The Rainbow District School Board has launched a new website designed to help French immersion students and their caregivers as they wade through French homework assignments.

The website features a pronunciation guide and videos that aim to assist people with their understanding of French. The board says the majority of its immersion students have Anglophone parents.

The website, www.FSLHomeworkToolbox.ca, features audio files in French and English, video clips demonstrating instructional strategies, a reference guide for specific topics, a list of French language learning websites and glossaries, general tips for learning French, tips for completing homework, learning skills and work habits, frequently asked questions, and popular French books and music.

The interactive website, which builds on the popular "Boîte à outils" that was launched by Rainbow District School Board two years ago, features the pronunciation of more than 300 words and expressions in 16 categories – every-day language, expressions, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, transition expressions and prepositions, conjunctions, punctuation and capitalization, emotions, French pronunciation, computer terminology, true cognates, fossilized errors, websites and top picks.

The "look and listen" section of the website features video clips on instructional strategies to support students reading at home, writing at home and doing math at home. Students and parents will also meet FSL mascots Pierre-Oh and Pierrette "qui parlent français". These whimsical characters make learning a second language fun, particularly for children in younger grades.

Helping children be successful in French immersion programs

The web site, which has been under development for the last couple of years, provides resources for Grades one through 12.

Dye said the site’s genesis came from parents who kept asking educators: "I don't speak French, how can I help my child be successful in French immersion?"

Rainbow District School Board chair Tyler Campbell said "educators welcomed the opportunity to share their expertise … bringing learning to life through the dynamic medium of the Internet."

Barb Jeffrey, a Grade 3 French immersion teacher at Alexander school, also has a son is in Grade 8. She said the site is a great tool for non-Francophone parents.

"I was fortunate to be able to help him, but my husband was more challenged in that area."