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French still more popular than Mandarin in Vancouver, Canada

January 18, 2012

Class Notes


January means one thing for parents of children starting kindergarten in September-deciding what school to enrol their child in. The deadline is Jan. 31 to be given first consideration over those who apply later. Neighbourhood schools remain popular, but many families opt for specialty programs that can be tough to get into such as French immersion, Montessori, Mandarin immersion or Fine Arts.

French immersion programs are particularly sought after, according to the Vancouver school district. Parents apply to their neighbourhood French immersion school and if it’s oversubscribed a lottery is held. Those who don’t win seats are placed on a waitlist for a district draw for remaining seats in the system.

The waitlist for all French immersion programs totaled 342 last year, which dropped to 169 for the district draw likely because families registered in other programs after not qualifying for their local one.


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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 18, 2012 12:31 pm

    This is not surprising giving Canadian’s political and cultural reality. French is the official language. I enroll my daughters in a French school as well, even though I’m also teaching them Mandarin at home. The good news is that Canada has successfully made French education strong without sacrificing English. As a parent, I want my kids to be bilingual, not just English or French, but both. And my dream would be for them to be trilingual! To make Mandarin Immersion work, there are lots of lessons from the Canadian French Immersion model that can be applied. It will take a whole community (parents, teachers, schools and the public) to support it.

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