Myrtle Philip looks at early introduction of second language 

Do you want your children to start learning French earlier than Grade 5?

That will be the gist of a survey to be sent out to parents at Myrtle Philip elementary school before the end of the school year.

The Myrtle Philip Parent Advisory Council is preparing a survey to be approved by school superintendent Linda Rossler before canvassing parents.

The survey will ask if parents are content with the status quo or if they would like to see French as a second language introduced earlier than the Ministry mandated Grade 5. The survey will also ask if parents are interested in immersion.

There is already a Francophone Program run out of Myrtle Philip but it falls under a separate school district and it is only open to children of a Francophone parent.

Some parents would like to see French as a second language introduced for School District 48 from the Kindergarten level, but because of budget and staff restrictions, it may have to come at the cost of some other programs, like art or music. The Myrtle Philip and Francophone PACs are aware early introduction of French may also end up compromising enrolment in the Francophone Program. The Francophone parents will be sent the same survey.

By introducing a second language earlier at Myrtle Philip, the district would not be re-inventing the wheel.

Leslie Henry, French Program Co-ordinator for School District 48, told parents at the May PAC meeting that it has been successfully done in the Saanich school district.

Henry said French can be taught during the times a teacher is out of class for preparation, for example. She said Myrtle Philip could take baby steps by first modifying the current program from Grade 5 to Grade 4. She said any glitches could then be ironed out before taking the introduction of French to even lower grades.

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