There are many benefits to being able to speak more than one language. First, learning another language provides students with the chance to learn about other cultures, helps to develop their overall critical and creative thinking abilities, and teaches them necessary skills for delving into the globalized world. As well, being bilingual can give people a leg up in the job market, making their resumes more competitive than someone who doesn’t speak another language.
In Canada, English and French are both official languages. Since the Official Languages Act, both languages have equal status, rights, and privileges when it comes to their use in institutions of Parliament and the Government of Canada.
Since French is one of Canada’s official languages, it is taught in Ontario’s English-language school boards. Most students in Ontario are required to take core French courses from Grade 4-8 in elementary school, while a French credit is also required to graduate high school.
However, these courses, though beneficial in learning the basic understanding of French, don’t necessarily make a student fluent in the language. That’s why many people go beyond the required courses and work to earn
certificates in bilingual programs.
French as a Second Language Programs
There are three main programs of varying levels where students can earn certificates for studying French.
The first is Core French. Students must accumulate a minimum of 600 hours of French instruction by the end of grade 8, while also taking a Core French class in Grades 9 though 12.
The second is the Extended French program. In this program students should earn 7 French credits, four French subject classes, and three other subjects where French is the language of instruction. In elementary school, at least 25% of lessons should be taught in French.
The final program is French Immersion, where student will take four French subject classes, and have 6 other courses taught to them in French, and have at least 50% of their elementary school education be taught in French.
Each one of these programs will allow students to learn French in a more detailed way than the basic requirements. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get the courses that are required for these programs, especially for students who live in remote areas. With OVS, students can take courses that will help them earn the French credits they need.
French at OVS
To start, we offer the basic Core French courses in Grades 9 through 12 (FSF1D or FSF1P, FSF2D, FSF3U and FSF4U). These courses provide students with the opportunity to communicate and interact in French with increasing independence. The Grade 9 and 10 courses focus on subjects related to daily life, allowing students to develop base knowledge and understanding. In the senior level courses, students will develop creative and critical thinking skills, while learning both written and oral French.
As well, we have the core French Immersion courses up to Grade 12 (FIF1D, FIF2D, FIF3U and FIF4U). These courses provide students with many opportunities to communicate, interact, and think critically and creatively in French. Each course builds on knowledge from the other to help students achieve a high skill level in their French communication.
We also offer several of our regular courses in French Immersion. In Grade 9 you can take Geography or Business. In other grades we offer Math, Chemistry, Biology, Business, World Studies, and Humanities courses in French as well. This way you can take subjects of interest while also earning necessary credits towards various French Immersion programs.
OVS can help students learn French in varying degrees and help you achieve your bilingual status to be competitive in today’s job market.