French-Immersion education in Canada (2007)

Lessons in Learning – May 17, 2007

In Canada, French-English bilingualism carries economic and cultural benefits. As well, studies have shown that bilingualism offers cognitive benefits.

French immersion is one of several French as a Second Language (FSL) program options available in elementary and secondary schools across Canada. Immersion programs vary according to the age of first French instruction, and the intensity of French instruction.

Overall, French immersion appears to be an effective approach to fostering French–English bilingualism among young Anglophone Canadians, the authors of this paper say. Students graduate from immersion programs with strong French-language skills and show above-average achievement in English literacy, and in math and science.

But while French immersion is clearly a successful program, current participation rates indicate that immersion education is not sufficiently widespread to increase substantially the rates of French–English bilingualism among Canadians.

A number of factors must be addressed before substantial expansion in immersion programs is likely to occur. Among the factors the authors cite are a shortage of qualified French-immersion teachers in most provinces; high attrition rates, particularly after Grade 8; and low participation rates among immigrant students.

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APA citation
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL). French-Immersion education in Canada 2007. Web. 29 Jan. 2023 <>
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) (2007). French-Immersion education in Canada. Retrieved January 29, 2023, from
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