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Welcome to the KCI languages department – home of Kitchener-Waterloo’s only French Immersion program!

Explore our site to uncover the wide range of cultural and language opportunities at our school and in our community – not only in French, but in Spanish too!

Overview of the Program

Why learn a second language?

Through learning a second language, students:

  • develop a deeper understanding of their own and other cultures
  • tend to become more tolerant and respectful of other cultures
  • develop enhanced creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities
  • develop an intellectual rigour useful in many disciplines
  • strengthen their first language skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • possess a competitive advantage in many careers, both in Canada and internationally
  • gain a lifelong ability to communicate with more people
  • have more opportunities to enjoy literature, art, music, theatre, travel, and personal relationships
  • can learn other languages more easily

To cite an American study, students of foreign languages score much higher on standardized tests conducted in English. In its 1992 report, College Bound Seniors: The 1992 Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, the College Entrance Examination Board reported that students who averaged 4 or more years of foreign language study scored higher on the verbal section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than those who had studied 4 or more years in any other subject area. In addition, the average mathematics score for individuals who had taken 4 or more years of foreign language study was identical to the average score of those who had studied 4 years of mathematics. These findings are consistent with College Board profiles for previous years.

Why is French the logical 2nd language choice for Canadians?

French is one of Canada’s two official languages. It is widely used and required in many Canadian jobs, particularly in the government. It is the mother tongue of 25 percent of all Canadians. With French, we have the advantage of authentic texts, media, events, products and services prepared for Francophones in this country. Francophone communities across Canada, including in KW, a large numbers of French-speaking teachers and a strong interest in the French language support viable programs throughout the country, and particularly here at KCI. On the world stage:

  • The number of people who speak French is more than 350,000,000.
  • French is an official language in over 30 countries and is commonly spoken in another 46 countries across the globe.
  • French and English are the languages of world diplomacy. French is an official working language of the United Nations, the International Red Cross, the International Olympic Committee, the European Union, NATO, UNESCO, the International Labour Bureau and many other international organizations.
  • French is the second most frequently known language by Europeans in addition to their mother tongue. Nearly 1/5 of non-Francophone Europeans say they know French.
  • French is the second most frequently taught language in the world. It is the second most prevalent language on the Internet.

“Nowadays, bilingualism is increasingly viewed as a certified asset, one that provides mobility and insight. According to Karl Moore, a management specialist at McGill University, there is a disproportionate number of Canadians running large international organizations the world over. The fact that they come from a smaller, and bilingual, country makes them better suited than, say, Americans or Britons to understand and handle the various cultural sensitivities at play in the global economy.” – Benoit Aubin, “Speaking in Tongues,” Maclean’s, December 9, 2002

What Students Have to Say About Language Education:

  • “Language courses at KCI are fantastic!”
  • “Les cours de langues à KCI sont fantastiques!”
  • “¡Los cursos de idiomas sont fantásticos en KCI!”

Why consider French Immersion?

In addition to a certificate attesting to their level of proficiency in the French language, students also experience academic rigour and a heightened cultural awareness. French Immersion certification also gives students advanced standing in accessing the post-secondary programs of choice – including courses in French and francophone programs. It also expands a student’s employment opportunities in Canada and abroad. The French Immersion program is designed so that students will be able to accept employment in which French is the working language.

Who should consider French Immersion?

  • Students entering Grade 9 from an established elementary French Immersion Program who are looking for a highly academic setting and program that offers multiple opportunities for enrichment.
  • Students coming from francophone backgrounds may also be eligible to enter the program.

 

What is the difference between French Immersion and Extended French Programs at KCI?

French Immersion or Extended French students at KCI are enrolled in the same classes. Here are the major differences:

 

  French Immersion Extended French
Credits 10 credits in French 7 credits in French
Goal of the program Students 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. Students will be able to function in a French-speaking community.

