The Modern Languages Department at St. Peter Catholic Secondary School offers courses in Core French, French Immersion and an Introductory Spanish course. Our Core French classes are offered from grade 9 to 12 at the open (grade 9 only), applied (grade 9 only) and academic/university (grade 9 - 12) levels. We also offer a large variety of courses in the Immersion program. In grade 9 students are offered courses in French in the following subjects: French, Religion, Geography, Science, Drama, and Phys Ed. The variety of courses continues in grade 10 with the following courses: French, Religion, History, Phys Ed., Science, and Career and Civics. By grade 11 and 12 French and Religion are offered. This variety of courses gives students many opportunities to reach their 10 immersion credits to earn their Immersion Certificate.
Our department also offers an Introductory to Spanish course. This course in an open level course where students learn the basics of how to communicate in Spanish. There are field trips planned to local restaurants where students use the language to order food and converse. This field trip also teaches them about the culture. One of the students enjoyed the course and learning this new language so much that she applied and completed a 3 month exchange to Spain through the Canadian Education Exchange Foundation. This was an amazing opportunity for her to deepen her learning of the language and culture.
The teachers involved in the department offer our students rich and rewarding learning opportunities. They are all francophone from various parts of the country and they are all passionate about teaching and sharing their language with the students. We focus our teaching around the philosophy of the CEFR where communication plays a major role in everyday learning. Students learn the language in a manner that will help them to use the language in meaningful and practical ways. This is especially important in the Core French program where students are still in the beginning stages of learning French as a Second Language.
To do this, we offer learning activities that are based on real-life experiences such as ordering food. We practise this activity with the students in the classroom setting and then create an environment in which the students have to put their skills to practical use. To do this, we setup a crêpe making station where students have to order their crêpe and their desired toppings in French.
Every other year, our department organizes an exchange with a lycée in Bar-Le-Duc, France. This is a 2 week reciprocal exchange where 25 students from France spend two weeks (in October/November) with the students and staff of St. Peter and in March (over March Break and one other week) the students and a few staff from St. Peter travel to France to spend two weeks with their exchange partners. This is an incredible experience for all involved. There are many activities planned and the students really get to experience something special as they develop friendships that will last a lifetime.
By grade 12, all students enrolled in a French as a Second Language course (Core or Immersion) are offered the opportunity to sit the DELF exam. This is a French language proficiency test for students studying French as a second language through to their grade 12 year. If successful, the certificate that they receive is valid for life and recognized worldwide. It is also beneficial for students choosing to take French courses in post-secondary institutions as a successful exam could replace the French entrance exam that many universities offer. It is also an ace for students who are looking to travel and work or volunteer abroad. This exam in completed in May and tests students abilities in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.