Adaptation Classes

Ecole Jeannine Manuel’s “adaptation” programme is the cornerstone of the School’s international outreach. Every year, we welcome more than one hundred new non-French speaking students from all over the world. Most don’t speak French; some don’t speak English either. We teach them French, and French culture, and English; we help them build the skills they need to adapt to all school systems and excel. But we also learn from them, from their perspectives, their experiences, their histories. It is the daily exchange of living and working together that forges the unique identity of our School.

Over the years, the School has developed a special program to meet the needs of these students, for whom the social and emotional challenges of relocation are often as great as its academic demands. The Parents’ Association plays a critical role in helping the entire family adapt.

Up to and including first grade, children are placed with age peers who are often already bilingual. Invariably, these children are orally fluent in French within a few months. Beginning in second grade and up to 10th grade, new non-French speaking students enroll in “adaptation” classes where they follow a one-year French immersion program. A senior advisor follows them closely and, the following year, they join the mainstream where they continue to be supported with a special French program, including three additional hours of French each week and individual support, as required. For all students, English and Math instruction is organized according to levels of proficiency and need.

Students in adaptation classes follow an enriched French language curriculum and take as many subjects as possible in French so as to reinforce their command of the language through multiple interdisciplinary perspectives. For the same reason, they also share many activities with the other students (physical education, technology, art…). The adaptation program is equally suited for students who will continue their studies in France as it is for those children of families who expect to remain in France for a limited period of time and wish to combine a cultural immersion in French education with the ability to re-enter their own school systems and excel. The adaptation program also welcomes French-speaking students returning from abroad whose written command of the French language is insufficient for immediate integration in our bilingual classes.

Beyond language acquisition, cultural immersion takes place naturally through shared classes and extracurricular activities such as visits, outings and trips organized by the School or by its faculty.

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