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Francophone Education

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Yes, it works!
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Does the FrancoZone approach really work? Absolutely! But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s the story of an anglophone-francophone couple who raised two boys in Western Canada to become fluently bilingual:

“Beginning to learn another language is comparable to starting an exercise program. Baby steps.

“My wife is francophone and I am anglophone. Upon the arrival of our first son, we were confronted with decisions on what language would be spoken in the home? Which school he would eventually attend. Whether culture was important. I was a little overwhelmed by it all as I had never had to reflect on such profound aspects of both my life and those of my family.”

(That’s a comment I hear often. Life can become, how can I put it… richly complicated for mixed couples, especially when they start a family. But back to the story.)

“The decision to endorse and encourage French in and out of the home was easy. My only fear was how I would fit in as an anglophone. As our two sons grew and matured in their mother tongue I learnt French along side of them.

“I found at times trying to speak French throughout the entire household way too difficult at first. So we set up a ‘French zone’. One room in our house with a TV, video, radio, toys, tables, chairs, small sofa, etc. Most things were labelled in French and all videos were in French and the radio was tuned into our local French radio station.”

(They could use an entire room because they lived in a big old house in the country. Getting that kind of real estate in a city would easily have cost twice as much. Fortunately, the FrancoZone approach can be adapted to any situation!)

“When I entered the room I was frequently reminded I was ‘in the zone’. Having this zone alleviated a lot of pressure from me and encouraged everyone to learn French. As the boys grew older the zone also grew and by the time they graduated I was functionally bilingual. It was wonderful.

“Like runners get into their ‘runner’s high’ or their ‘zone’ I would encourage couples of interlinguistic marriages to also get into their ‘French zone’. We did and we never regretted it.”

Not only did this couple successfully raise two fluently bilingual sons in Western Canada, but the father also learned French. If you’d like to find yourself in a similar situation one day, now is the time to bring FrancoZones into your family life!

 

 
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