French Program

We at Westboro Montessori School have recognized how important it is to incorporate the French language into the Montessori Casa Curriculum. Our unique daily structure ensures that students receive instruction each day in both of Canada’s official languages. Equal time is given to each language and students thrive in the bilingual environment. This allows them the time and exposure needed to acquire the French skills to succeed in the upper years.

Studies have shown that parents’ choice of Early French Immersion is frequently based on a desire to give their children an opportunity to become functionally bilingual through an earlier and a maximum exposure to French.  Young children usually have less reticence in imitating a French role model, and therefore take more risks in expressing themselves in French and get more practice. An early start during the children’s “optimal age” for language learning facilitates the second language.

Many years of testing and research also show that French Immersion has no negative effect on the development of English language skills as measured by standardized tests.  A number of well-controlled studies suggest that bilingualism, or the process of becoming bilingual, can positively influence aspects of cognitive and linguistic growth.  For example:

  1. An early start provides for more time and more opportunities for the child to develop the language in and out of school.
  2. Children are naturally very enthusiastic learners and they seem to learn everything with ease including second languages.
  3. Younger learners are very open-minded, which makes them less self-conscious and less apprehensive than older learners.
  4. Parents have much more of a say in the decision than at a later age.

At Westboro Montessori School, we use French in the classroom in order for the children to obtain, process, and construct subject matter information in both the spoken and written form.  The children use French daily for their own personal expression and enjoyment as they interact with their peers.  We use various learning strategies to extend the children’s communicative competence.

We teach individually and in small groups of two or three students at a time in order to enrich the children’s knowledge of French vocabulary, pronunciation and common usage.  We have one person in each classroom who speaks only French to the children.  We have French Summer Camp in July and August.  All of these measures ensure that the graduates of our Casa Program successfully enter into, and succeed in the Grade One French Immersion Program.

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