French as a Second Language

The SCDSB currently supports three French as a Second Language (FSL) programs: Core French, Extended 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. 

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.

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 (eg. journal, emails, registration forms, personal letters, etc)
  • use knowledge of vocabulary, language conventions, and stylistic elements to communicate clearly and effectively

Extended French

The Extended French as a Second Language (EFSL) program supports students to refine and develop French communication skills by studying various subjects. The SCDSB is currently phasing out the EFSL program in response to community requests for French Immersion Programming. The last year for Grade 5 entry into EFSL was 2016.

  • Elementary students receive approximately 50% of each day in FSL instruction
  • EFSL subjects include French, Social Studies, Health and Physical Education
  • At the secondary school level, EFSL students complete a total of 7 credits (4 French language, 1 geography, 1 history, 1 senior level course)

French Immersion

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 - 100% subjects in French
  • Grades 3-4 - 83% subjects in French (only English taught in English)
  • Grades 5-6 - 66% subjects in French (only Math & English taught in English)
  • Grades 7-8 - 50% subjects in French (Math, English, Science and Health and Physical Education taught in English)
  • Grades 9 -12 - 10 subjects over 4 years (beginning Fall, 2021)
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 Immersion Guide for Parents and Guardians, French Program Frequently Asked Questions, or call your designated school FI site.

Diplome d’Etude de Langue Française (DELF)

The Diplome d’Etude de Langue Française (DELF) is a diploma issued by the French Ministry of National Education that certifies a learner’s proficiency in French. These diplomas are recognized around the world. The DELF Canada centre reports that approximately 35,0000 Canadians have already challenged the DELF. 

The SCDSB will offer Grade 12 Core and EFSL students an opportunity to challenge the DELF exam in May 2019. 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.

Spring 2019 DELF exam dates
  • Monday, May 6 (B2)
  • Tuesday, May 7 (B1)
  • Wednesday, May 8 (A2)

Interested students can register online before January 11, 2019 and by completing the permission form included.

Transportation to and from the testing site (Georgian College in Barrie) is the responsibility of the parent/guardian/student. 

DELF Practice Tests 

Grade 1 French Immersion Application Information


The SCDSB offers French Immersion (FI) at select schools throughout Simcoe County beginning in Grade 1 (read more in the "French Immersion" tab).

The FI application window is closed for the 2019-20 school year.

Enrolment into the FI program in Grade 1 is limited to a maximum of 40 students per designated FI site. While every effort will be made to accommodate all FI applications, available space and staffing will determine how many students can be registered. Parent(s)/guardian(s) should contact their school in advance if they do not have internet access at home or require assistance accessing the online application. 

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



Transportation is available to students enrolled in FI or EFSL programs within their designated French site. 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.

Click this button to find your FI/EFSL school

Links to additional information