CODOFIL is committed to helping interested communities to create new French immersion programs.

French Immersion in Louisiana

When CODOFIL was launched in 1968, French was no longer taught in Louisiana’s elementary schools and rarely in the high schools. In 1969, the State Department of Education authorized the teaching of French as a second language in the elementary and secondary public schools. Since 1983, this program has been protected by a mandate from the State’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. At first, CODOFIL imported teaching professionals from France, Belgium and Canada to fill the need for qualified teachers of French in Louisiana. Today, 30 years later, most of our teachers of French are Louisiana natives, thanks largely to the efforts of CODOFIL and the state’s educational system. Today, almost 100,000 students across Louisiana study French, and there are 26 French immersion schools in eight parishes.

Bringing French Immersion to Your School

CODOFIL is committed to helping interested communities create new French immersion programs.

The first step for interested communities is to hold a meeting for parents of preschool-aged children to discuss French immersion programs and the process of implementing one. Parents and community members can learn more about implementing immersion programs by going to the Department of Education's Louisiana Believes site.

Next, the community should gather signatures of interested parents of preschool-aged children to present to the local school board and notify the Department of Education by calling 877.453.2721. This petition must be presented and the Department of Education notified by March 1 prior to the school year in which the preschool-aged children enter kindergarten. This petition can be found here (PDF).

This information can be found in the Department of Education's Language Immersion Brochure (PDF).

Please contact CODOFIL for support in this process. We are happy to meet with parent groups to discuss the benefits of immersion education and the importance of French in Louisiana. Florence Thunissen is our current immersion coordinator. She can be reached at or 337.262.5764.


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