19 Things Only “French Immersion” Students Would Understand

Your French is still ne pas great.

For those who don’t know, “French Immersion” is a bilingual program offered to non-native speakers to learn French in different subjects at school.

The idea was conceived in Canada, but it’s since been adopted in other countries like the UK and Australia. “Extended French” and “Enriched French” are also similar programs, of varying degrees, all to get young minds IMMERSED in French.


Cool concept, eh? Well reality was more like:

1. You always had a French-English dictionary on hand and it became your lifeblood.


2. Like, when the teacher was talking, you had to lowkey leaf through it just to prepare somewhat of a coherent response en français.


3. You know who and what this thing is:


(Because that scary little “ananas” has, and will forever, haunt your dreams.)


4. O, and the painfully-’80sTéléfrançais theme song, which you could not NOT sing along to.

Seriously, try: “Téléfrançais! Téléfrançais! Bonjour! Allô! Salut!”

5. Your parents didn’t realize you were much too young to have an interest or appreciation for such a refined language.

6. You only enrolled because you heard there was some big trip to Montreal or Quebec City at the end.

Creative Commons / Flickr: thru_the_night

7. You watched a lot of Degrassi in class — but en français, of course.

A technique used to make French more ~accessible~ to cool Canadian teens.

8. And it didn’t matter if you actually understood the French overdub because you probably already saw that Degrassi episode in English.

9. This:

When you see your french teacher outside of class and you don't know if you should say hi in french or english #frenchimmersionproblems

— brynn irving (@brynnirving)

10. You have read an entire assignment, and not retained anything.

View this embed ›

You have read an entire assignment twice …and not retained anything.

11. Sometimes you think about all the history and geography and science you might have missed in those years.

I'd be actually good at science if i learned it in english #FrenchImmersionProblems

— Jerome (@JeromeManguba)

12. If you took Math in French, you know that shit is CRAZY: commas as decimals LIKE WHAT HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE.

13. You knew that having a dictionary during tests was really a curse in disguise.

It felt like you were getting away with murder by using it to translate, but you came to learn it actually slows you down tremendously. Like, double-time.

14. When you didn’t know how to say a word, so you just, y’know, Frenchify it.

Lol guess who wrote 'obvi' on her French essay #itsobvi

— Gabrielle Mueller (@gabykmueller)

15. But there are certain words have been forever ingrained.

that awkward moment when you know the word in french but not in english ... #frenchimmersionproblems

— Victoria (@tori4004)

Forever spelling dance as "danse" #frenchimmersionproblems

— kiera watts (@kikiwatts_)

16. If you took Extended French, those words were usually random geographic terminology you would never use in your lifetime.

Creative Commons / Flickr: steven099

17. As “immersive” as your classes were, 89% of your French was actually learned by looking things up in the dictionary, word-for-word.

18. As much as French Immersion is a great approach to bilingualism…

19. Your French, at best, is LOL.

(Or at least a little less LOL when drunk.)

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