TFS: Beyond French Immersion
When does French-language instruction go beyond immersion? When the language is taught as if the learners are native speakers. That’s exactly what happens at TFS — Canada’s International School.
TFS was the pioneer of French immersion in Canada back in 1962, yet has always taught French very differently from the approach adopted by other French immersion programs.
In an effort to understand these differences, in 2013, TFS commissioned a joint study, completed by York University and the University of Ottawa.
The study confirmed that TFS teaches French in a unique manner; it is taught as a first, rather than a second or foreign, language.
Key factors in achieving this are the percentage of instruction in French (100% until Grade 2, then up to 70% through to the highest high school grades), the allencompassing use of French in the broader school environment, including in all areas outside the classroom, and our teachers’ highlevel use of the language in a wide variety of accents and dialects, which helps our students adapt and sharpen their listening skills.
Supporting their conclusions are our students’ results. In Grade 8, most TFS students opt to sit a series of exams, created and marked by France’s Ministry of National Education.
The markers have no idea our students are not native French speakers. Yet year after year, TFS students not only pass these exams, they also typically receive outstanding results.
True bilingualism is a remarkable achievement that allows our graduates to go anywhere and do anything.
For more information visit tfs.ca