French Schools & Preschools
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French Schools & Preschools
I have a 15 month old and am looking for recommendations for daycare
or preschool in Concord or nearby. Ultimately, I would love if the
center had French immersion involved but I'm not sure I will find
that in this area.
Also, if you know of any French immersion care in Oakland/Berkeley
please feel free to pass on this information anyway as I'd like to
know what may be possible for our situation.
Thank you in advance.
You should check out Les Petits Francophones
www.lespetitsfrancophones.com it is a new French immersion preschool
located in Oakland by lake Merritt. The whole day is in French, it is
very reasonably priced and the main teacher has a lot of Montessori
background so she incorporates a lot of that approach in her overall
teaching pedagogy. My daughter is there and she loves it!!
Got to love those kids French songs!
Hello... I would like to hear from parents whose children
have attended any of the French bilingual schools in the Bay
Area, in particular Ecole Bilangue in Berkeley. I'd like to
know what your overall experience was, what age you sent
your children there, etc. Anything you didn't like? Would
you do it again if you had a 2nd child ready for school?
Our infant daughter has dual nationality (French + American)
and we're looking into having her attending bilingual schools.
I have heard a rumor that the French government offers
tuition support for French nationals to attend a bilingual
school -- anyone have experience with this?
Thanks for your help!
- new mommy
Yes, the French government does have a need-based financial
aid program for kids who hold French citizenship. It's
administered through the Consulate in SF; you can find
And here's an overview of the program in English from EB's
Jennifer Monahan, Communications Manager at EB
I have two children enrolled at the Ecole Bilingue in
Berkeley in 5th and 1st grade (and a 3 years old who will
be enrolled soon) and it has been a fantastic experience.
The children are not only getting a bilingual education
but a ''world education'' as they learn about different
cultures and ways of thinking and there are students
representing more than 40 nationalities at the school
(only half of the families speak French at home). The
(white boards in higer grades of elementary schools,
computer lab starting in K and individual lap-tops in the
middle school) in a way that helps learning better and in
a more differentiated way. The parent community is also
great and diverse at the school and we made a lot of
friends. You may consider taking a tour
of the school even a year before considering
enrollement (they take kids starting at 3) to get a feel
for the school and a better understanding of the program
Loving Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley. We currently have three children there. My
oldest is in 5th grade and started when he was 4 years old in the level
immediately prior to kindergarten. His sister is in 2nd grade and also started
at that level. My third child is currently in the 4-year olds class, but he began
last year when he was 3. We are not a French-speaking family. I do think it
is generally easier on the kids to start before kindergarten, but we do have
friends whose children are thriving and started in K.
How the children adapt to the immersion program if they are not familiar with
French is really individual. How each child and family finds their place in the
school community is also very individual. It is a school that provides many,
many opportunities for building community... for getting involved. What you
choose to do with these opportunities is up to you... which is great because
sometimes it might work for you to dive in up to your eyeballs and other
times it may be necessary for you to be doing other things in your life.
Each of our children has had a very different experience due to their
completely different personalities. Overall I would give the school the big two
thumbs up! Yes, there have been times when problems have arisen. But
what I have finally learned about life is that there will always be something
somewhere that bugs you... and if it isn't there now, it will be someday. And
it may be resolved only to be replaced by something else. Whatever issues
any of my kids have had at EB they would have probably had somewhere else.
On this topic I do really want and need to add that the teachers and the
administration have ALWAYS been totally super, amazing, receptive to the
feedback, questions, issues I have brought to them. And I have many, many
friends who feel similarly. I will be sending my infant daughter there when
she is old enough, provided we have the resources.
I would recommend you go to an information night and schedule a school
tour. And if you want to talk more about EB, feel free to email me.
I would like to know if there is any other private schools besides
EB, French American School, The Academy and Bentley School that
offers French Language from kindergarten onwards.
And if there is any public schools that offer French Language from
- French/Chinese School in East Palo Alto (beautiful new campus).
- French School in Sunnyvale
- French School, San Francico
I don't know the exact names of these schools but know students
who have attended these various schools. Shouldn't be hard to
find the names. Don't know where you live and if you are close
to any of these. Good luck.
