French Immersion students, parents, faculty and staff, were honored at a reception today to celebrate the Programme de la Francophonie, which is placing advanced French Immersion students to do service hours in French this school year.
Students in the Lafayette Parish School System’s French Immersion program are working with CODOFIL – which provides the teachers for the program – as well as Le Centre International, Lafayette Travel and other partners to provide the opportunities to the students.
The Lafayette City-Parish Government’s “CREATE” program helped connect the dots among local businesses who wanted to be more “French-friendly” but didn’t have anyone to help them, and the French immersion students, a spokeswoman said.
CODOFIL – the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, is based in Lafayette and is celebrating its 50th year of existence. CODOFIL for many years has maintained a database of French-speaking businesses, which feature “ici on parle Francais” signs on their front doors.
The Lafayette Parish French Immersion program is one of the oldest in Louisiana and is offered and several Lafayette schools. Children begin in pre-K or Kindergarten, and all of their subjects, except for English, are taught in French. They can continue the program through graduation. Studies show that children who learn more than one language perform better on tests and in school than those raised on only one language.
The 2000 census indicates that nearly 200,000 people in Louisiana indicated they spoke French at home.