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Intensive French A Brief Introduction. Netten & Germain– October 2006. Netten & Germain– October 2008. Entry level: Grade 6. September to January Intensive French semester (Math taught in English) February to June compacted curriculum - instruction in English.

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Intensive french a brief introduction l.jpg
Intensive FrenchA Brief Introduction

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Entry level: Grade 6

September to January

  • Intensive French semester

    (Math taught in English)

    February to June

  • compacted curriculum - instruction in English

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French instruction - Gr. 6 & 7

Gr. 6

Gr. 7

Intensive French

Compacted curriculum

Lang Arts, Socials, Science, CAPP, Math


1 hour/day French

Regular curriculum (slight reduction in Language Arts)

1 hour/day French

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Increased time & intensity

Core French in Grades. 6 & 7 = 112 hrs.

90 min./week+ or 56 hrs/yr

Intensive French in Grs. 6 & 7 = 600 hrs.

Gr. 6: 1050 min/wk (Sept-Jan)

+ 300 min./wk (Feb-June)

Gr. 7: 300 min./wk

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Research Support

Program highly successful in these provinces & territories:

Newfoundland/Labrador Manitoba B.C.

Nova Scotia Saskatchewan Yukon

New Brunswick Alberta

Research conducted:

Memorial University of Newfoundland

The University of New Brunswick

L’Université du Québec à Montréal

Heritage Canada & Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers

Surrey, British Columbia

Data considered from 4 classes (1997) to 400 classes (2007-8)

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Studies have indicated that students who are exposed to a period of intensive 2nd language study show greater progress than students exposed to the same number of hours of instruction spread out over a longer time period (Lightbown and Spada, 1989).

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INCREASED competence in French period of intensive 2nd language study

  • Speaking

    • most developed spontaneous communication skills equal to that of grade 10 Core French students, i.e, able to initiate a conversation and communicate in French with some degree of spontaneity

  • Writing

    • most developed written skills equivalent to grade 3 francophone students

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    Curricular effects of IF period of intensive 2nd language study

    • development of French literacy skills

    • enhancement of English literacy skills

    • no negative effect on other subjects

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    Feb.-June - Compacted Curriculum period of intensive 2nd language study

    • Social Studies, Language Arts, Science are compacted (locally-developed units for SS & Science)

    • many learning outcomes already met during the Intensive French portion

    • integration among subject areas occurs, e.g., Social Studies & Language Arts

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    Personal Development period of intensive 2nd language study

    Social Studies


    Solving problems Testing hypotheses Analyzing

    Generalizing Sequencing

    General Knowledge and skills

    General knowledge and skills

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    Examples of Integrated Outcomes period of intensive 2nd language study (Cross-curricular PLOs treated during IF semester)

    • contribute thoughts, ideas and experiences to discussions, and ask questions to clarify their ideas and those of their peers (Lang. Arts)

    • engage in, respond to and evaluate oral presentations (Lang. Arts)

    • use a range of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, proofreading and presentation strategies (Lang. Arts)

    • interpret graphs, tables, photos and various types of maps (Social St.)

    • apply solutions to a technical problem (Science)

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    What will students be able to do in French by the end of Grade 6?

    • carry on general conversation on specific topics

    • write with reasonable degree of accuracy (e.g., write or reply to a letter from a friend, write messages)

    • ask relatively simple questions

    • read a short, simple novel in French, grasping the general idea

    • read simple articles in a newspaper or magazine (age appropriate)

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    After Grade 6? Grade 6?

    • Grade 7

      • continue with up to 5 hours of French instruction per week

  • Secondary school

    • various models depending on the number of students

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    How is IF different from Immersion? Grade 6?

    • Immersion

      • students learn subjects with French as the language of instruction

      • exposure to French for most of the day

    • Intensive French

      • focus is on learning the French language via themes relevant to the students’ lives

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    How is IF different from Grade 6?Core French?

    Core French

    • students learn French as a subject twice per week (40”)

      Intensive French

    • increased time and intensity

    • French as language of classroom communication

    • development of procedural knowledge

      (language structures are used and reused in authentic situations so that language use becomes automatic)

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    What children said about IF Grade 6?

    “Intensive French is a way that we can become bilingual faster and it won’t seem like work.”

    “ At first I was scared to start Intensive French. After just two weeks I saw that it was Ok to make mistakes and that people could still understand me. Now I like speaking French in front of people.”

    “This course is fun. Sometimes I forget that I am really learning. I wish they could make the other courses Intensive too!”

    “In the Intensive French Course we have a chance to speak to a lot of different visitors to our class. I talked to them in French and they understood me. That made me more confident to use my French and get more practice. Doing Intensive French made me want to do even more French.”