Learning a language takes time and the more time a student is exposed to comprehensible input in the language they are learning, the better they will do.
Does my child need to know some French before he/she can join PEI?
No, the program is open to anyone. In fact, 90% of our students are English speaking. Within 3 weeks, students can express basic needs in French.
Will my child be confused if he/she learns a second language at such a young age or forgets English?
Research has shown that the best time for language acquisition is between the age of 2 and 5. It is actually easier for a child to learn two, even three languages at the same time so that he can associate ideas and objects with the proper vocabulary instead of mastering a language and then translate his existing knowledge into another language. Furthermore, studies have shown that a second language actually increases proficiency in the native language, as it broadens vocabulary. Finally, around age three, vocal chords harden and it then becomes more difficult to reproduce “unusual” sounds to recreate the accent of a native speaker.
Does my child have to be potty-trained to attend PEI?
Unlike many schools, PEI does not require children to be potty trained before starting. In fact, our instructors are very experienced in helping children to develop those skills and you may be surprised at their rapid progress in that area.
I rarely hear my child speaking French at home. How do I know they are learning?
Children make the connection between a speaker and his language. If no one in the family speaks French, your child has already associated you with your native tongue and will always address you in that language. You should, however, hear your child sing in French, see French writing in his school work. We also encourage parents to come to the classroom and observe their child’s work period.
We have no French speakers at home. How can we support our child?
Thanks to progress in technology, you can now choose the language in which your child watches movies on DVD. You can also borrow music tapes and CDs from the school, as well as computer software. Don’t hesitate to organize play-dates with classmates or ask your child to teach you a different French word every day. You might also want to consider joining a French organization such as the “Alliance Française”.