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Core French

All FSL programs share the same vision and goals as outlined in the elementary and secondary curricula for French as a Second Language. 

In a Core French classroom:

  • the teacher will provide a consistent model of French language use and avoid translation
  • students will be exposed to a variety of authentic materials featuring a range of French speaking communities
  • students will be engaged in language activities that reflect simulated real-life contexts
  • students will see the connection between their learning and their lived experiences.
  • students will be encouraged to take risks and reflect on their growth as a language learner

FAQ - Core French

Inclusion in Core French

French as a Second Language is a mandatory part of the core elementary school program. In addition, at least 1 credit in French as a Second Language is required for completion of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). For students in the regular program, this requirement is fulfilled by participation in the Core French program. All students on track to obtaining their OSSD must participate in Core French.

In English-language elementary schools, learning programs must include the following disciplines: the Arts; French as a Second Language (Core French; boards may also offer Extended or Immersion French); Health and Physical Education; Language; Mathematics; Science and Technology; and Social Studies (in Grades 1 to 6) and History and Geography (in Grades 7 and 8).

From Ontario Schools K-12, Policy and Program Requirements, 2016.

Students with special education needs will be included in the Core French program and offered the appropriate accommodations and support to meet the curriculum expectations for the grade level in Core French.

Including Students with Special Education Needs in French as a Second Language Programs

It is important that students and parents are aware that all classrooms, including French as a Second Language (FSL) classrooms, are required to provide appropriate supports for students who have special education needs. Core French, Extended French, and French Immersion are for all students. In these programs, FSL teachers, often in collaboration with Special Education staff, plan performance tasks that respect the particular abilities of all students, including students who have special education needs, based on accommodations, modifications, and/or alternative expectations outlined in the Individual Education Plan (IEP).

The document Including Students with Special Education Needs in French as a Second Language Programs (2015) reflects the Ministry of Education's commitment to supporting school boards, educators, and other stakeholders when they are making decisions about participation in FSL programs. These participation and programming decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the strengths, needs, and interests of the individual student. As such, practices regarding transfers, exemptions, and substitutions within FSL programs should not generally exclude students with special education needs from accessing opportunities for second language learning.

From Special Education in Ontario Kindergarten to Grade 12 Policy and Resource Guide, 2017.

In very specific circumstances a student may not be participating in Core French in the elementary grades or may not complete a Core French credit at secondary school. These circumstances include:

  • a student on an entirely alternative educational plan (i.e., a student who is not completing the regular program for elementary students in Ontario and who is not necessarily on track to obtain an OSSD);
  • students who wish to substitute the study of a First Nations language for the study of French (Ontario First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework, page 27);
  • a student who is exempted from the requirement at the school level* (please see below).

*Please note, this practice is one that should only happen on a very rare, case-by-case, basis as it represents the exclusion of a student with special education needs from the mandatory school program in Ontario.

In cases where an exclusion from Core French may be considered, here are some things to know:

  • the decision to exclude a student from Core French may only be taken only after multiple efforts to accommodate the student’s learning needs have been made and there is documentation of the lack of success in accessing the curriculum expectations of any grade level;
  • a parent may initiate the discussion of this step, in writing, however a request by a parent is not, in and of itself, sufficient to grant the exclusion;
  • the student must be taught and assessed on a reportable curriculum subject by a teacher during the period usually dedicated to Core French;
  • parents must be made aware that the exclusion from Core French may not necessarily be continued in subsequent schools (i.e., Middle/Senior school);
  • the student may still be required to complete 1 Core French credit at the secondary level (i.e., the FSF1O credit is designed for students without the elementary background in French as a Second Language). 

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