The Modern Languages Department (French Department)
The Modern Languages Department consists of courses in Core and Extended French, as well as German and Spanish.
According to the Ministry of Education:
“The study of French is an important part of the secondary 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. Through learning a second language, students can strengthen their first-language skills and enhance their critical and creative thinking abilities; they also tend to become more tolerant and respectful of other cultures. In addition, the ability to communicate in another language provides students with a distinct advantage in a number of careers, both in Canada and internationally.”
Core French in grades 9 and 10 is offered at the Applied and Academic levels, and at the University level in grades 11 and 12.
Extended French is offered at the Academic level in grades 9 through 12. Extended French students are required to take Language courses in each of the four years, in addition to the following three courses offered in French: Canadian Geography, Canadian History, and Introduction to Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology.
Introductory Spanish and Introductory German are offered at the Academic level. An International Language credit can be counted towards the 18 compulsory credits required for the OSSD.
It is recommended (although not required) that students take French at the Grade 10 level before studying a third language.
Why Take French?
How many people are sorry to be bilingual? Not one. Studying French at the high school and postsecondary levels means you'll be ready when opportunity knocks!
10 great reasons to continue to learn French:
We live in an officially bilingual country. Having proficiency in both official languages opens doors and increases mobility. It gives one a competitive edge in the job market anywhere in Canada and in many other countries.
Like to travel? More tourists visit France than any other country in the world, with many French-speaking countries are also great places to visit.
It enhances one’s English skills, especially because it is such a closely-related language.
It makes learning a third language easier.
Opportunities exist to experience French in our national parks and historic sites, through summer camps and exchanges.
Studies have shown that students who learn another language develop keen analytic, restructuring, and divergent thinking skills, plus recent studies have shown that using two languages throughout one's life reduces the effects of aging on some brain functions and even appears to delay the onset of symptoms of dementia.
French and English are the languages of world diplomacy. French is an official working language of the United Nations, the International Red Cross, the International Olympic Committee, the European Economic Community, NATO and many other organizations.
There are many bursaries and scholarships open to Canadians studying their second official language.
There are school-year and summer, individual and group, short- and long-term, within-Canada and world-wide exchange opportunities to help improve one’s French, such as the Explore Program and ISE.
There are school trips to France and other French-speaking countries where students can see world-renowned historical sites, and experience French culture and cuisine.
Tips For Parents of French Students
SHOULD MY CHILD TAKE ACADEMIC OR APPLIED FRENCH?
The choices made in Grade 8 are very important. The difference between Applied and Academic French lies in the approach to teaching the material and evaluating the progress - the content is identical in both. In choosing the correct level for your child, consider the following:
*If your child was exempted from French in elementary school, please speak with a guidance counsellor.
CAN MY CHILD FAIL FRENCH?
Yes. Achieving a minimum of 50% in Grade 9 French is required for graduation.
I DON’T KNOW FRENCH – CAN I STILL HELP MY CHILD?
Don’t worry – there is no expectation that parents will be able to understand or speak French. However, there are many things you can do to ensure your child’s second-language experience is both positive and lasting.
Encouragement is the key. Be supportive and enthusiastic. Research shows that students whose parents have positive attitudes toward French do better in core French programs. Turn the tables – let your child teach you French! This will build his or her confidence and self-esteem.
You can also help your child by exposing him or her to French language and culture outside the school. Any activity that allows use of the language builds skill, vocabulary and confidence.
• Get to know your child’s teacher, and participate in parent-teacher interviews.
• Borrow, rent or buy French-language books and videos (almost all community libraries will either have some, or they can order them.)
• Watch French-language television with your child.
• Tune into French-language radio when your child is at home.
• Encourage extracurricular and community activities that bring your child in contact with the French language and culture.