Posts tagged ‘French as a Second Language’

French teacher? Check out IDELLO (free French resource for Ontario teachers)

The following ad for Idello appears in the June 2017 issue of Professionally Speaking, page 7.  Did you know through a partnership between the MoE and TFO, all the teachers in Ontario English language school boards can create their own account in Idello using their board email address?









From Idello about “Groupe Média TFO presents IDÉLLO, a dynamic multilevel digital platform designed to cater and adapt to different types of learning. IDÉLLO brings teachers, early childhood educators, students and parents an array of resources and functions that satisfy the desire for new ways to learn. IDÉLLO offers thousands of rich, up-to-date educational resources in French, as well as functions and a workspace that encourage communication between communities of users with common interests.”



May 26, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Globe and Mail article on French Immersion teachers across Canada

In the February 2nd edition of the Globe and Mail, Caroline Alphonso wrote an article titled Quality of French-Immersion Teachers Questioned as Demand Soars in Canada.

From Alphonso’s article: “With interest in French immersion increasing – enrolment climbed about 41 per cent between 2004-05 and 2014-15, according to Statistics Canada – the competition among school boards for qualified second-language teachers is fierce, and at times desperate. A teaching position in English attracts hundreds of applicants. In French, a school district is lucky if it receives a handful of applications.

But the mismatch in supply and demand has led to concerns about the qualifications of second-language teachers and also about burnout among new teachers who leave for the English program because of intense parent scrutiny.”

For more information (in no special order), consider

Canadian Parents For French.   The State of FSL Education in Canada. and Enrollment Trends

Ontario mInistry of Education. French as a Second Language

THE STATE OF FRENCH SECOND-LANGUAGE EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN CANADA Report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

TDSB. French Programs.

Check ’em out!

February 9, 2017 at 8:00 am 1 comment

MoE document on welcoming ELLs into FSL programs

Welcoming ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS into FRENCH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE Programs is a 2016 Ministry document.

From page 3: 

“It not only describes the benefits of FSL education for English language learners but also addresses the misconception that FSL programs are too difficult for English language learners and reinforces how current FSL teaching strategies can meet the learning needs of these students.”

From page 8, summarizing  the research/key findings on this subject:

  • English language learners benefit from FSL.
  • English language learners perform as well as, or better than, English-speaking students in FSL
  • Mindsets may be based on misconceptions, and may negatively affect access to programs

You have to read pages 10- 13 to discover some strategies that would best support  ELL students!

Check it out! Rowan

September 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Inquiry-based Learning in French Language Classrooms

Many months ago Debra Z from the TDSB French department recommended a link, specifically the French resources available on the Ontario Elementary Social Studies Association web page. Check here for a video series that « présente trois enseignants qui partagent comment aborder les études sociales à travers le processus d’enquête dans une classe de français langue seconde (FLS).  Ceci peut être un défi pour tous les enseignants de FLS à cause du niveau de langue française que les apprenants ont acquis.  Chaque collègue présenté dans cette série explique les stratégies et pratiques utilisées qui mènent leurs élèves à apprendre comment appliquer et communiquer les connaissances et la compréhension des différents sujets étudiés en études sociales à travers le processus d’enquête. »

The Professional Library has the very popular book by TDSB teacher Jennifer Watt  IQ : A guide to inquiry-based learning and is also available in French Le processus d’enquête : Transformer la curiosité en véritable apprentissage (adapted by Léo-James Lévesque.) TDSB teachers may reserve the books in the catalogue (remember to login first).

Other selected useful links …  I am sure that there are many more – please recommend:

Boss, S. (2014, Mar. 13). Using the inquiry model in a core French class. [Blog]. Retrieved from

Building Language Skills through a Cross-Curricular Approach. (20-12, Nov.). Prologue. Retrieved from

EduGains. FSL.

Fortier, P. (2014, Autumn). The ups and downs of a French Immersion Kindergarten teacher: My journey toward an inquiry-based approach to teaching. Learning Landscape, 8(1): 123-138. Retrieved from

 French immersion in Ontario: Two languages – a shared approach. Capacity Building Series # 19.  Ontario Ministry of Education. Retrieved from

Inquiry-Based Learning. (2013, May). Capacity Building Series #32. Ontario Ministry of Education. Retrieved from

Instructional Strategies. Modern Language Council (MLCLM). Retrieved from

Ontario Ministry of Education FSL curriculum links: Elementary and Secondary

Ontario Physical Health Education Association. L’apprentissage fondé sur l’enquête en éducation physique et santé. [web page]. Retrieved from

Teaching and learning in the core French classroom. Capacity Building Series #26.  Ontario Ministry of Education. Retrieved from

Transforming FSL.  Curriculum Services Canada

Check ’em out! Rowan



August 29, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

French Immersion programs in Toronto school boards

Over the past couple of days, Globe and Mail Education Reporter, Caroline Alphonso has written a couple of articles  French Immersion in Toronto area school boards.

