New Brunswick

Plenty of questions at Grade 1 French immersion meetings

Close to one hundred people attended a Saint John presentation aimed at assuaging fears some parents have with the new early entry point for French immersion Monday night.

Parents came armed with questions for the government at an information session for Grade 1 French immersion

Parents, armed with questions, attended the Monday night French Immersion information meeting in Saint John. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Close to one hundred people attended a presentation in Saint John, aimed at assuaging fears some parents have with the new early entry point for French immersion, Monday night.

In September the provincial government announced Grade 1 would become the new entry point for French immersion. Previously the entry point was Grade 3.

Many parents had questions about the new program given they now have less than a month to decide whether to register their children for immersion next year.

"We just want to get more information because it's so early in her scholastic endeavours," said Shannon March, father to a five-year-old daughter who may one of the children entered into the program when it starts in 2017.

"So we had a lot of questions going in."

Shannon March, father to a five-year-old girl, says the meeting was "extremely informative" and was helpful in his decision to enrol his child in the program. (Shane Fowler/CBC)
CBC News spoke with more than a dozen parents in attendance at the meeting. All of them said they had a much better understanding of how early immersion would work, and how it would impact children in it.

"I thought the meeting went really well and they answered a lot of our questions right off of the top," said March.

"It was extremely informative."

Parents were also informed about several alternatives to the Grade 1 entry point and shown statistics demonstrating where students from different entry points measured up on French language proficiency tests.

Parents will have until December 20 to enrol their children in the new program for 2017. (Shane Fowler/CBC)
The Gallant government faced criticism when announcing the new entry point because the success of the current entry point can't be accurately judged because the first wave of students who entered French immersion in Grade 3 haven't graduated

The next French immersion education meeting will take place Wednesday evening at Hampton Middle School.


Shane Fowler


Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.