BILINGUAL – H.J. Cody School students sit on the right side with their friends from Quebec are on the left.

Quebecois students getting local taste of Albertan culture

Several Quebecois students have had the time of their lives touring Central Alberta alongside their friends from H.J. Cody School

Several Quebecois students have had the time of their lives touring Central Alberta alongside their friends from H.J. Cody School as part of the French immersion program.

As part of the program at H.J. Cody School, the students in the French immersion class ‘buddy up’ with a student from Quebec.

For a week they have all toured Alberta. The French students practiced their English skills and the students from H.J. Cody School practiced their French skills.

The French students arrived last Wednesday evening and have visited several different popular tourist attractions such as Banff, the Calgary Tower and the Calgary Zoo. They have also journeyed to aFlames game, Canmore, Lake Louise, West Edmonton Mall and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

The students enjoyed all their tour destinations with some specifically taking interest to the scenic views offered during their trip to Banff.

Led by H.J. Cody School French immersion teacher Kelsey Wilson, this is the first exchange she has done where French students have come to the school adding it has been an amazing experience.

“It has been unbelievable,” she said. “We had 22 degree weather in the mountains. The kids got to go skiing. Some of them have never seen the mountains before. It was fantastic.”

This exchange program has gone very well and Wilson said she would encourage other students to take part in it as well.

This program is quite affordable for students. Wilson said it costs her students a base of $500 plus baggage with minor additional costs for anything they purchased during the trip.

The program is intended to allow the students to practice their bilingual skills as well as tour another province with a different culture.

“It’s an amazing program,” Wilson said. “When we went to Quebec my students spoke French the entire time and they said hands down it was the best language immersion that they have had in their lives so far.”

With the French students being slightly behind in their English communication skills, Wilson said it gave her students extra practice time with their French skills.

“They ended up speaking French a lot so my students are getting extra practice time,” she said.

With everyone practicing their bilingual skills and touring Alberta, Wilson said she is proud because the students represent the school and Sylvan Lake well.

“When we were going to Lake Louise it wasn’t like ‘oh yeah’ I come here all the time’, it was ‘oh my the mountains are so beautiful and I get to show them off to my partner’,” Wilson said.

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