Français langue seconde - immersion

Introduction

The French Immersion Language Arts (FILA) curriculum describes what students must know, understand, and do from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The objective of this program is to place students in learning situations in a French-speaking context. Through these situations, students can acquire the competencies, knowledge, and strategies they need to effectively and confidently communicate and interact in French.

The aim of the French Immersion Language Arts program is to motivate all students to become educated citizens capable of questioning the world around them. Through the acquisition of Curricular Competencies, students are guided to develop their critical and creative thinking skills, and to formulate hypotheses, collaborate, and solve problems. In this program, the French language is considered a tool for reflection and communication that enables students to contribute to the society in which they live.

Features of the French Immersion Language Arts (FILA) Program

A Conceptual Framework

The Concepts and Big Ideas components support a deeper level of reflection by encouraging students to associate several concepts in order to understand the underlying elements that link them together.

Students will discover and expand their knowledge of language and literary concepts, including structure, meaning, interpretation, emotions, and identity. Once these concepts are familiar, students will be able to make generalizations and identify recurring phenomena and implied connections between concepts. For example, by exploring the concept of image in association with the concepts of message and interpretation, Grade 6 students will discover that images – like texts – contain information and clues that reveal their meaning and the artist’s intentions.

The various elements of this curriculum will therefore help students to develop competencies by applying them to concepts and specific content. In this way, students become able to identify patterns so that they can “understand” rather than merely “become familiar with” fundamental notions of the French language.

Openness to a Wide Range of Literature

Starting in Grade 3, the French Immersion Language Arts curriculum encourages the use of many different types and genres of texts. Throughout their studies, students will have the opportunity to study a variety of genres of Francophone literature from Canada and elsewhere, thus motivating them to explore and appreciate the diversity and richness of this work. Drawing on a vast array of texts, educators can convey the unique characteristics of each text. A text is a coherent set of written, oral, or visual elements that bears meaning and serves to communicate or convey a message. Texts can take many forms, including First Peoples stories, articles, advertisements, novels, albums, tales, legends, comics, biographies, correspondence, instructions, diagrams, graphics, news reports, films, songs, poems, nursery rhymes, photographs, images, artworks, oral presentations, blogs, surveys, reports, and text messages.

The Cultural Dimension

Culture and the development of student identity continue to be the focus of the French Immersion Language Arts program. The curriculum offers students the opportunity to explore and better understand the realities of their own culture, as well as the cultures of the French-speaking world. Through the study of French, students build their linguistic, cultural, and personal identities, all of which are reinforced throughout the learning process. 

A Language Continuum

Grammar tools are presented gradually, in a progression, taking into account the types of texts studied and the associated Curricular Competencies. This continuum enables students to develop their linguistic competencies contextually, which helps them to improve their communication skills and gain a better understanding of the mechanics of the language.

A Holistic Approach to Instruction and Learning

The French Immersion Language Arts curriculum represents an integrated and holistic approach to teaching and learning. In this curriculum, the six language arts elements (reading, listening, viewing, writing, speaking, and representing) are inextricably interconnected.

The program retains the organization of Curricular Competencies according to the two modes of language use: “understanding” (which corresponds to “Exploring and Reflecting”) and “expression” (which corresponds to “Creating and Communicating”).

The curriculum is based on the principle that all students must actively participate in the learning process. Students are encouraged to interact, interpret the meaning of messages, and implement communication strategies in French, both orally and in writing. Students are given special attention according to their needs, motivations, and pace of learning.

Flexible Teaching and Learning

The components of the curriculum work together in a dynamic and flexible way to facilitate in-depth learning. Within each grade, there is no single or “correct” way to combine pieces from each of these components. Instead, the structure allows for a great deal of choice in the ways in which these pieces can be combined to create lessons, units, and learning experiences.

The curriculum remains flexible, allowing for a variety of program structures in the context of the school or community. This open design promotes the creation of instructional approaches that combine two or more areas of learning, without mandating any particular form of interdisciplinary learning.

Design of the New French Immersion Language Arts (FILA) Program

The French Immersion Language Arts program follows the same format as all other areas of learning in the province, inspired by the Know-Do-Understand (KDU) model of learning. Students learn through Content (Know), Curricular Competencies (Do) and Big Ideas (Understand). More information about this model is available at https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/overview.

Big Ideas

Big Ideas represent the fundamental notions students should “Understand.” Students discover or grasp Big Ideas through the “Do” aspect of the area of learning, by associating the Content with the Curricular Competencies to reach a conceptual understanding. 

The example below shows how the Big Ideas become more complex each year.

 

Grade 2

Grade 5

Grade 8

Grade 11

Big Ideas

Awareness of other cultures helps us discover our own culture and build our own identity.

Cultural elements within a text reflect the diversity of cultures in society.

Becoming aware of the values conveyed in texts helps us to better understand their cultural content.

Linguistic variations offer cultural reference points within the French-speaking world.


Curricular Competencies

Curricular Competencies reflect what students must be able to “Do,” depending on their grade level and the area of learning. Students develop their overall competency by applying the Curricular Competencies (intellectual skills, processes, and habits) in diverse contexts. Curricular Competencies are related to the Core Competencies – Communication, Thinking, and Personal and Social.

The objective of this program is to put students in learning situations that will enable them to acquire the competencies, knowledge, and strategies required to effectively and confidently communicate and interact in French. Students develop Curricular Competencies that will allow them to explore and reflect (“Exploring and Reflecting”) as well as create and communicate (“Creating and Communicating”), in order to understand the connection between language and culture. The example below shows how the curriculum progresses from grade to grade.

 

Grade 2

Grade 5

Grade 8

Grade 11

Curricular Competencies

Identify the themes and keywords present in a text in order to understand the message.

Distinguish secondary ideas from the main ideas of a text.

Analyze a text in order to explore various interpretations.

 

Interpret a text to identify the explicit and implicit messages


Content

The Content represents the “Know” component of the model. This component includes the essential information students are expected to acquire as a result of their learning at a given grade, in order to achieve the Curricular Competencies. In each grade, each topic in the Content can potentially be applied through multiple Curricular Competencies that foster students’ understanding of Big Ideas.

Elaborations

Elaborations are provided for the majority of Curricular Competencies and Content via hyperlinks. They contain examples, clarifications, definitions, or any other information related to curriculum components at each grade level. The Elaborations serve as instructional and learning guides.

Important Considerations

Interactions with Francophone Communities

Interactions with members of Francophone communities help students gain open-mindedness and interculturality. Interactions can take various forms in different contexts. For example:

  • outings (plays, films, festivals, restaurants, concerts)
  • exchanges or travel in Francophone settings
  • use of technology (media, social media)
  • online interaction with French-speaking communities (blogs, forums)

These experiences offer authentic, varied, and interesting possibilities for interaction, both within and outside students’ own communities.

First Peoples Principles of Learning

To encourage students to become aware of their own points of view and those of others, the French Immersion Language Arts program takes into account First Peoples Principles of Learning and perspectives. These principles were developed with educators and members of the First Peoples community, and were confirmed by First Peoples societies to guide the instruction and learning of provincial curricula. Students will deepen their knowledge of the French language by establishing, through a process of reflection, explicit ties between Francophone and First Peoples languages and cultures.