Be involved in your Child Education even if you don't Speak French

How can I provide support for my child attending a French language school?

In order to ensure the academic success of all students within the French-language school system, a consistent effort is made to implement welcoming and supportive measures. These measures are designed to assist families in overcoming a variety of challenges, including academic, linguistic, and cultural barriers. Specifically addressing language barriers, the Parents... On Board! project was launched in collaboration between the Conseil scolaire Viamonde and the Parents partenaires en éducation organization. The primary objective of the project is to address the needs and challenges faced by parents and guardians who are not fluent in French, and whose children are enrolled in Conseil scolaire Viamonde schools. Through this initiative, comprehensive support tools are offered to empower these parents and guardians to take a more active role in their children's education.

1. Parental involvement and academic success

Parental engagement plays an essential role in fostering students' academic achievements. When parents actively participate in their children's educational journey, they have a positive influence over their children's academic, social, and emotional progress.

1.1 A parent's essential role in a student's academic success

As a parent, your role is important in shaping your child's academic achievements, and this importance can be attributed to several factors. You are the person responsible for imparting knowledge, values, and standards, laying the foundation for your child's educational journey. Additionally, you create an enriching environment that nurtures your child's learning and academic success from the very beginning. Your role extends to fostering a supportive atmosphere where your child thrives academically, socially, and emotionally. Through these various elements, you help your child develop a love of learning and a motivation to succeed at school. Parental involvement is therefore an important factor in academic success. When parents actively participate in their children's education, they convey a message of support. This can significantly boost children's self-assurance and enthusiasm for learning.

1.2 Communication with school staff

Note: At the Conseil scolaire Viamonde, all written communications and school or board presentations are in French only. Maintaining effective communication with your child's school staff allows you to work together to ensure your child's academic success. By staying in touch with the school, you are able to stay well-informed about your child's progress and needs, share your concerns and questions with school staff, and collaborate with them to develop an individualized learning plan for your child. This open line of communication will motivate your active participation in school activities and help build a stronger school community.

All documents sent to parents are in PDF or Word format, to give you the option of using translation software or applications. It is important to be mindful that certain staff members have limited proficiency in English. Thus, maintaining flexibility is important when interacting with them. Since communication is essential, the Conseil scolaire Viamonde Schools employs many channels of communication for families (e-mail, social networks, telephone,
in-person meetings). You are encouraged to communicate regularly with school staff to discuss your concerns or ask questions.

1.3 Monitoring student progress and well-being

Monitoring students' progress is a collaborative task between school and parents. As a parent, you have the opportunity not only to solicit information from your child's school, particularly pertaining to their progress and potential areas for improvement, but also to leverage this information to facilitate communication with your child. This, in turn, empowers you to provide more targeted guidance and support. Consistently overseeing your child's academic progress allows you to promptly identify any challenges that may arise. By collaborating with the school staff, you can address these difficulties in their early stages and work towards finding effective solutions. Regarding your child's well-being, your role as a positive role model who demonstrates effective emotional management, provides support, and offers encouragement is important in developing their healthy emotional skills. Moreover, your efforts can help cultivate a positive learning atmosphere at home. This includes establishing a dedicated workspace, implementing consistent routines, and ensuring the availability of books, toys, and other educational activities.

2. Volunteering and school involvement 

Note: The Conseil scolaire Viamonde has established a volunteering policy, accessible on its website at the following address.

2.1 Benefits of volunteering at your child's school

As a parent whose first language is not French, we encourage you to make the most of the volunteer opportunities available at your child's school. Engaging in such opportunities offers numerous benefits: it can instill a sense of purpose within your school community, provide satisfaction, and foster connections within the community. Moreover, a volunteering experience gives you a chance to actively participate in your child's educational journey. Additionally, it provides you with an opportunity to connect with fellow parents, interact with diverse members of the educational community, and enhance your proficiency in French. Volunteer opportunities range from helping out in the classroom to participating in school and extracurricular activities. These opportunities may vary from one school to another. We recommend that you reach out to your school principal for more detailed information.

