1. Attention Grade 3 Parents

From January 4-29, 2021, current grade 3 students, not already enrolled in Early French Immersion, can apply to start Middle French Immersion in September 2021, their Grade 4 year. Information about this NEW program is available in 22 languages here
Middle French Immersion offers 100% French instruction in grades 4 and 5. In grades 6-8, 75% of the instruction is in French with English and Science taught in English. If necessary, for timetabling, specialist subjects, like gym, may be taught in English. In high school, Middle and Early French Immersion students will be in the same immersion program and will do 10 credits in French.
Middle French Immersion is being offered at 40 elementary schools across the TDSB. All on-time applicants are guaranteed a placement in the program but are not guaranteed a specific school. Bussing or TTC tickets are provided for elementary students according to TDSB transportation policy and procedures.  
Apply here.
Virtual information sessions are being held January 14, 21, 27, 2021. Details here.   

Step 1: Apply between Jan 4-29, 2021
Step 2: Check the email you provided on the application regularly, including junk mail folders, for an offer of placement. Carefully note the deadline for responding in the offer of placement email. 
Step 3: Accept the placement by the deadline.
Further French program information is here
Note: the grade 4 entry Extended French program is no longer being offered. During January 2021, current grade 6 students can apply to enter the Extended French program in September 2021, their grade 7 year. Applications are made directly to the Extended French grade 7 school.  Watch for details here.  

2. Mandy Helps with FSL Success

In October, I had the pleasure of presenting at the Parents as Partners virtual conference, along with incoming FSLAC Parent Co-chair Lynne Leblanc and Vice Co-Chair Matt Forrest, on the topic “French—Helping Your Child Succeed.” As always, the best part was the opportunity for parents to share their own success stories and favourite resources.
Top Tips:
  • Read to your kids in your home language to foster a love of reading and to develop skills that help in reading all languages. 
  • The best way to help with French homework is to create a calm, quiet, supportive environment. 
Favourite French Online Videos and Games:
IDÉLLO  is designed for parents who don’t speak French.  
Ici Radio-Canada Jeunesse  
FrancoLab & FrancoLab Junior TV5 Québec  
French Books and Resources Online:
In addition to tips and resources, there are two things I always hope parents take away from the presentation:
  • Embrace the opportunity to learn some French yourself, even though TDSB French programs are designed for families who don’t speak French at home.
  • Not knowing French as a parent makes French learning a great opportunity for your kids to learn independence. 
 - Mandy Moore, FSLAC Ward 7 rep &  Parent Co-chair 2018-2020 

3. Free CPF Membership

Canadian Parents for French (CPF) is offering FREE 1-year memberships for 2020-21 to help make French Second Language resources and information accessible during COVID-19. CPF is a national network of volunteers which promotes and creates French Second Language learning (FSL) opportunities for young people. Whether you are a parent, guardian, grandparent, teacher, student (over 18 years of age) or any other supporter of FSL education, CPF welcomes you.
Individuals can join here. Families can join here.  
Offer ends on March 31, 2021. Current memberships which expire before March 31, 2021 are being extended by one year.

4. Listening Tips

Native speakers of any language often speak at a very fast pace. If you are in a one-on-one French conversation, it is easy to say “Plus lentement,s'il vous plaît” (slower, please). Do you know that you can get Youtube to slow the pace of videos?
If you go into the settings on a Youtube video that your child wants to watch in French, there is an option for “Playback Speed”. A selection of .75 slows the video down making the talking go slower. That can make videos more accessible and less frustrating while listening skills are developing. 

Another way to help develop French listening and comprehension skills is to turn ‘CC’ closed captions on. This feature shows text of what is being said. For example, TFO Youtube  which has channels for all ages and Ici-Radio Canada Zone Jeunesse Youtube offer closed captions on all of their videos. 
For other video streaming, like Netflix, ‘CC’ closed captions may be available. Another possibility is to watch the video in French with French subtitles turned on.
Newsinslowfrench.com  is a subscription based service that offers current events reporting for beginner, intermediate and advanced French learners at accessible speeds. It has a free trial. 

5. Free Bibliothèque des Amériques

The Centre de la francophonie des Amériques offers FREE memberships in their organization and that gives you full access to their virtual French library Bibliothèque des Amériques . It has more than 2000 e-books in French for young people that can be downloaded or read online for 21 days. With their partner Radio-Canada (French CBC), they also provide audio books for young people.
Find the basic information on joining (Devenir Membre) in French, English, Spanish or Portuguese here.  You need to provide an email address. Once you receive your welcome email, you use the link provided to confirm and set up a password. Information in English on how to borrow books is here.
The Centre de la francophonie des Amériques is a project started by the Government of Québec. It is based in Québec City. It brings Francophones and Francophiles (French language learners) together  “to secure a bright future for the French language in today’s culturally diverse landscape”. 

