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International Languages/ESL Department 314
International Languages/ESL Department
Ms. K. Skidmore
Department Head



The Place of Classical and International Languages in the Curriculum
Today’s students are living in an international community: nations and peoples throughout the world now depend on each other not only for their economic survival and social stability, but for the success of their undertakings in most areas of human activity. In such a world, communication on the international plane is of crucial importance, and knowledge of languages an invaluable asset. The study of classical and 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. Classical and international language programs provide ideal opportunities for students to develop and refine these important skills. Moreover, learning more than one language develops the ability to think creatively and to solve problems effectively. Studying other languages will also give students new insights into their first language. In fact, it could be said that the only way to fully appreciate the particular nature and function of language is by studying and comparing several languages.
Language programs also introduce students to the heritage of other societies, and so increase their awareness and appreciation of other cultures. Through the study of languages, students gain a greater understanding of the perspectives of the different peoples who comprise Canada’s diverse society, and develop a deeper appreciation of and respect for the identity, rights, and values of others.
The FSL Curriculum
The study of French is an important part of the secondary school curriculum. French is not only one of Canada’s two official languages, but is also widely used around the world.
Knowledge of a second language is valuable for a number of reasons. Through learning a second language, students can strengthen their first-language skills and enhance their critical and creative thinking abilities; they also tend to become more tolerant and respectful of other cultures. In addition, the ability to communicate in another language provides students with a distinct advantage in a number of careers, both in Canada and internationally.
The aim of the new French as a second language (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. To make the curriculum relevant to students’ lives, knowledge and skills are taught in contexts that reflect their interests and experiences. 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.


Ontario secondary schools are now home to students who speak more than 100 different languages, including several Aboriginal languages, many African, Asian, and European languages, or an English-related creole language (such as Caribbean Creole or West African Krio). Ontario’s increasing linguistic and cultural diversity provides students with many opportunities for cultural enrichment and for learning that is global in scope.

At the same time, however, this diversity 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.

                                 Taken from the 1999 and 2007 Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum 9 - 12


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