Today’s article  titled “Ontario Schools struggle to keep students in French Immersion” looks at the dropout rate as immersion students progress through elementary years (drop out for many reasons – struggling academically, availability of alternate  programs). ” School boards, as a result, are faced with new pressures: They initially struggle to find qualified French teachers to meet booming demand, and then shift their focus to find resources to help students stick with the program when they aren’t thriving.” and ” Mary Cruden, president of the non-profit Canadian Parents for French (Ontario), said that over the past two years, school boards have started to realize that students in French immersion need supports similar to those in the English program.”

Monday’s article titled “Ontario school board mulls delaying entry into French Immersion”  looks at the growth of French Immersion and the Halton Board’s efforts to manage the demand ” In Ontario, students are offered entry into French immersion in either kindergarten or Grade 1. But after months of consultations, the Halton District School Board will put forward a recommendation to trustees on Wednesday to delay entry until Grade 2, from Grade 1, and have students spend the entire day speaking French, as opposed to just half the day.

“With this option, we believe parents will have more information and think more carefully prior to making the decision as it is a bigger decision entering into a 100-per-cent model. This should result in students who are more suited to the program,” said David Boag, Halton’s associate director. “Uptake will likely be reduced, and we would also expect to see lower attrition each year.”

Halton’s proposed change is controversial. Evidence suggests that the earlier children learn a second language, the better.”

Here are some additional useful links:

Check it out! Rowan

May 31, 2016 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Listening to Learn

Just because this has been released in the FSL subject area, doesn’t mean that the rest of us should ignore it. This document  includes strategies for all teachers. The author is Elizabeth Hoerath,  Halton DSB, March 2015.

From page 4, Introduction:

“This resource presents a differentiated approach to teach listening in FSL, by identifying six key factors that influence the difficulty level of oral texts. We will call these factors “dials of difficulty”, because each of the factors can be turned up or turned down, in order to meet students’ learning needs. These factors are demonstrated through a series of teaching/learning samples. Each teaching/ learning sample describes a listening activity, the context in which the activity might be used, and strategies that can be used specifically to differentiate for varying degrees of competency in listening. By deconstructing what exactly makes listening tasks difficult, FSL teachers can strategically design lessons to meet the needs of all students. FSL teachers can make this strategy even more powerful by helping students to understand and reflect on the dials of difficulty. In that way, students can learn to identify personal areas of strength as listeners, take increasing control of their language learning, and apply these strategies to a variety of situations.”


Knowing and Responding to Learners in FSL
Listening to Learn Module

The Listening to Learn module presents a differentiated approach to teach listening in FSL, by identifying six key factors that influence the difficulty level of oral texts. These factors are demonstrated through a series of teaching/learning samples, each of which describes a listening activity, the context in which the activity might be used, and strategies that can be used specifically to differentiate for varying degrees of competency in listening.

Click on < Knowing & Responding Series > in the left menu on the DI home page (Differentiated Instruction page)

And for those of you whose subject specialty in French, Listening to Learn has its roots in Curriculum Services Canada > Transforming FSL> All resources. You may find many other useful  resources or lessons plans here.

Check it out,


April 22, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Ministry: French students with special needs

The Ministry has released a new resource supporting the French language curriculum, titled Including students with special education needs in French as a second language programs: A guide for Ontario Schools.

It is hard enough to find resources on teaching French, let alone French students with special needs.

I took a quick look and the Ebsco journal databases included 3 fairly recent articles:

  1. Joy, R., & Murphy, E. (2012). The inclusion of children with special educational needs in an intensive French as a second language program: From theory to practice. Canadian Journal of Education, 35(1), 102-119.
  2. Arnett, K. (2010). Scaffolding instruction in a grade 8 core French classroom: An exploratory case study. Canadian Modern Language Review, 66(4), 557-582.  Request email copy from Professional Library.
  3. Mady, C., & Arnett, K. (2009). Inclusion in French Immersion in Canada: One parent’s perspective. Exceptionality Education International, 19(2), p37-49.

For other Canadian resources supporting French Immersion (not necessarily spec ed and French), check out EduGains and Curriculum Services Canada .


December 17, 2015 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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