6. Free E-books

Storybooks Canada provides e-books here in French, English and the most widely spoken immigrant and refugee languages in Canada. They have a site dedicated to indigenous stories here. These e-books are available in French, English, Spanish and Indigenous languages. 
This project is being done with help from the University of British Columbia. E-books in Indigenous Storybooks are sourced from Little Cree Books which is based in Edmonton and receives support from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. E-books in Storybooks Canada are sourced from African Storybook which is based in Johannesburg and provides e-books in 217 languages making them accessible to young people across Africa. 

7. Virtual Visiting

Many museums and galleries offer great online experiences and content in French for students and families. These Canadian top picks make it easy to switch between English and French. 
Parent tip: if you don’t speak French and you are helping your child navigate these sites, change the site to English. There is usually a button at the top of each page. Once you find a good activity or video, change back to French for your child. 
Pier 21 Halifax: check out Culture Trunks, Digital Storytelling, Canada: Day 1 Oral History Videos, Francophone “Pull” Factor for Newcomers:  Oral History and Crafts from Around the World. 
Canadian Museum for Human Rights Winnipeg: under Visit, go to Explore from Home. For age specific ideas: under Education, go to COVID-19-Learn at Home.
McCord Museum Montréal: under Programming, go to Activities and then, Museum From Home. 
Science North Sudbury: under Learn, go to Science at Home. This is organized for teachers by grade level. For example, young children can watch a video on seeds or one that shows how to build a birdhouse out of a milk carton. Older children can watch videos on how to use Stellarium Web or how to make a hydrometer out of materials at home.
Musée de la civilization Québec City: under Exhibitions, go to Virtual.
Virtual Museum of Canada  Gatineau: Canadian heritage online with virtual collections from over 1600 museums. Check out Virtual Exhibits and Community Stories.
And one international top pick: Petit Louvre is in French. The same site is in English as Louvre Kids.  

8. Age 13+ Summer French

Applications are now open for Explore 2021. This is an immersive French program. It takes place in French-speaking communities across Canada during the summer. There is a 3 week program for students age 13-15 and a longer program for ages 16+. Application fees, tuition, meals and accommodation are funded by the Government of Canada. Participants cover their travel and personal expenses. Details here.

9. Age 16-17 French Summer Job Exchange

Applications are now open for the YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange Program. Students age 16-17 spend 6 weeks living and working in French, their 2nd official language, in another community in Canada. Usually, their family hosts a student of the same age during the same time period who is learning English. Job placements vary and can be at camps or cultural centres. Students receive the provincial minimum wage and travel is provided for free from Via Rail and the Government of Canada. Details here

10. Meet Lynne FSLAC Parent Co-chair

As a proud parent of two elementary French Immersion students, as well as the Ward 8 representative for almost two years, I have had the opportunity to work first-hand with an incredible group of dedicated parents, volunteers and staff at FSLAC.
My passion for bilingualism can be traced back to growing up in the only officially bilingual province in Canada – New Brunswick.  I have experienced first-hand the strength that bilingualism offers for international opportunities – most recently working on a French language collection project with a company from France, and previously working with clients from all over the world in developing new products for their local food markets.  Not to mention developing an appreciation for a wide range of cultural experiences. 
Outside the office, I’m committed to education and have volunteered with our elementary school and its devoted staff to develop French opportunities for field trips, in class seminars and school wide initiatives.  As FSLAC parent co-chair, my focus will be in working to make sure that all French programs at the TDSB are accessible, inclusive and excellent!
 - Lynne Leblanc, FSLAC Parent Co-chair 2020-21

11. Share this Newsletter

Help us share TDSB French news and parent tips with parents/guardians and school councils by forwarding this newsletter. To join our email distribution list, use the sign up link at the bottom of this email, this link here or click on the organge sign up button on our TDSB FSLAC webpage. It just takes a minute to get connected and start receiving this once/term newsletter and occasional breaking news.

12. Join Us!

The FSLAC is seeking new parent/guardian members and alternates. Interested? Email us at  fslactoronto@gmail.com.
Key information about the FSLAC is here.
Join us on Zoom on Tuesday, January 12, 2020 at 7 pm. The link and the agenda will be posted here
Subscribe to our email list.