Where can I find an in-school language program for my child? 

Parents who want their children to learn a second language can choose a language program offered by or in partnership with Calgary schools. These programs teach most, if not all, classes  in the second language (German, Chinese, Spanish, French, Tagalog, or Arabic). However, the educational standard is the same as a regular English program. Remember to check out this page at the Calgary Board of Education site for more details.

Where can I find a language program for my child?

Chinese/Mandarin Bilingual (K-9)

The Chinese/Mandarin Bilingual program allows students to develop basic speaking, reading, writing listening, and communicating skills in Mandarin Chinese at an early age. Students with previous Mandarin experience may start this program at levels other than Kindergarten or Grade 1. 4 schools in Calgary offer this program.

The language program is as follows:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 6: Students learn both English Language Arts and Chinese Language Arts (including simplified Chinese script and Han Yu Pin Yin pronunciation). Instructors teach all other subjects 50% in English and 50% in Mandarin.
  • Grades 7-9: Students learn in Mandarin for Chinese Language Arts and Mathematics. The school teaches all other subjects in English.
Filipino Language and Culture Education

The Philippine Cultural Centre Foundation, together with Alberta Education, the Calgary Catholic School Board, the Edmonton Catholic School Board, and the Filipino Canadian Saranay Association of Edmonton, offer a 3-year program that exposes students to Filipino language and culture. Schools offer this course in addition to, not instead of, regular K-12 education. The Philippine Cultural Centre holds classes every Sunday, from 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm. Students may be able to put credits from the course toward their high school credits.

Early French Immersion (K-12)

Students will develop their French speaking, listening, reading, and writing from Kindergarten to Grade 12. As French is one of Canada’s two official languages, knowing French and English is a good way to gain eligibility for all Government of Canada jobs. 22 schools in Calgary offer Early French Immersion.

The language program is as follows:

  • Kindergarten – Grade 2: All subjects taught in French
  • Grade 3: 80% French, 20% English
  • Grades 4-6: 70% French, 30% English
  • Grades 7-9: French Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies; all other subjects in English
  • Grades 10-12: French Language, Mathematics, and Social Studies; all other subjects in English
Late French Immersion (7-12)

Students who did not begin French immersion in Kindergarten can still begin a French program of study in Grade 7. In this program, students will become intermediate to advanced French speakers by the end of Grade 12. 10 schools in Calgary offer Late French Immersion.

The language program is as follows:

  • Grades 7-9: French Language Arts, Matheatics, Science, and Social Studies; all other subjects in English
  • Grades 10-12: French Language Arts, Social Studies, and Mathematics; all other subjects in English
Intensive French

Intensive French is an alternative to the immersion programs. In this program, no single subject is taught exclusively in French to students. Instead, teachers encourage students to develop a spontaneous use of French language throughout day. Program teachers will use French intensively for 5 months of the school year. After, for the remaining months of the school year, students go back to their regular English school program. 3 schools in Calgary offer this progam.

Arabic Bilingual – Beginning Fall 2018

The Alberta Government recently announced that beginning in Fall 2018, it will be providing an Arabic language program at all schools where 12 or more students want to learn in Arabic. No further information has been provided at this time.

German Bilingual (K-6)

The German Bilingual program helps students acquire basic German speaking, reading, writing, listening and communication skills. Students with previous German experience may start this program at levels other than Kindergarten or Grade 1. One school in Calgary offers this program. Instructors teach students 50% in English and 50% in German.

Spanish Bilingual (K-12)

This program provides students with basic Spanish speaking, reading, writing, listening and communication skills. Students with previous Spanish experience may start this program at levels other than Kindergarten or Grade 1. 13 schools in Calgary offer this program.

The language program is as follows:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 6: Both English Language Arts and Spanish Language Arts are taught; English and Spanish are used together for all remaining courses.
  • Grades 7-12: Spanish Language Arts and Mathematics are taught in Spanish; all other subjects are taught in English.

Title image courtesy of pluslexia.com.

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