Research findings point to reading comprehension as an important mediator of academic achievement for French immersion students (Hogan, Catts, & Little, 2005). This research investigated the best predictors of word reading and reading comprehension in French as a second language in 72 Grade 3 students of an early French immersion programme. Results from hierarchical regression analyses showed that phonological awareness and spelling predicted word reading, whereas morphological awareness predicted reading comprehension of isolated sentences. Reading comprehension of a narrative text with more familiar cultural emphasis was predicted by receptive vocabulary (ÉVIP). Reading comprehension of a narrative text with less familiar cultural emphasis was predicted by second language cultural knowledge, followed by morphological awareness. However, participants perceived the culturally more familiar passage easier and perceived the culturally less familiar passage as more engaging. Thus, results from the study appear to confirm that reading is an interactive compensatory process. Several theoretical, pedagogical and programme development implications are drawn from the present research.