). It is one of the most precious gifts my parents ever bestowed upon me, followed closely by their encouragement to not let it drop albeit, in the latter part of my high school career, I had some serious doubts about its utility. I never cared about the swarms of favorable research that backlit French Immersion because my impatient eyes had a difficult time seeing any immediate benefits – especially here in Southern Alberta.

After graduation, I jumped head first into post-secondary education at the University of Lethbridge. I followed a path that many endure. Not really sure what to take, I began flooding money into a sort of open-studies degree in the hopes that something would manifest itself. French was an obvious minor simply because I knew how to speak it and, through Immersion, I had learned that there was some sort of importance in the upkeep of this unique talent. Little did I know that with the base that I had developed in French Immersion, I would soon be able to discover and take advantage of an entire realm of opportunities pertaining to French culture not just in Canada, but across the world. I switched my major to French after realizing that it was something I was good at and was important in terms of my Canadian identity. In no time, I was presented with an opportunity to live in Bordeaux, France for a year to further master the language and earn a salary teaching English (simply for being an Anglophone who could speak French). Upon returning to my studies, I was offered yet another opportunity as part of the French & Education degree requirements in which I was permitted to study in Lyon, France for an additional semester.

The number of positive experiences that have serendipitously emerged in my life as a result of the French Immersion seed have been staggering. It has provided me with, not just a foundation, nor just a direction, but an entire world of possibilities. As a result, I am looking forward to a future of teaching French in an immersion program.

- Andrew Spearman, CCH Graduate, 2008



 
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Catholic Central High School, Canada