Combining French Language Learning and Catholic Education for Over 30 years...
Not only have Holy Spirit Schools been committed to French language learning for over three decades, but we are also a Catholic Faith Community dedicated to providing each student with an education rooted in the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Immersion in Our Schools
The Holy Spirit School Division offers French Immersion from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 for families in Lethbridge and surrounding areas at École St. Mary School, St. Francis Junior High and Catholic Central High School. We also offer French Immersion from Grade 1 to Grade 8 in Pincher Creek at St. Michael School.
In the immersion program, students achieve a high level of proficiency in French, while they continue to develop English language skills. In Kindergarten and grade 1, students spend over 90 per cent of their school time learning in French, with English being used in Religion and Health. English Language Arts is introduced in grade two. In junior high, students continue to learn their core subjects in French, using the language for over 60% of their day. In high school, students may take the following courses in French: French Language Arts, Religion, Career and Technology Studies, and Information and Communication Technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don't speak French. Can my child be enrolled in French Immersion?
You don't have to speak French to help your child in French immersion. The French immersion program is designed for children of non-French speaking parents. If you want your child to develop proficiency in Canada's two official languages, and to learn about another culture, French immersion has a great deal to offer.
Will my child learn English and appropriate reading skills in immersion?
Fluency in English and French is the aim of immersion. Children benefit from learning in two languages - their thinking and reasoning skills improve, and English language skills are enhanced. Many studies have shown that French immersion actually improves reading achievement in both languages.
Many parents also believe that French immersion will give their child additional career opportunities. We live in an increasingly global economy, so proficiency in more than one language will be an advantage for career development and will give students a competitive advantage in the job market.
How can I help my child be successful in French immersion?
Learn as much as you can about the French immersion program.
Show your child that you are committed to the program.
Encourage your child and show an interest in what your child is learning.
Find ways to expose your child to French outside of school time. Borrow French books from the public library, listen to children's music by French artists, watch some French television programs, and visit French communities.
Join Canadian Parents for French
The Holy Spirit French Project
"How can we make second language learning more meaningful for students in Southern Alberta?" This is the primary challenge that pushes our French educators to find new experiences and innovative ways to teach our French Immersion and French as a Second Language students. In response to this challenging question, Holy Spirit Schools applied for and received funding through the Federal Action Plan for Official Languages. With this grant, we have been able to hire a French Project Leader whose main objective is to improve our both our French as a Second Language and Immersion programs. To meet this end, we are purchasing new resources for our classrooms and libraries, providing meaningful cultural activities and offering professional development opportunities to enhance program delivery.
Official Languages in Education Program - Holy Spirit Annual Project Report 2016-2017
June 2017 OLEP Project Highlights
Other French Second Language Programs
If you decide that French immersion is not the right choice for your child right now, your child still has the opportunity to learn French as a second language in all schools.
Core French - Students in grades 4 to 6 study French as a second language and may continue in French up to grade 12. Students in FSL develop a basic usable command of French.