Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the advantages of an immersion program?
Q: What is école maternelle?
Q: What if more than one language is already spoken at home?
Q: What happens after my child has completed the third year of the program?
Q: Are there classes for parents?
Q: Will French immersion hinder my child’s English language skills or integration into the regular school system?
Q: If my child goes to the French School, does he/she need to go to another pre-school or kindergarten?
Q: What if I don’t speak French or French is not spoken at home, how will I be able to help my child’s progress and reinforce learning at home?
Q: How will I know what’s going on at the French School?
Q: How will I know the progress my child has made?
Q: How can I get involved?
Q: Does the French School offer any summer programs?
Q: What if I have more than one child at the French School?
Q: What are the advantages of an immersion program?
A: An all French-speaking environment enables your child to learn French in the same manner as his/her native language. At the French School, French is not a separate subject, rather it is the language of instruction for the entire curriculum exploring concepts in math, reading, science, etc. This method enables your child to 555directly associate words and concepts in French while establishing native fluency. Learn more about Language Immersion.
Q: What is école maternelle?
A: Most children in France begin their formal education at the age of three when they enter école maternelle, a program lasting three years prior to elementary school. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes France’s école maternelle as one of the foremost young child learning programs in the world. Learn more about the école maternelle and the Curriculum.
Q: What if more than one language is already spoken at home?
A: Children have an amazing ability to adapt and learn new languages. Our total immersion program allows all children to successfully learn French even if more than one language is spoken at home. Through continuous exposure to the language, children learn to associate words and concepts in French while learning proper pronunciation and intonation. Often times, children who already speak another language have a better capacity to learn additional languages.
Q: What happens after my child has completed the third year of the program?
A: After completing their third year at the French School, graduates are invited to join our Continuing Education Program. Continuing education classes meet bi-weekly during the academic year and permit children to retain his/her fluency while continuing to build on their French skills.
Q: Are there classes for parents?
A: For those who wish to embark on the journey along with their children or to brush up on their high school or college French, the French Institute offers beginning to advanced level French lessons for adults. Many classes are conveniently scheduled during the times your child attends the French School. Learn more about the French Institute of the North Shore.
Q: Will French immersion hinder my child’s English language skills or integration into the regular school system?
A: No, in fact research indicates that children who study a foreign language develop a better understanding and command of their native language. All skills and concepts learned at the French School are transferable and applicable to traditional schooling. Children in our immersion program tend to be better prepared than their counter-parts as they have already acquired many other skills such as cursive writing and are well ahead on the foreign language component.
Q: If my child goes to the French School, does he/she need to go to another pre-school or kindergarten?
A: The French School provides a complete education for your child that includes a comprehensive curriculum, therefore, sending your child to another half-day pre-school or kindergarten is completely optional.
Q: What if I don’t speak French or French is not spoken at home, how will I be able to help my child’s progress and reinforce learning at home?
A: It is not necessary to speak French at home in order for your child to successfully acquire the language as our program meets daily for almost three hours. During this time your child is immersed in the French language. The frequency and repetition of the language along with the one-on-one attention your child receives at The French School will give him/her the necessary reinforcement. Additionally, a variety of media exists to keep your child engaged in the French language. From books to music CDs to DVDs, there are many age-appropriate options that you can explore. At the beginning of the school year, parents receive a Resource Guide containing teacher-recommended books, CDs and DVDs available for purchase to assist in reinforcing the language at home.
Q: How will I know what’s going on at the French School?
A: To ensure that parents stay connected, the French School offers various communication vehicles including weekly previews and summaries from teachers, a monthly newsletter and email reminders from administration.
Q: How will I know the progress my child has made?
A: Bi-annual meetings to discuss your child’s progress are held in the fall and again in the spring. Parents also receive a Livret Scolaire, a bi-annual evaluation detailing skill acquisition. Additionally, at the end of each month, the Cahier de Vie, a compilation of songs, nursery rhymes and student’s work is sent home for parents to see their child’s progress from month to month.
Q: How can I get involved?
A: We encourage all parents to be involved in our parent association, Cercle de Parents, which organizes social events throughout the year and various other activities. Parents are also invited to volunteer to be Room Parents assisting administration and teachers in coordinating a variety of school celebrations.
Q: Does the French School offer any summer programs?
A: The French School offers summer camp in June and July. Summer camp is a great way for children to continue building on their French skills while enjoying the outdoors.
Q: What if I have more than one child at the French School?
A: The French School family offers a special lunch program to those families with multiple children enrolled. Les Amis de Midi, our lunch enrichment program, is specifically designed for students attending the afternoon session who have siblings in the morning session. It allows parents to drop off the older, afternoon session child for lunch when picking up the younger sibling, saving you a trip. Space is limited.