2.2 Opportunities for involvement in extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities are described as organized activities that occur beyond regular school hours. They include a wide array of domains including sports, arts, music, community service, and science. These activities serve as a valuable avenue for children to develop their abilities and grow. As a parent, actively engaging in these activities and encouraging your child's involvement in them has several benefits :

  • Volunteer experience : Organizing extracurricular activities often relies on the participation of volunteers. You can contribute by coaching sports teams, run clubs or organizing events.
  • Involvement in a committee : Many schools have committees dedicated to organizing and managing extracurricular activities. By becoming part of a committee, you can assist in making decisions, planning events or raising funds.
  • Support through your presence : Your presence at extracurricular activities holds significant value for your children. It shows that you're interested in what they're doing and that you support them.
  • Enhanced Parent-Child bonds: Active parental engagement in extracurricular activities fosters stronger connections between parents and their children
  • Improved academic performance. Research indicates that children whose parents are involved in their extracurricular activities tend to perform better at school (refer to the references provided at the end of this document).
  • Personal development and well-being: Extracurricular activities enable children to develop various skills, create new connections and experience personal growth.

If you're interested in registering your child and taking an active role in French-language extracurricular activities, feel free to inquire for further details from your child's school or directly reach out to your local community center.

2.3. Participation in school meetings and events

During the school year, the school organizes parent meetings to discuss various subjects concerning the development of the educational community. These meetings are great opportunities to learn more about school board regulations, school operations or the school system in general. Participating in parent meetings also gives you the opportunity to get involved in school life, for example, by helping to organize events, by participating in fundraising activities or sitting on committees. Finally, participating in these meetings gives you the opportunity to build a social network.

Note: All school presentations during these meetings will be exclusively done in French.

3. Fostering a French-language environment at home

By fostering a French-language environment at home, you actively contribute to enhancing your child's language proficiency, thereby facilitating their academic achievements. By creating and maintaining a French-language environment at home, you offer your child a better chance of succeeding in French-language school, becoming truly
bilingual, developing self-confidence and self-esteem, and embracing French-speaking cultures. Consider the following suggestions to foster a French-language environment at home:

  • Engage in frequent conversations with your children in French. Even if you're not fluent in French, try to prioritize the language of their schooling.
  • Read French books to your children. Books are a great way to introduce new vocabulary and expressions.
  • Watch French movies and TV shows with them - it's a fun way to learn French.
  • Play games in French with your children.
  • For younger children, sing songs or recite nursery rhymes in French.

Note: For parents whose first language is not French, the Conseil scolaire Viamonde has set up a platform with a wide range of categorized resources, which can be accessed via the following link.

Importance of daily exposure to French

Regular, consistent exposure to French is essential for language acquisition. The more your child engages in communication, utilizes resources and interacts in French, the better their assimilation will be. Remember, you don't need to be fluent in French to expose your child to the language. There are many resources available on our website
that can be used.

Furthermore, active participation in French-language community initiatives is important, as it helps develop a Francophone culture and strengthen your child's sense of belonging.

Incorporating daily French exposure into your child's routine serves as a highly effective technique for fostering language acquisition and nurturing their Francophone identity. Through conversing with them in French, exploring French resources, and engaging in activities in French, you're giving them the tools they need to succeed in school and in

4. Resources for developing language skills

4.1 French classes

The Conseil scolaire Viamonde offers an array of French language classes tailored for parents whose primary language is not French. These classes are designed to enhance their proficiency, thereby empowering them to provide more effective support to their children's educational journey. There are many advantages to taking these French classes. First of all, you'll be able to better communicate with your child. Proficiency in French enables a deeper comprehension of your child's needs and aids their learning process. Moreover, parents who are fluent in French can engage more actively in their children's school life. They can attend parent-teacher meetings and school presentations independently, have an active participation in school activities (committees, presentations, etc.) and better assist children with their homework. Finally, participating in French classes can significantly help your integration within the Francophone community. Proficiency in French facilitates active engagement within the community and fosters connections with fellow French-speaking parents. This interaction can prove to be an enriching experience, benefiting both parents and their children. We encourage you to consider enrolling in French classes provided by the Conseil scolaire Viamonde. Please reach out to your child's school or navigate to the "Parents" section on our website. When registration opens, you'll find the link to register within that section.

4.2. Other resources

In addition to the language-learning support offered by the Conseil scolaire Viamonde through its French classes, material and human resources are dedicated to support you in your role as parent. A dedicated section on our website is now exclusively devoted to resources to support parents. These resources are available here. Also, schools regularly share information about activities and cultural events occurring within the Francophone community. These include francophone festivals and celebrations, artistic performances, sports events and
recreational activities, book clubs, film screenings and numerous family-friendly activities. You can refer to these resources to encourage your family to participate in French activities within your community!


Parental involvement in a French-language school system can be a challenge for parents whose primary language isn't French. However, it's important to remember that there are many avenues for parental involvement, even if you are not fluent in French. When parents are dedicated, their children experience a range of positive outcomes. They are:

  • more likely to pass their exams
  • more motivated to learn
  • more likely to have good self-esteem
  • more involved in their school community.