Many studies indicate that the students learning French as a first language have linguistic, cultural, educational and recognition needs different from those learning French as a second language.
- The French-speaking students learn English as a result of their constant interaction with the environment of the English-speaking majority in which they live. That is why they need the Francophone school to provide and assure the development and the mastery of their mother tongue.
- The Francophone school in a minority environment is one of the rare places where the Francophone way of life and culture can be experienced and encouraged.
- The Francophone school reinforces the sense of group affiliation, the cultural and linguistic integrity of the students in accordance with their family experience.
- The Francophone school is one of the rare symbols confirming the existence of the French-speaking community in a minority situation. It enhances the studentsí group affiliation to the French-speaking community.
- The Francophone school helps the students know and appreciate the English language and Anglophone culture. The students learn English without losing anything of their linguistic and cultural heritage. (additive bilingualism*)
- The English-speaking students learn English as a result of their constant interaction and life experience in an English-speaking majority environment. They consequently need the immersion school to become functional in French.
- The immersion programs bring the students to know and appreciate French language and Francophone cultures. They do not aim at developing or reinforcing the studentsí French identity, but rather give them access to the learning of French language, thus heightening their awareness of the Francophone cultures without them losing anything of their linguistic and cultural heritage. (additive bilingualism)
- The immersion programs show the will of the English-speaking community to participate in an intensive program of French as a second language.
* To learn a second language without taking away from the mother tongue and its culture is a process known as additive bilingualism. To learn a second language to the detriment of the mother tongue and its culture is a process called subtractive bilingualism. (Lambert, Landry)