The 10 or 7 credits are made up of courses that specialize in Language, Visual Arts, Business Studies, Family Studies, Canadian Geography, Canadian History, Civics, Careers, Co-op & World History. See the Course Selection Chart for specific details or contact the KCI Guidance Department.

 

New Program: Applied Immersion

As of 2016, French Immersion students who are not entering into the Academic stream in high school can now choose to stay in French Immersion! Students who learn at the Applied level can choose to continue in the Applied French Immersion program until the end of Grade 12. Upon successful completion of the program, they will receive an Applied French Immersion Certificate.

 

Course Selection Chart – French Immersion and Extended French

French Immersion

  • involves the completion of at least ten (10) credits delivered in French
  • Goal: Students 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.
  Grade 9
(4 credits)
Grade 10
(3 credits)
Grade 11
(2 credits)
Grade 12
(1 credit)
Mandatory Courses
  • French Language*
  • Canadian Geography*
  • French Language*
  • Canadian History*
  • Career Studies & Civics
  •  French Language*
  •  French Language*
French Immersion Electives Two (2) of:

  • Introduction to Business
  • Exploring Family Studies
  • Visual Arts
One (1) of:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Presentation & Speaking Skills
  • World History to the 15th Century
  • Co-op**

*Note: These courses are offered at the academic and applied levels (gr. 9 and 10) and the university and college levels (gr. 11 and 12)

**Note: Co-op is offered as a two-credit option. One credit will count towards the Immersion Diploma and the other will count towards a student’s overall credit count; the placement is in French but the in-class portion is in English.

 

Extended French

  • involves the completion of at least seven (7) credits delivered in French
  • Goal: Students will be able to function in a French-speaking community.

 

  Grade 9
(2 credits)
Grade 10
(2 credits)
Grade 11
(2 credits)
Grade 12
(1 credit)
Mandatory Courses
  • French Language*
  • Canadian Geography*
  • French Language*
  • Canadian History*
  •  French Language*
  •  French Language*
Extended French Electives One (1) of:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Presentation & Speaking Skills
  • World History to the 15th Century
  • Co-op**

*Note: These courses are offered at the academic and applied levels (gr. 9 and 10) and the university and college levels (gr. 11 and 12)

**Note: Co-op is offered as a two-credit option. One credit will count towards the Immersion Diploma and the other will count towards a student’s overall credit count; the placement is in French but the in-class portion is in English.

 

Grade 9 Immersion/Extended – Course Descriptions

Visual Arts  AVI 1OF 

What does KCI Arts have to offer you? Take this course and experience a little bit of everything including painting, drawing, sculpting, graphics, and art history. We recommend that you take this foundation course before any other art course at KCI.

Introduction to Business BBI 1OF

This course introduces students to the world of business. Students will develop an understanding of the functions of business, including accounting, marketing, information and communication technology, human resources, and production, and of the importance of ethics and social responsibility. This course builds a foundation for further studies in business and helps students develop the business knowledge and skills they will need in their everyday lives.

Individual and Family Living – HIF 1OF

This course explores the challenges faced by all people: how to meet basic needs, how to relate to others, how to manage resources, and how to become responsible members of society. Students will acquire knowledge and skills that are needed to make the transition to adulthood. Teachers will instruct students in developing interpersonal, decision-making, and practical skills related to daily life. Students will explore the functioning of families and the diversities found among families and within society.

Geography of Canada CGC 1DF

This course explores Canada’s distinct and changing character and the geographic systems and relationships that shape it. Students will investigate the interactions of natural and human systems within Canada, as well as Canada’s economic, cultural, and environmental connections to other countries. Students will use a variety of geo-technologies and inquiry and communication methods to analyze and evaluate geographic issues and present their findings.

French Immersion and Extended French, Academic  FIF 1DI / FEF 1DI

This course focuses on twentieth century literature from a variety of French-speaking authors from Canada and France. The themes of childhood and happiness are studied in depth in Roch Carrier’s Ne faites pas mal à l’avenirLes vacances du petit Nicolas by Jean-Jacques Sempé and René Goscinny, and Oscar et la dame rose by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. Students will expand their language knowledge and skills by engaging in oral communication, reading and writing activities reinforced throughout the course. For further enrichment, join the French Club.

