Resources for Struggling Immersion Learners

Chapter 8

Key Questions

  • When it comes to communicating with immersion parents . . .

  • How and when does the teacher raise the issue of transferring out
    with a parent?

  • How and when does the teacher encourage a parent to keep their child in the immersion program?

  • What tools can immersion educators give or recommend to parents to help their struggling, learning disabled, and/or language and learning disabled immersion student at home?

Useful Resources

Below are selected online and print resources that pertain to issues discussed in this chapter.

  1. “Yes You Can Help! Inspiration for French immersion parents”
    Canadian Parents for French (CPF)

    Yes, You Can Help! was written by unilingual parents who relied on their joint 30 years of experience with French immersion in three provinces, as well as their active involvement with CPF.  They were assisted by an advisory committee of teachers, administrators, researchers, and education department staff. The book is published by Alberta Education, Canadian Parents for French and is available to order online at:

  2. The Special Needs French Immersion Student
    Government of Alberta, 2008

    Click on the English button to view the website in English. This online resource addresses the question, “Can French Immersion offer an appropriate quality education for a student with special needs?” You will find a set of references for suggested readings on topics for gifted students and students with learning disabilities, specifically children who display the following disabilities:

    •   Hearing problems;
    •   Blind and visually impaired;
    •   Behavioral or emotional disorders; and
    •   Attention difficulties and/or hyperactivity.

  3. Tools to Work With the School
    LD OnLine

    Information about IDEA

    How parents can be advocates for their children by Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities

    Sample letters parents can use to write the school by National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

    (General information for parents of LD and ADHD children)

    LD OnLine recommends that parents work cooperatively with the school system to get the best education for their children and avoid court. These websites provide information on special education laws and advocacy for parents.

  4. Learning Difficulties in French Immersion
    Canadian Parents for French, Alberta Branch

    This resource page, developed by Canadian Parents for French, provides parents with information and resources to support their child(ren) in French immersion programs. Some of the highlights include:
    •   Parental coaching strategies
    •   Literacy development in French immersion
    •   Ways for creating language-rich environments
    •   Parental handbooks developed by Alberta Education

  5. Parenting Perspectives . . . Ideas to Help Your Child Succeed: New Directions in Identifying Learning Disabilities
    Canter, 2002

    This website explains what a learning disability is, how it is identified, and some of the changes that have been made recently in the legislation around the identification of learning disabilities.

  6. Two-way Immersion (TWI) Toolkit
    E. R. Howard, J. Sugarman, M. Perdomo, and T. T. Adger, 2005

    This Toolkit is designed to meet the growing demand from teachers, administrators, and parents for guidance related to the effective implementation of TWI programs. Although the Toolkit is primarily intended to support teachers, administrators, and parents who are new to two-way immersion, those with experience in TWI may also find the Toolkit useful. The Toolkit is composed of three segments: program design and planning, classroom instruction, and parental involvement. The pages that specifically address parent involvement are 167-214.

  7. Possible Factors Influencing Student Performance in French Immersion Vancouver School Board, reprinted with permission in The ACIE Newsletter, May 2004

    This document arose out of district-wide concerns for students who experienced difficulties in French immersion. This profile was therefore developed to facilitate discussion among the classroom teacher(s), learning assistance teacher(s), and other school-based team members. The profile could also be used when working with parents during educational planning for their children.

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