French as a Second Language
What are some of the benefits of learning French as a Second Language (FSL)?
As one of Canada's two official languages, FSL is taught in Ontario's English-language school boards. Students have tremendous advantages when they speak more than one language. Learning another language helps students:
- strengthen their problem-solving, reasoning and creative thinking skills
- develop their understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures
- increase their competitiveness in an increasingly global job market
Learning FSL helps students to understand Canada's history and to develop an appreciation of French culture.
What are the requirements?
Since French is one of Canada's two official languages, students in Ontario's publicly funded English-language schools are required to:
- study FSL from Grades 4 to 8, and
- earn at least one credit in FSL in secondary school to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Who can take FSL programs?
FSL programs are for all students in English-language boards, including students with special needs and English language learners. Directions for planning the delivery of curriculum to students with special education needs are included in all curriculum policy documents, including those for FSL.
What are the options?
There are three FSL programs in Ontario:
- Core French – students are taught French as a subject. The program helps students develop a basic usable command of the language.
- Extended French – students are taught French as a subject and French serves as the language of instruction in at least one other subject. At the elementary level, at least 25 per cent of all instruction is provided in French. At the secondary level, students accumulate seven credits in French: four are FSL language courses and three are other subjects in which French is the language of instruction.
- French Immersion – students are taught French as a subject and French serves as the language of instruction in two or more other subjects. At the elementary level, at least 50 per cent of all instruction is provided in French. At the secondary level, students accumulate ten credits in French: four are FSL language courses and six are other subjects in which French is the language of instruction.
The three FSL programs provide students with different levels of intensity in developing their French language knowledge and skills. The programs also help students develop an appreciation of the language and French culture in Canada and the world.
School boards have the option of offering Extended French and French Immersion programs based on local demands and resources. Decisions to establish these programs and their structure (e.g. point of entry), are made by the local school board. Students in these programs are not in the Core French program.
What are the Goals for FSL in Ontario?
Helping students develop the skills to use French with confidence is a priority. This can be achieved by:
Read the framework for FSL in Ontario schools:
Read the policies for FSL programs:
Resources for Students, Parents and Teachers:
- engaging students through raising awareness of the value of learning FSL
- encouraging students to continue their FSL studies in secondary school and after, and
- offering students opportunities to use French both inside and outside the classroom.
- Watch videos that engage FSL teachers in reflective practices that improve student proficiency in oral French.
- Get help with FSL homework