 

Grade 10 Immersion/Extended – Course Descriptions

Canadian History  CHC 2DF 

This mandatory course will take you through two world wars, the roar of the twenties and the depression of the thirties. You’ll learn about beatniks and hippies, communists and dictators, sovereigntists and separatists as you travel the decades of the 20th Century.

Civics  CHV 2OF 

What is the objective of this course? For students to become more informed, responsible and active citizens locally, nationally, and internationally. Students explore the role of citizens and the government of Canada. Subjects to be explored include the basic responsibilities of citizens, how decisions are made, and the different levels of government and their functions. Global citizenship will also be considered.

Career Studies  GLC 2OF 

This course readies students for the work world of the 21st century as it teaches them to develop and achieve personal goals that are education, career, and community oriented. Students will evaluate their interests, abilities and their personalities before undertaking a career search, as well as preparing for work life through résumés, cover letters, interviews, and creating their own personalized portfolios.

French Immersion and Extended French, Academic  FIF 2DI / FEF 2DI

This course continues the development and refinement of students’ oral communication, reading and writing skills. The study and interpretation of a variety of literary works, including a short story, a play and a novel intended for a French-speaking audience will expand the students’ knowledge and appreciation of francophone culture in context with the works studied. The texts studied include Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Molière and Un sac de billes by Joseph Joffo. For further enrichment, join the French Club.

 

Grade 11 Immersion/Extended – Course Descriptions

Entrepreneurship – BDI 3CF 

This course focuses on ways in which entrepreneurs recognize opportunities, generate ideas and organize resources to plan successful ventures that enable them to achieve their goals. Students will create a venture plan for a school-based or student-run business. Through hands-on experiences, students will have opportunities to develop the values, traits, and skills most often associated with successful entrepreneurs.

World History to the Sixteenth Century  CHW 3MF 

This course is a survey of ancient and medieval history to the Renaissance. While focusing largely on the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Medieval experience, the students also study the development of other civilizations around the world. Key components of this course are effective note taking and essay writing, skills relevant to postsecondary studies.

Presentation and Speaking Skills – EPS 3OI

This course emphasizes the knowledge and skills required to plan and make effective presentations and to speak effectively in both formal and informal contexts, using such forms as reports, speeches, debates, panel discussions, storytelling, recitations, interviews, and multimedia presentations. Students will research and analyze the content and characteristics of convincing speeches and the techniques of effective speakers; design and rehearse presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences; select and use visual and technological aids to enhance their message; and assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ presentations.

Co-operative Education – COOP2F

This is a new KCI offering in the French Immersion program for 2016. French Immersion and Extended French students have the opportunity to gain real-world work experience. Students participate in a Francophone job setting, exploring a possible career choice. Particularly, students may be placed in elementary school positions, helping teach French Immersion classes. Native French-speakers and strong French as a Second Language students may have other placement opportunities, depending on their fields of interest and the availability of Francophone positions in Kitchener-Waterloo. This option is available as a 2-credit co-op, where one credit will count towards the Immersion Diploma and the other will count towards a student’s overall credit count; the placement is in French but the in-class portion is in English.

French Immersion and Extended French, University  FIF 3UI / FEF 3UI

This course is a more in-depth literature course exploring the theme of innocence. We will be studying a selection of L’Enfant Chargé des songes by Anne Hébert, La Guerre des Boutons by Louis Pergaud, Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand and various short stories. Grammar structures will also be analyzed with support from the text and workbook La grammaire Française. For further enrichment, join the French Club.

 

Grade 12 Immersion/Extended – Course Descriptions

French Immersion and Extended French, University  FIF 4UI / FEF 4UI

You’ve made it! This is the culminating course in the French Immersion program, where students will be studying a major francophone novel and Les Belles Sœurs by Michel Tremblay, while studying francophone media and film. For further enrichment join the French Club or sign up for the DELF and/or AP exams.