There is the French American school in San Francisco. Other
than that, it's EB. There are schools that may offer classes
in French and private tutorings, but no emersion. If a fluent
second language is really your goal for your child(ren),
emersion is really the only serious way of doing it. We looked
heavily into this before enrolling our daughter into EB.
Though, there are programs that may assist with a limited
amount of a foreign language, there's just a certain
developmental factor you can't cheat. It also opens them up
directly to another culture as EB has many French families, as
well. If Spanish interests you, EBI opened recently in the
Rockridge district in Oakland. I hope this helps!
I am wondering if you are also the person who was wanting to compare Bentley and
The Academy in a previous post. Have you considered EB? How much french are
you wanting your child to learn? I know of no public schools offering french in
elementary school, but The Renaissance School in Oakland does offer french early
As far as french immersion programs go, EB
is the best... hands down (in my
opinion). The school's purpose is delivering a top-notch bilingual education and
instilling a global cultural view. The student body is diverse... 40 nationalities are
represented. At EB, the children actually learn in both languages, they don't just
''learn'' the language. By the end of first grade, the children can read, speak and
write fluently in both languages. I didn't believe this until our family experienced it.
Mathematics, art, music and physical education are all taught in french. Up through
third grade the science curriculum is also covered in french.
If you have reservations for some reason about EB and would like to talk candidly
with a parent about her family's experiences there, feel free to contact me. We are a
non-native speaking, all locally born and raised family and have 3 children currently
Are you looking for an French immersion program? Or are you
looking for a program that offers one or a few hours of French a
week? As far as I know, in the east bay, the only French
immersion program is offered by Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley. The
students are taught various subjects in French, such as math,
music, art, history and so on. My daughter has been with the
school since pre-k, and she is now in second grade and she is
completely fluent in French, even though we do not speak French
Your question is comparing French programs which are very different. My kids go to
and it is a French immersion school. Art is in French, Math is in French, PE is in
French. The teachers speak in French. Your kids will become fluent very quickly. My
husband and I do not speak French but my two kids who go to EB do - one is in 3rd
grade and one is in 1st. The other schools that you mention in your question may or
may not teach French (I don't know) but taking a French class at an English-speaking
school is very different from EB. It all depends on what you are trying achieve for your
kid in terms of speaking a foreign language.
I posted this question a couple of weeks ago, but didn't get any
responses, so I'm trying again. We are looking for a French
preschool program for a three year old or French classes. We've
looked into French For Fun in Lafayette, but wanted to see what
other programs might be out there. We are not looking for a
The only programs I know of are the French for Fun one and Ecole Bilingue
But EB is a full-time program/preschool (8:30-3:10 Monday through Friday)
believe the admission process for next year has been completed. I don't
know of any
others. Good luck in your search!
We are looking ahead to preschool (we still have a few years to go) and I was
considering the Ecole Bilingue, but it seems that it only offers a full-time program,
even for the 3 and 4 year olds. Is this correct? Are there any other preschools that
offer a bilingual French program (or even some French) that offer part time
programs (either half-day or 3 days/week)?
I would like to confirm that it is correct that the Ecole Bilingue in Berkeley
offers only a full time enrollment in preschool, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
At the time I was looking for a Preschool for my -French-American-
children, I came upon ''Mangos y papayas'' which offers a bilingual
program either Spanish/English or French/English. If my recollection is
correct, you could enroll for 2 or 3 days a week ; you will have to check
on that because this was a while ago.It is located in Berkeley, South of
University and East of San Pablo, I cannot recall the street.
Check out French for Fun in Lafayette, www.frenchforfun.com.
The drive takes about 10 minutes after you get through the
tunnel. The owner/teacher, Mme. Catherine Jolivet-Johnson is a
native French speaker with over 30 years of experience teaching
children. She also has a background in Montessori teaching
methods. She's very talented and is considered one of the best
foreign-language teachers for children in the U.S. She offers
half-day morning classes for preschoolers and afternoon classes
for older children. My daughter currently is in her Mom-n-Tots
class and is learning so much, as well as having a lot of fun
and making friends. My children have had other French language
teachers, and I think Mme. Johnson is unquestionably the best!
this page was last updated: Nov 19, 2011
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