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International Languages and English as a Second Language 202
International Languages and English as a Second Language



French as a Second Language

French is not only one of Canada’s two official languages, but is also widely used around the world. The aim of the FSL curriculum is to prepare students to perform effectively in the challenging world they will face by providing them with the skills they will need to communicate in a second language. Students will be able to choose from courses that lead to study at the postsecondary level or to the workplace, depending on their individual interests, strengths, and aspirations.

The FSL curriculum comprises two programs: 

Core French

The aim of the Core French program is to provide students with fundamental communication skills in French and an understanding of the nature of the language and its culture. By the end of the four-year program, students will be able to participate in a straightforward conversation in French; will be able to read – with the help of a dictionary – books, magazines, and newspapers in French; and will be able to understand the general meaning of radio and television news and other programs.

French Immersion.

The aim of the French Immersion program is to develop and refine students’ ability to communicate in French as well as to expand their knowledge of the language through the study of francophone literature. By the end of the four-year program, students will participate in conversations and discussions; will be able to take courses at the college or university level in which French is the language of instruction; and will be able to accept employment in which French is the working language.


Spanish as a Second Language

Today’s students are living in an international community. In such a world, communication on the international plane is of crucial importance, and knowledge of languages an invaluable asset. The study of international languages helps students to develop the skills they will need to communicate effectively with people from other countries and at the same time improve their skills in the English language.

The communication skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are more important than ever in the modern business world, in which the timely exchange of information is often the key to success. Studying other languages will also give students new insights into their first language. The study of languages also promotes career mobility, since successful participation in the global community depends in part on knowledge of world languages. As students take a more active role in the community, as citizens, professionals, and volunteers, they will encounter many opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge they have developed through the study of languages.


English as a Second Language 

Ontario secondary schools are now home to students who speak more than 100 different languages. Ontario's increasing linguistic and cultural diversity provides students with many opportunities for cultural enrichment and for learning that is global in scope. This diversity, however, means that a significant and growing proportion of Ontario students arrive in English-language schools as English language learners – that is, students who are learning the language of instruction at the same time as they are learning the curriculum. The curriculum in English as a Second Language and English Literacy Development for Grades 9 to 12 has been developed to ensure that English language learners have the maximum opportunity to become proficient in English and achieve the high levels of literacy that are expected of all Ontario students. 

The goals of the ESL curriculum

The ESL curriculum is based on the belief that broad proficiency in English is essential to students' success in both their social and academic lives, and to their ability to take their place in society as responsible and productive citizens. The curriculum is designed to provide English language learners with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve these goals. Its aim is to help students become successful English language learners who can: 

• use English to communicate effectively in a variety of social settings; 

• use English to achieve academically in all subject areas; 

• take charge of their own learning, independently and in groups; 

• select and use effective learning strategies; 

• integrate confidently into mainstream courses; 

• use English effectively to advocate for themselves in all areas of their lives; 

• make a successful transition to their chosen postsecondary destination (work, apprenticeship, college, university); 

• function effectively in a society increasingly committed to the use of information technology; 

• use critical-literacy and critical-thinking skills to interpret the world around them; 

• participate fully in the social, economic, political, and cultural life of their communities and of Canada. 






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