How is the French Immersion program at Maryvale?

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Carolyn Englar, I work at Noodle

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I often tell people that sending me to a French immersion school was one of the best decisions my parents ever made. My seven years at Maryvale ultimately shaped the remaining course of my life, as I lived on and off in France several times throughout my adult life, and even ended up getting a Master's Degree in Paris. Having the ability to communicate with others in a foreign language is an amazing experience, that I wish everyone could enjoy.

I have nothing but fond memories from Maryvale. The teachers were all well trained, and really encouraged my love of learning and the French language. I still remain close friends with several classmates from Maryvale today.

Not only did we learn fluent french, but I believe I was still well trained in all other major academic subjects as well. Everything is taught solely in French (starting in first grade) except for music, art and PE. But we still got a solid background in math, science and social studies. Once you hit fifth grade, you start to take weekly English classes as well, so you can start to learn basic grammar rules and literary analysis.

I cannot recommend this school enough. If you have the opportunity to send your child there, you definitely should!

Kyle Jaster, Maryvale Alum

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It's been a while, but for me it was a fantastic experience. The french immersion program has teacher's that are incredibly well trained, and both the main classroom and assistant teacher's in each class are completely fluent.

It might be helpful to get a quick walkthrough of how the program operates: for the first few weeks of 1st grade students are allowed to speak english, while the teachers only speak french. after that it's ALL FRENCH ALL THE TIME. As you can imagine, October is a rather quiet month for Maryvale's first graders. From there on out, students pick up the language very, very quickly. All subjects (except for music, art and gym, and english in the later grades) are taught in french. This includes math, geography, spelling and science.

The program accepts students by lottery and is free to attend. In the later grades many families host french exchange students, and (at least when I attended) students also got to go on exchange and visit their host families.

Growing up bilingual is incredibly empowering and has many benefits: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110218092529.htm http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-benefits-of-bilingualism.html?_r=0 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_advantages_to_bilingualism

It is also worth noting that the Montgomery County school district also has bilingual programs in:

Spanish: https://www.noodle.com/schools/ktQwD/burnt-mills-elementary and Chinese: https://www.noodle.com/schools/ktHtD/college-gardens-elementary

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