 

Core French – Course Descriptions

Students in Ontario must complete at least grade 9 Core French at either the Applied or Academic level.  Students at KCI may then choose to continue in French at the grade 10, 11 and 12 academic levels. Note: A 2nd credit in languages satisfies a “Group 1” Compulsory Credit. A 3rd credit in languages satisfies a “Group 2″ Compulsory Credit.

Core French, Grade 9 Academic – FSF 1DI

This course emphasizes the further development of oral communication, reading, and writing skills. Students will build on and apply their knowledge of French while exploring a variety of themes, such as relationships, trends and careers. Thematic readings, which include a selection of short stories, articles, and poems, will serve as stepping stones to oral and written activities. Prerequisite: Minimum of 600 hours of elementary Core French instruction, or equivalent

Core French, Grade 9 Applied – FSF 1PI

This course emphasizes the further development of oral communication skills using the theme of media; the development of oral communication skills will be integrated with the development of reading and writing skills. Students will expand their ability to understand and speak French through conversations, discussions, and presentations. They will also read media-related short stories, articles, poems, and songs and write brief descriptions, letters, dialogues, and invitations. Prerequisite: Minimum of 600 hours of elementary Core French instruction, or equivalent

Core French, Grade 10 Academic – FSF 2DI

This course is designed to enable students to increase their knowledge of the French language, further develop their language skills and deepen their understanding and appreciation of francophone culture around the world. Exploring a variety of themes, students will develop and apply critical thinking skills in discussion, in their analysis and interpretation of texts and in their own writing effectively.   This course is intended to prepare students for the grade 11 University preparation course. Prerequisite: Grade 9 Core French, Academic or Applied

Core French, Grade 11 University – FSF 3UI

This course draws on a variety of themes to promote extensive development of reading and writing skills and to reinforce oral communication skills. Students will gain a greater understanding of French-speaking cultures in Canada and around the world through their reading of a variety of materials, including a short novel or a play. Students will produce various written assignments, including a formal essay. The use of correct grammar and appropriate language conventions in both spoken and written French will be emphasized throughout the course. Prerequisite: Grade 10 Core French, Academic

Core French, Grade 12 University – FSF 4UI

This course provides extensive opportunities for students to speak and interact in French independently. Students will apply language-learning strategies in a wide variety of real-life situations, and will continue to develop their creative and critical thinking skills through responding to and interacting with a variety of oral and written texts. Students will also continue to enrich their understanding and appreciation of diverse French-speaking communities and to develop the skills necessary for life-long language learning. Prerequisite: Grade 11 Core French, University Preparation

 

Spanish – Course Descriptions

Students may choose to take elective courses in Spanish in grades 10, 11 and 12. Note: A 2nd credit in languages satisfies a “Group 1” Compulsory Credit. A 3rd credit in languages satisfies a “Group 2″ Compulsory Credit.

Spanish, Grade 10 Academic – LWS BDI

This course is designed as an introductory language class for non-native speakers.  The instruction, application and review are highly interactive and develop essential skills to handle daily situations.  During this course the emphasis is on the development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. At the end of the semester, students will be equipped with the necessary language to understand native speakers and communicate effectively. This course is intended to prepare students for the next course in sequence, LWS 3UI.

Spanish, Grade 11 University – LWS CUI

This course offers students opportunities to further develop competence and confidence in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the language of study. Students will participate in interactive activities (e.g., discussions about literature, travel, shopping) in which they will further develop their knowledge of linguistic elements. They will continue to explore aspects of culture in regions of the world where the language is spoken, including fashion, historical figures, art, and architecture. Students will enhance their critical and creative thinking skills through reading diverse materials, including original literature, and will explore a variety of personal and professional contexts in which knowledge of the international language is required. Prerequisite: LWS BDI or approval from the Languages Department Head.

