Thursday, April 10, 2008

167 words on the lasting value of EFI

The value of Early French Immersion cannot be judged solely on the liquid fluency of its graduates. EFI is an introduction to much more than a code of language. It is a valuable early widening of a young mind, an opportunity to broaden a perspective on cultures and to realize how big, different and wonderful the world is. It early demonstrates how perspectives may be viewed through other prisms. Who can say that EFI doesn’t broaden the mind, make it more tolerant, and begin a lasting ability to reflect, weigh and challenge, instead of merely judging? EFI may be the beginning of critical thinking, of learning to challenge assumptions, yours, theirs, his, hers. What better values are there for young minds to sop up? Are these reasons why EFI students go on to excel in their native language in school? Think about it. EFI presents exposure to critical thinking years before it’s taught in history and literature. An early escape from rigid orthodoxy. What’s not to like?

by Graham Watt

1 comment:

andrea said...

Thank you for summing up my thoughts (and personal experience) so eloquently. Those of us who have experienced this phenomenon either ourselves or through our children, know exactly what you are talking about. Unfortunately, this concept is very difficult to explain to someone who has not experienced it first-hand.The resistance I have encountered on this issue has been largely based in ignorance, and to a certain degree prejudice. Quoting research and arguing rationally does not make a dent in these circumstances. What is one to do? Agree to disagree? That doesn't satisfy me or resolve anything.