French Immersion

The application process is now CLOSED for the 2023/24 school year. Please return in February 2024 to apply for the 2024-25 school year.

How do I enroll my elementary-aged child in French Immersion?

Step 1: Application into the French Immersion program is required. Registration takes place in February. Burnaby residents wishing to apply for French Immersion must first complete the Online Preliminary Registration for your child’s catchment school. Please visit our Registration Page for further details.

Step 2: Once registered for your Burnaby English catchment school, an application for Elementary French Immersion can then be completed at the page.

How do I enroll my secondary-aged child in French Immersion?

Burnaby residents attending French Immersion at a Burnaby school in grade 7 are transitioned to their catchment secondary school for grade 8.
Students who have moved to Burnaby after this time can complete this form.

What are the catchment boundaries for French Immersion?

Early Immersion District Map (Elem)

Secondary Immersion District Map

You can locate your catchment school by .

Application Considerations

Applications from new students for available spaces at program locations will be considered in the following order, provided application deadlines and other requirements have been met:

  1. SIBLINGS IN-CATCHMENT: Siblings of continuing students in the district program who are attending the site where the district program is located, and whose residence is within the district’s catchment area for that program.
  2. IN-CATCHMENT: Students whose residence is within the district’s catchment area for that program.
  3. SIBLINGS OUT-OF-CATCHMENT: Siblings of continuing students in the district program who are attending the site where the district program is located, whose residence is outside the district’s catchment area for that program.
  4. LICENSED CHILD CARE: Students who are registered in and attending before and/or after school childcare at a licensed childcare within the district catchment area for that program;
  5. CROSS-DISTRICT: Students whose residence is in Burnaby but outside the district’s catchment area for that program;
  6. OUT-OF-DISTRICT: Students whose residence is outside of the 49ͼ.

Facts About the Burnaby’s French Immersion Program
  • Students can enter the French Immersion program in kindergarten (Early Immersion) or grade 6 (Late Immersion)
  • All French Immersion schools in Burnaby are dual track schools which offer both a French Immersion and an English program.

Agreement with France creates opportunities for students in Burnaby Schools: Learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if French Immersion is right for my child?

While most children adapt and do well in the Immersion program, remember that each child is unique. Ultimately, parents must make their decision based on what they feel is in their child’s best interest. We encourage students and families who accept a space in French Immersion to commit to at least one year.

Is it necessary for my child to know some French before enrolling?

No. Students are not required to have any background in French prior to entering either the Early or Late French Immersion program.

How quickly do children learn to speak French? 

​Comprehension of spoken French develops first. The ability to speak develops more slowly.  In the Early French Immersion program, students start to communicate spontaneously in French by Grade 1. In Late French Immersion, students are expected to speak with some fluency by the end of the first year of the program (Grade 6).​

What if we do not speak French at home?

The program is designed for non-French speaking families. All formal communication to parents, including report cards, is provided in English.

There are still many ways to support your child in French Immersion. Here’s how:

  • Demonstrate an ongoing interest, participation, and commitment to your child’s education. This provides a child with the necessary guidance and support.
  • Concentrate on enriching your child’s first language. Read aloud and talk with your child daily in your home language.
  • Contact the local chapter of Canadian Parents for French (CPF) for ideas on how to seek out ways of reinforcing your child’s learning of French outside of school at 604-524-0134 or visit

What if English is not our first language? 

​Research indicates that English Language Learners who come to French Immersion having already developed literacy in their home language perform as well as their Anglophone peers.

Will my child learn the same things as students in English classes?

Yes. The curriculum must follow the guidelines of the British Columbia Ministry of Education. Students work toward the same academic goals regardless of the language of instruction. The BC curriculum framework is available in both English and French at .

What percentage of classroom instruction is actually in French?

As students progress through the French Immersion Program and develop a strong command of the French language, the percentage of instruction decreases.  This allows for formal instruction of English Language Arts and flexibility in course selection at the secondary level, while ensuring the maintenance of a high level of proficiency in French.

Early French Immersion

  • From Kindergarten to Grade 3: 100% of instruction is in French
  • In Grades 4-7: approximately 80% of instruction is in French.
  • In Grades 8-10: 50% of instruction is in French.
  • In Grade 11: 25%
  • In Grade 12: 15-25% of instruction is in French.

​Late French Immersion

  • In Grade 6: 100% of instructional time is in French. English Language Arts are not taught in the first year of late immersion.
  • In Grade 7: 80% of instructional time is in French. English Language Arts are taught in the second year of late immersion.

What will happen to my child's English language skills if instruction is only in French during the first three years of school?

Research has shown that there is no negative impact on students’ English language skills. In fact, most studies have shown that learning an additional language enhances the development of other language skills.

Will my child's level of achievement be adversely affected if instruction is in the French language?

Most students who receive their education in French are able to achieve the same levels of competency in all core subjects as those students who have had all their instruction in English.

What happens if my child has learning difficulties in French Immersion?

A student may experience difficulty learning at school, and in French Immersion, for any number of reasons. Initially, the classroom teacher provides additional assistance for students. If this does not address the challenge, a consultation is arranged with the school and family. From there, based on the individual situation, supports will be provided.

What benefits are there to learning French?

French immersion provides an opportunity for children whose first language is not French to learn a second language. Other benefits include:

  • Learning another language in elementary school makes it easier to learn additional languages in the future.
  • Students graduating from a French Immersion program receive a bilingual designation on their secondary school diploma, which can enhance their employment and post-secondary learning opportunities.
  • French Immersion students follow the regular English curriculum in structure and content, receiving instruction in French.