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French Programming

French Programming

The study of French is an important part of the school curriculum. French is not only one of Canada’s two official languages, but is also widely used around the world. 

Knowledge of a second language is valuable for a number of reasons. 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 
  • enhance their first-language and overall literacy skills 

In addition to providing a foundation for the learning of additional languages and the potential for more opportunities to participate in an increasingly globalized economy, learning French helps Ontario students to understand Canada's history and to develop an appreciation of French culture. 
A list of elementary schools and the French programming provided can be found here.

What are the requirements? 

Since French is one of Canada's two official languages, students in UCDSB schools are required to study French from Kindergarten to Grade 9. 

Who can take French programs? 

French programs are for all students in English-language school boards across Ontario, including students with special needs and English language learners. Requirements for planning and delivery of curriculum to students with special education needs are included in all curriculum policy documents, including those for French as a Second Language (FSL). 

What French programs are available in the Upper Canada District School Board? 

  • Core French Students learn French as a subject. At the elementary level, students begin learning Core French in Kindergarten, and they must accumulate a minimum of 600 hours of French instruction by the end of Grade 8. At the secondary level, academic, applied and open courses are offered for Grades 9 and 10; university preparation and open courses are offered for Grades 11 and 12. The availability of French courses in secondary schools varies from school to school, so parents are encouraged to contact schools directly for more information.
  • French Immersion – At the elementary level, French serves as the language of instruction for 50% of the school day. Students study the French language, and learn Social Studies, the Arts, and Health and Phys. Ed. in French. At the secondary level, academic and applied courses are offered for Grades 9 and 10; university preparation and open courses are offered for Grades 11 and 12. In the French Immersion program, students accumulate ten credits in French: four are FSL language courses and six are other subjects in which French is the language of instruction. 

What is the Framework for FSL? 

AFramework for French as a Second Language in Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12 was released in February 2013, as an overarching strategic ten-year document that serves as a call to action and a guide to strengthen FSL programming through the cohesive efforts of educators, students, parents and communities. 

Read the framework for FSL in Ontario schools: 

The Framework articulates: 

The Vision for FSL in Ontario
Students in English-language school boards have the confidence and ability to use French effectively in their daily lives. 

  • The Goals for FSL in Ontario

    • Increase student confidence, proficiency, and achievement in FSL.
    • Increase the percentage of students studying FSL until graduation.
    • Increase student, educator, parent, and community engagement in FSL. 

The FSL curriculum strives, ultimately, to foster an interest in language learning that continues not only during a student’s time in school but later in life. The FSL curriculum is therefore founded on seven fundamental concepts, or “enduring ideas”, which focus, from Grade 1 to Grade 12, on the development of skills that are also necessary as a basis for lifelong language learning. These enduring ideas are: 

  • Authentic Oral Communication: Reception, Production, and Interaction
  • Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing: Interconnected but Distinct
  • Development of Language Learning Strategies
  • Interdependence of Language and Culture
  • Emphasis on Critical and Creative Thinking Skills
  • Goal Setting and Reflection
  • Making Real-World Connections


Please note the following: 

  • Parents with students who are new to Junior or Senior Kindergarten can pre-register using an online process. Schools will also assist families who do not have Internet access, or parents can call the Upper Canada District School Board at 1-800-267-7131 for assistance. 

To register your child for kindergarten, please clickHERE. 

  • Secondary schools offer Core and French Immersion programs. Classes will continue where numbers warrant. Parents are encouraged to contact schools directly for more information on course availability.

Useful Links

Ministry of Education: French as a Second Language

French as a Second Language: Homework Toolbox
Contact Information

Bill Loshaw, Acting Superintendent of Schools


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