Vancouver, BC – According to a report released today, more students in British Columbia are participating in French immersion than ever before.
The report showed that province-wide, French immersion enrollment has been increasing for 20 consecutive years. Enrollment in SD 33 has also hit yet another record this year.
As a result of the booming popularity of this well-established program, districts around the province are scrambling to find enough qualified teachers and teaching assistants.
*As of the 2017-2018 school year, 53,487 students were enrolled in French immersion across BC, or 9.5% of the entire student body.
*As of the 2017-2018 school year, 628 students in SD 33 – Chilliwack were registered in the program, or 4.6% of the entire student body.
“French immersion is a well established and highly regarded program,” said Diane Tijman, president of Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon.
“Designed to help students become functionally bilingual by the time they graduate, the program’s effects are very real, empowering young people and opening doors in so many different ways.”
Since the first class opened in St. Lambert, Quebec in 1965, over one million Canadians have benefited from the program.
According to Stats Canada, Canadians who speak both French and English earn, on average, 10% more, and have a lower unemployment rate, compared to Canadians who only speak one of our two Official Languages.
As well, there are cognitive developmental benefits of learning an additional language, such as: stronger listening skills, improved focus and concentration, increased ability to understand complex problems and higher tolerance, insight and understanding of other cultures.