French as a Second Language

The SCDSB currently supports two French as a Second Language (FSL) programs: Core French, and French Immersion. Participation in FSL programs reflects the diversity of the student population, including students with special education needs and English language learners.  

FSL in the SCDSB

Vision and Goals

The vision and goals of Ontario's FSL programs are described in the curriculum documents as follows:


Students will communicate and interact with growing confidence in French, one of Canada’s official languages, while developing the knowledge, skills and perspectives they need to participate fully as citizens in Canada and in the world.



In all FSL programs, students realize the vision of the FSL curriculum as they strive to:

  • use French to communicate and interact effectively in a variety of social settings
  • learn about Canada, its two official languages, and other cultures
  • appreciate and acknowledge the interconnectedness and interdependence of the global community
  • be responsible for their own learning, as they work independently and in groups
  • use effective language learning strategies
  • become lifelong language learners for personal growth and for active participation as world citizens

In order to achieve the goals of the elementary and secondary FSL curriculum, students need to acquire a strong oral foundation in the French language and focus on communicating in French.

Core French
The SCDSB offers Core French from Grades 4 to 12. 
  • elementary students receive 200 minutes of French each week (approx. 600 hours by the end of Grade 8)
  • secondary school learners study French for 375 minutes each week (one semester)
  • secondary students must earn one credit in French to obtain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma for graduation 

Sample overall expectations from the Ontario Curriculum for French as a Second Language:

  • to understand: determine meaning in a variety of oral French texts, using appropriate listening strategies
  • to interact: interpret messages accurately while interacting in French for a variety of purposes and with diverse audiences
  • converse with a variety of simple expressions to talk about familiar topics
  • speak with a variety of vocabulary and expressions to discuss ideas, feelings and opinions

  • identify the purpose(s) and characteristics of a variety of text forms (fictional, informational, graphic, and media forms)
  • write in French in a variety of forms (e.g., journal, emails, registration forms, personal letters, etc.)
  • use knowledge of vocabulary, language conventions, and stylistic elements to communicate clearly and effectively

French Immersion - elementary

The SCDSB implemented the French Immersion (FI) program in September 2013. A student’s French proficiency skills may be maximized as the amount of instructional time and level of intensity are significantly increased. The FI entry point is Grade 1 for this optional program. The amount of instructional time taught in French is as follows:

  • Grades 1-2 - up to 100% with a minimum 83% subjects in French
  • Grades 3-4 - up to 83% subjects in French (only English taught in English)
  • Grades 5-6 - up to 67% subjects in French (only Math and English taught in English)
  • Grades 7-8 - 50% subjects in French (Math, English, Science, some Arts and Health and Physical Education taught in English)

NOTE: The designated sites for FI may change during the program, which may also include splitting the program between two different sites. 

For more information, read our French Program Frequently Asked Questions or call your designated school FI site. 

French Immersion application/request

  • Grade 1 - Students will apply to the FI program in December of their Senior Kindergarten year. Please refer to the Grade 1 French Immersion Application page for more information. If the application window has closed, please complete the FI request form below and forward it to the FI site associated with your home address. Your request will be added to the list of applicants after the digitally randomized lottery positions have been determined.
  • Grades 2 to 8 - Please complete the FI request form below and forward to the FI site associated with your home address.

French Immersion - secondary

Since starting in September 2021, French Immersion (FI) courses have been offered to Grade 9 students. There are seven designated secondary school sites that run FI programs. These sites are:

  • Banting Memorial High School (Alliston)
  • Barrie North Collegiate (Barrie)
  • Collingwood Collegiate (Collingwood)
  • Georgian Bay District Secondary School (Midland)
  • Innisdale Secondary School (Barrie)
  • Nantyr Shores Secondary School (Alcona)
  • Twin Lakes Secondary School (Orillia)

By the end of Grade 12, students in the FI program will have taken 10 courses in French.


To find out which school your child will attend for FI, based on your home address, use our Home School Locator. You can also contact us at [email protected]. All contact information for our schools can be found in our School Search. From there, you can go to the 'About us' page on each school's website to find the name of the school's principal and trustee, school address and contact info, start and end times, which bus zone the school is in, how to get to the school and more. 

Diplome d’Etude de Langue Française (DELF)

The Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française (DELF) is a diploma issued by the French Ministry for National Education that certifies a learner’s proficiency in French. These evaluations are intended for those whose first language is not French. DELF diplomas are recognized around the world.

The SCDSB will offer students enrolled in the Grade 12 FSL course an opportunity to challenge the DELF exam. The learners, with the support of their teacher, will self-select which CEFR level (A2, B1, B2) to challenge. The DELF exam assesses the learner’s French proficiency in listening comprehension, reading comprehension, spoken production and written production.

For more information, visit

Further details for parents/guardians and students can be found at the links below:


The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), officially launched by the Council of Europe in 2001, is an international standard used to describe a learner’s second language proficiency. It was created to inform instruction and assessment practices for languages with an intentional focus on proficiency rather than deficiency. The Framework divides language proficiency skills into 6 levels. Professional learning related to the CEFR has been underway in all Ontario school boards since 2010. More information is available here.


Transportation is available to students enrolled in FI or EFSL programs within their designated French site where the student resides outside the walk zone for that school. Centralized community bus stops will be established to provide access for students to attend the specialized program. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to transport the student to and from the centralized stops at designated times for pick up and drop off. For more information, please refer to Policy 2410 – Transportation of Students and Administrative Procedures Memorandum A1225 – Transportation of Students – Courtesy Riders on Commuter and Program Transportation.

Resources for families

Families of SCDSB students can access activities, supports, and resources to participate in their child's learning of French, either in the core FSL program or French Immersion in the FSL Family Toolkit.