Watch Advantage for Life, a video describing the advantages of learning a second language produced by the Teaching and Learning Centre at the University of Calgary.
Will I continue with French or will I drop it?
|Heed the expertise of people who were in school before you, whose places you are going to take in life. How many people are sorry to be bilingual? Do people regret not being bilingual? Do bilingual individuals find it easier to learn additional languages?|
|Consider: later in life, when opportunity knocks, you can’t put everything on hold while taking a year or more to study French. Studying French at the high school and postsecondary levels means you’ll be ready. The time is now!|
|Try picturing yourself 15 or 20 years from now. Where would you like to be? What would you like to be doing? Would French be an impediment or an advantage?|
|Make list of jobs where knowledge of French is essential, of jobs where it’s an advantage. Don’t limit yourself to the obvious: think of expanded abilities to communicate with clients, to access information / do research, to learn third languages, and so on.|
|Make a list of personal / leisure opportunities that would enrich your life if you had a good knowledge of French. Again, don’t limit yourself — for example, don’t just think of traveling in countries where French is the first language, but also in countries where French is commonly spoken as a second language (e.g., Germany, Morocco, Viet Nam).|
It’s your choice: it’s your life!
Nine great reasons to stay in French immersion
- It’s important to remember that French immersion programs are designed to extend through grade 12. The skills students learn in the early grades are the building blocks for the development during the secondary years of more sophisticated thinking and communicative skills in French.
- By continuing in French immersion in secondary school, students maintain and extend their French skills. The French immersion program is designed to maximize the time spent using French. In secondary classes, concepts, strategies, literature, technology, and global issues are discussed in depth in the French language.
- Studies have shown that students who learn another language develop keen analytic, restructuring, and divergent thinking skills.
- No matter what field students may enter in the workplace or in postsecondary institutions, the ability to read in another language opens doors to a wealth of valuable resources.
- As the job market and the workplace change due to the global economic situation, it has become extremely important to have a thorough knowledge of at least one other language.
- Students who continue in French immersion to grade 12 have strong French skills, particularly in the oral language, allowing them to compete for jobs. Students who withdraw from the program after elementary school may not have a sufficient level of proficiency.
- We live in an officially bilingual country. Having proficiency in both official languages is obviously an asset which opens doors and increases mobility.
- Completing something you start is an important concept in life. Students who complete their studies in French immersion are extremely proud of their accomplishment — the ability to complete an educational goal tends to stay with one into future endeavors.
- Recent studies have shown that using two languages throughout one’s life reduces the effects of aging on some brain functions and even delays the onset of symptoms of dementia.
Consider the advantages!
Bilingualism offsets effects of aging – Evidence from research studies indicates that lifelong use of two languages can delay the onset of dementia …more
A second language does help with careers – A poll conducted by Harris/Decima for Berlitz Canada shows that bilingual and multilingual Canadians enjoy a greater range of career options, build stronger relationships with colleagues and clients, and benefit from accelerated promotions and salary increases compared to the unilingual counterparts.
Did you know that a 30-level (grade 12) language course may be used to meet high school diploma and university entrance requirements?
Did you know that a growing number of university faculties have a language course requirement in order to complete a program or degree? For example:
- Bachelor of Arts, University of Alberta
- Bachelor of Management in International Management, University of Lethbridge
- Bachelor of Arts, University of British Columbia
click here for information on continuing to study French at the postsecondary level, including scholarships and bursaries
JOB AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
There is an ongoing need for French-second-language teachers in Canadian schools, but consider also the many other fields in which a strong knowledge of a second language can be a real asset, such as:
click here for more about careers for individuals with second language skills
click here for information on work experience opportunities
For more information:
I’m Learning French Because… – a series of handouts to download and share with others
But Mom…!!!! by Fred Kreiner, Director of the Practicum Office, Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta