Frequently Asked Questions
How does the French Académie differ from a typical childcare program?
The French Académie is committed to following the French system, which is world-renowned for its complete and rigorous curriculum, and begins at 33 months, giving young learners skills for a lifetime, not just playtime. The curriculum motivates students to become active learners while teaching them social skills, independence, self care and respect for authority. The French Ministry of Education regularly visits and monitors the program; classes are taught by credentialed teachers. This is the foundation of the French educational system, and it prepares our students to achieve success in the primary grades. Children learn the French language exclusively from native speakers.
Is 33 months too soon to start school?
It is important for children to build social skills and their ability to work in a group early. What children learn at home is different from what they learn at school. Moreover, the younger a child begins to learn a language, the easier it is for them to absorb it. Qualified teachers guide children through their learning experiences, fostering positive attitudes for lifelong learning.
Will it be stressful for my children to be in a French program if they do not speak any French?
The school provides a nurturing, friendly and safe environment where children learn the language through play, songs and class activities. All the teachers understand and speak English. The children feel comfortable because they know that whatever language they speak, their teacher will always be there to interpret their needs. Also, there are always children in each class already speaking French who spontaneously serve as impromptu teachers. Immersion is a well-established methodology to learn a new language.
Does the focus on language acquisition prevent children from achieving academic success?
On the contrary, studies show that learning more than one language greatly enhances a student’s overall aptitudes. Our teachers are aware that it takes longer for a child to speak a new language than to comprehend it, and they design activities that are challenging but easily understood.
Children at the FAC learn to read in French. How will they learn to read in English?
Reading is a process in which children learn the connections between letters, sounds, words and sentences. As soon as children understand the process, they are ready to read. In addition to their French instruction at the FAC, children learn to read in English with little effort while living in an English-speaking country.
Will my child be able to transition into the American school system easily?
Yes. One of the reasons Americans find the French Academie so attractive is that the high quality of education follows the highest standards for public education, as well as the independent school system. Our curriculum is combined with Minnesota standards, so students easily transition after graduating from The French Académie.