Dual language immersion programs are usually started in Kindergarten or the primary grades, but one school district is developing French immersion classes for students who start late.
In Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, the French class will target incoming fifth grade students who wish to learn the language but have missed out on entering in earlier grades. They need 20 students to enroll. Previously, an attempt was made to open a class for fifth graders but due to a lack of interest in budged issues, it was stalled.
Students enroll through the district’s schools of choice program, which French immersion in early grades is part of. Some of the reasons a student may miss out on early enrollment might be that they were waitlisted from another school, or moved to the district late.
Ideal students for the program are those who excel in English language arts and are learners who have motivation. Other countries offering later immersion classes in French, such as Canada, report that fluency is on par with peers who started earlier by ninth grade.