School plays an important part in students' lives. However, it is only part of life; there are limitations to the language experiences school can provide. That's why there is a need to encourage students to use their second language in real-life situations. To help do this, a number of activities are available for students in all school districts. For details on the programs mentioned below and others, please consult with your local school Office of the Superintendent. Please note that, while all programs mentioned are offered in each district, not all students may be able to participate.
The Junior (Grades 9 and 10) Immersion Summer Program
The four-week course is held for a number of grade 9 and 10 students who wish to improve their knowledge of French. It is offered at the University of Moncton and sponsored by the Department of Education. The Department of Education pays the cost of tuition, including room and board.
Apart from classes, students take part in a range of activities, including excursions, sports, stage production and newspaper editing. All these reinforce their acquisition of French. Discipline is strictly enforced and residence life is closely monitored.
My French - mon ami(e)
This letter writing project is sponsored by Dialogue New Brunswick. Each year, more than 4,000 grades 4 to 9 students from two linguistic communities exchange letters and e-mails with each other. Correspondence is exchanged at least twice and a cassette-exchange happens at the end of the school year. The English-speaking students write or record their messages in English and receive replies in French, and vice-versa for the French-speaking students. A limited number of classes can take part in a one-day visit allowing them to meet their twins for a day of linguistic and cultural exchange.
The Summer Language Bursary Program (Grade 11 - Post-secondary)
Sponsored by the Federal Government but administered by the provinces, this program offers a French Immersion course (or English for French-speaking students) for students who will be completing grade 11 or who are enrolled in a post-secondary institution at the time of application. Courses are offered at the accredited institutions across Canada. All high schools receive the information and application forms when these become available, usually in January of each year. The bursary covers the cost of tuition, including room and board. For additional information, consult www.cmec.ca/olp.
The New Brunswick-Québec Students Exchange
Each year, a selected number of grade 10 or 11 students participate in this exchange. Students are paired with students from Québec who share their interests. From September to December, the Québec students live with their New Brunswick families, and from January to April, the New Brunswick students join their families in Québec. Participants for this program go through an intesive screening process which involves the school district, the school principal, the district French Second Language supervisor or co-ordinator and, most importantly, the parents.
The CPF Oratorical Contest
Each year, Canadian Parents for French sponsors a provincial oratorical contest where students practice public speaking. This contest welcomes students of Core French as well as French Immersion. Each district participates and sends its winners in the various categories to the provincial contest. This is an extremely valuable experience for students, as it gives them the opportunity to use their second language in a formal setting.
A number of schools offer other opportunities such as French clubs, French language variety shows and plays, and "semaines françaises". Taking part in such activities helps students get the most out of their second language program.