A Message from Mrs Cohen

4 August 2017

It recently came to my attention that not all parents are aware of what our French Immersion program entails and why students should be considering it in Year 7 or Year 8 in 2018.

The French Immersion is a three-year program which currently runs from Year 8 to Year 10. Towards the end of the program, students travel to France where they stay with a French family and attend school for two weeks. They then explore parts of France for a further two weeks with their peers and Glennie teachers. During this time they should be speaking primarily in French.

From 2018 we will be offering the French Immersion Program from Year 7, which means that for a few years it will run across Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. So students who start in Year 8 (2016, 2017, 2018) will finish in Year 10 and those starting in Year 7 (from 2018) will end in Year 9.

Students who take French Immersion do not have to be A students, in fact their attitude is more important than their marks when it comes to being successful in the program. They need to have a passion for learning, a desire to expand their brains and the knowledge that they can achieve if they are committed and prepared to work hard.

The immersion program is not just about learning in another language and about another culture; it is about having a growth mindset, learning invaluable problem solving and higher order thinking skills and laying new and permanent learning pathways in their brains. Research shows brains are malleable, new neural pathways can be forged and developed through consistent use. As a skill (or language) is practised it becomes easier and easier until it is second nature. Like riding a bike, or walking.

Initially, in some cases, results may drop a bit (this is taken into consideration when doing calculations for Academic Awards) but in the long run, the development of learning methods and associated brain growth far outweigh the possible disappointment of a few lower results. Historically, students who have been part of the French Immersion Program have entered Year 11 with highly developed skills in these areas, setting them up for success in the Senior Years.

Mrs Kim Cohen

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