Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yeah, early French immersion is really paying off

Both girls are in the early French immersion (EFI) program at our local public school. Ottawa is a bilingual city in a bilingual part of the province, and I want my daughters to learn French now, while they're young and their brains are absorbent, rather than trying to learn it like I am right now, when I'm old and my brain is solid and cobwebby.

Both girls are doing well in the program, which starts in Senior Kindergarten. Rachel (now in Grade 1) struggled at first, but made a breakthrough back in October, going from having some trouble understanding instructions given in French, and being hesitant to speak French in class, to embracing the language at school and even speaking it at home sometimes. Like this morning.

Rachel was sitting at the table, watching me make breakfast. I had my back to her, taking raisin toast out of the toaster oven, when she said:

"Tu as une grande fesse, Maman!"

The grammar is a little off, but what she said, in essence, was:

You have a big butt, Mum!

Yep, there's nothing like learning a second language for expanding one's cultural horizons. Or insulting one's mother in a very cosmopolitan fashion.


  1. I was also able to insult people in both official languages at an early age. It's such a gift!

    The two older gremlins are in the English program due to their hearing loss, but we plan on putting Spawnling in immersion. I can't wait for the insults to fly! I'll be so proud *sigh*

  2. You might want to step up your own lessons so that you can insult back.

  3. Brilliant, you gotta love kids!

  4. Out of the mouths of babes ...

    That was good :-)

  5. How do you say, "welcome to your future, kid" in French?

  6. LMAO... I guess "Maman tu es très belle aujourd'hui" is too much to ask for eh?

  7. LOL! thats funny.

    have them watch french tv shows.. you can get most shows in french now on one of the channels. i catch Emma watching suite life and hannah montana in french often.

    my parents would throw french tv on for me and youd be surprised at what they can pick up just hearing it.

  8. Ah yes. The bum comparison. Try pushing her vocabulary to see if she can do a comparison ... We worked through that module last week. >:D

    (I brought it home with a twist "Je t'aime plus que les canards aiment le broccoli." It got around the issue of mean comparisons.)

  9. i love it when they learn how to say "seal" (the animal) and lice in French - always good for a laugh.

  10. Just yesterday I got a brochure about French Immersion (I'm from York Region, just north of Toronto) since my little guy is in SK and it starts in Grade 1. Other people have tried to convince me to put him in, but I've been hesitating because me and the hubby don't speak french.

    Think about how UNFUN it would be when your child says something hilarious like that.. and sigh - you smile and nod like you understand?


  11. Anonymous12:03 AM

    I need advice. I have two boys who will be starting JK and SK this Sep 2010. I'd like to put them in French Montessori kindergarten prior to GR 1. Or should I put them in a reg English kindergarten so they can learn writing and reading in English prior to starting French Immersion in Gr1.