FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the advantages of early language immersion?
The years from early childhood to adolescence offer a child the best opportunity to acquire a second language. The brains of children at this age are uniquely "wired" to master the complex skills of communication, and young children delight in learning and playing with new sounds, words, songs, and forms of expression.
The immersion approach is the best method for teaching a second language to this age group because it allows the child to use his or her new abilities in everyday situations like mealtimes, on the playground, on class field trips, etc. The second language becomes second nature!
Does learning a second language delay a child's mastery of English?
Research has shown that competence in a second language actually improves English language skills. While children in a language immersion program may encounter English skills slightly later than their non-immersion peers, they will go on to develop a stronger foundation of verbal and writing skills and even perform at significantly higher levels on standardized tests than their peers. French provides a good base for simultaneously learning English as so many English words have French roots.
French is language spoken in 45 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America - hundreds of millions of people speak French as a first or second language. Children learn French quickly and easily, and it provides a solid base for simultaneously learning English. Once they have mastered French, children find it particularly easy to acquire other languages such as Spanish and Italian.
Can my child enroll even if I don't speak French?
Yes! Most Portland French School parents are not French speakers. Students can get homework help in English and French, and one-on-one tutoring is available for individual students. Interested parents can enroll in school-affiliated French conversation and language classes.
What accreditation does the school possess ?
The Portland French School is certified by the French Ministry of Education. The State of Oregon does not accredit private schools, but PFS holds State certifications for childcare, renewed yearly. Documentation is available from the State of Oregon Child Care Division, and our certification is posted at the front of the school.
Where do the school's teachers come from?
The Portland French School recruits qualified teachers mainly from France but also from French-speaking countries around the world, and prides itself on its multinational teaching staff and the unique cultural perspectives that the teachers bring to our students.
What do students experience in the classroom?
Classes are structured in accordance with the French educational model, but the structure at PFS has a decidedly American flavor. Our students' days are filled with fun and challenging activities in which the children are encouraged to express themselves verbally, artistically, musically and through athletic skills.
Is childcare and after-school care available?
After-school care is available, and popular. Children can arrive as early as 7:30 a.m. and stay as late as 6:30 p.m. Students participate in art and music activities during the aftercare program, with monitored study hall available for older children.