Schools a la francaise on the increase 0
French immersion continues to be in demand in B.C. as enrollment in such programs rose for the 14th consecutive year.
According to recently released B.C. government stats, more than 2,000 students were enrolled in French immersion programs in the 2011-2012 school year.
French language-focused students now represents 8.1% of the total public school population.
"French immersion enrollment is at a record high," said Glyn Lewis, Canadian Parents for French BC and Yukon executive director. "Parents from Victoria to Fort St. John are recognizing the life-long benefits of official language opportunities within the public school system."
The language-advocacy group on Wednesday pointed to stats showing there are now 46,392 students, a 3.4% year-over-year increase, in public French immersion programs. The majority is in elementary schools, with just more than a quarter in secondary schools.
"The strength and popularity of the program have greatly exceeded many expectations," Lewis said. "With that said, we continue to advocate for areas of improvement including greater inclusion of students."
The number of students enrolled in regular French courses available at public schools, however, experienced a 1.3% year-over-year drop, a 6.9% decline from the 2007-2008 school year.
The language is also nowhere to be found among top-10 languages spoken at home, according to the same stats. With English being the top language spoken, the next six are all from Asia, with Spanish eighth.