Spanish, Grade 12 University – LWS DUI

This course prepares students for postsecondary studies in the international language being studied. Students will continue to refine and enhance their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in the language, with the goal of using these communication skills in a variety of personal, academic, and professional contexts. Using a wide variety of sources, including original texts in the language, students will consolidate their language skills as they use increasingly complex linguistic elements and language conventions. Students will also have opportunities to enrich their knowledge of aspects of culture in regions where the language is spoken, including issues related to popular culture, linguistic communities in Canada, literature, history, geography, and the arts. Prerequisite: LWS CUI or approval from the Languages Department Head.

 

Enrichment – Exchanges, Travel, Club, Exams and Activities

The Languages department is dynamic, thriving and continually evolving to provide students with authentic experiences and to meet their needs. On top of the French Immersion, Core French and Spanish programs offered, there are a number of cultural opportunities available to enrich language learning.

France-Ontario Exchange with Montpellier, France

Imagine having the opportunity to live like the French for two weeks! You no longer need to imagine it: it can happen. KCI has been offering students enrolled in French Immersion and Core French courses a reciprocal exchange with a school in Montpellier, France since 2005. This exchange entails travel to Paris and a home stay in Montpellier, France for two weeks as well as hosting a French student for 10 days in their home. Students will see Paris and other key sites in France and experience all of the history and culture it has to offer. This kind of international travel promotes personal growth and friendship across two cultures and provides an unparalleled linguistic and cultural experience in a truly authentic milieu. It is a learning and travel opportunity of a lifetime!

Experiences Canada Exchange

Of course, we do not have to travel to France to be immersed in the French language and Francophone culture, so KCI also offers an exchange program within our own borders. Our inaugural exchange within Canada was in 2016 with an Acadian Francophone school in Charlottetown. Students from Charlottetown spent 9 days in our students’ homes and in May 2016, our students stayed in their partner’s homes in beautiful Prince Edward Island as tourist season was gearing up at the seaside. Beyond the rich linguistic experience and lifelong friendships this exchange has forged, day trips included Toronto and Niagara Falls for our guests and sea kayaking and visits to Green Gables and historical downtown, including sites involving Canadian Confederation.

St-Donat, Québec

This five-day cultural experience includes traditional québécois outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and more, as well as indoor activities, workshops, food, and language-learning activities.

French Club

KCI runs a French Club, where interested students meet to explore francophone culture from throughout the world. Activities include making crêpes and other delicacies, playing pétanque and various other games, discovering French humour through media, and enjoying French stories, music and films.

Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF)

The DELF provides internationally-recognized French language accreditation. This diploma is offered by the French Ministry of Education and certifies the level of language proficiency of a second language learner in French. KCI’s Grade 12 students have the option to take this test. They may complete this test for personal, academic or professional purposes, and can include the DELF qualification on their résumés as a competitive advantage. The DELF also provides life-long certification and is recognized as a certified language assessment for acceptance into a French university (level B2 or higher). For more information, visit the Alliance française. (Link: http://www.af.ca/ottawa/exam-centre/delf-dalf/) Ontario’s new Languages Curriculum is also based on the same framework as the DELF, the Common European Framework of Reference. (Link: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/cadre1_en.asp). See the new Languages Curriculum here: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/fsl912curr2014.pdf.

Advanced Placement (AP)

KCI offers the French Language AP exam. The AP program is an American standard of academic excellence. Students who achieve a level 4 or above on the exam may be awarded an elective credit upon advancement to a university that recognizes AP test results.

Field Trips

KCI has well-established links with its surrounding community. This enables the Languages department to arrange field trips and other authentic experiences for its students such as special viewings of foreign-language films at the Princess Cinemas and the Gorge Cinema in Elora. Business classes have a variety of guest speakers and field trips to places such as D2L, the Working Centre and Google, while the Public Speaking class competes in the Poetry in Voice National Competition, where one of our students placed 5th in Canada in 2016.