A Map for Supporting Student Pathways in FSL
A Resource for Guidance Counsellors in Ontario

There are myriad benefits for students who make the most of their FSL education. As a guidance counsellor – especially one who may not have engaged in French learning since you were in school – how do you best guide your students and their families towards continuing that learning?

This resource can be explored at leisure or used just-in-time to help you guide a student, based on your questions or theirs. The perspectives of students, administrators, FSL teachers, and parents are all considered.

To watch the video with English or French subtitles, click the “CC” button and select your preferred language.

As a Guidance Counsellor, you sit in a unique position to be able to share the greater opportunities that FSL education offers to students with them and their families. You can advocate for FSL programs for all students and support retention in those programs.

Relevant Resources:

Education and career life planning succeeds when the entire school community is informed about it, engaged in it, and committed to it. –Creating Pathways to Success (2013)

Guidance Counsellors have a unique role to play in supporting their FSL teacher colleagues in Ontario schools. Guidance can help in many ways, whether it’s facilitating transitions between schools or grade levels, reinforcing the benefits of FSL learning to students, or communicating the opportunities for cultural excursions offered by FSL Teachers.

Relevant Resources:

  • FSL Guidance Partnerships; a document outlining how FSL Teachers and Guidance Counsellors can each support French education through course selections, pathways planning, transferable skills, and more.

Continuing in FSL programs has long-term benefits for a student’s academic, professional, and personal life, regardless of where their individual path takes them. As a Guidance Counsellor in Ontario, you can help students discover and explore these benefits.

Relevant Resources:

  • French in Ontario; a factsheet of statistics about French speakers in the province, as well as a breakdown of how French can help in varied occupations like medicine, finance, tourism, and trades.
  • The Importance of Collaboration; a video exploring the creation of IEPs including FSL and making transitions into new grade levels.

French Immersion, Extended French and Core French all start at different points in a student’s educational pathway and are tracked via number of instruction hours at the elementary level and through credits at the secondary level. Consultation with the FSL teacher and providing families with policy-based information is important in supporting informed decision making.

Relevant Resources:

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a tool that describes the competencies needed by second-language learners in order to be able to communicate effectively. As a Guidance Counsellor in Ontario, it’s helpful to know the distinctions between the levels, and how they relate to student language proficiency.

Relevant Resources:

Q. What parts of the FSL curriculum are relevant to Guidance?

Access What do Ministry of Education Documents Say? to learn about curriculum goals, requirements, and inclusion initiatives as they pertain to FSL and to guidance.

Q. What are the requirements for a student in the core / extended / immersion program?

Access The Programs in French as a Second Language to get a summary of the core, extended, and immersion programs and the key differences between each.

Q. A student is debating whether or not to continue in FSL next year. How do I show them the benefits of staying?

Use the Conversation Stems for Counsellors resource to apply an FSL lens to career and life planning framework.

Access the French as a Second Language Transferable Skills document (also available en français) to show the opportunities that continuing in FSL provides.

Share the statistics and job-specific benefits of having knowledge of French from French in Ontario.

Q. A student is asking how many credits they need in their core / extended / immersion FSL program to graduate.

The table in The Programs in French as a Second Language outlines the number of credits and/or hours of instruction a student must complete in each program – core, extended, and immersion.

Q. A student has asked about taking the DELF examination. How can I help them?

Students challenge the Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) to demonstrate their proficiency in the French language at a specific CEFR level: A1, A2, B1, or B2. If a student is interested in the test, liaise with their FSL teacher as well as reviewing the CEFR factsheet to help the student identify the right level at which to challenge the test.

Visit destinationDELF.ca with the student to get an overview of the test, its benefits, and access to practice examinations.

Q. Beyond knowing another language, what other skills does a student require when studying French as a second language?

The French as a Second Language Transferable Skills document (also available en français) shows the multiple benefits a student gains from learning a second language, including critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and many more.

Q. A Grade 11 student has aspirations in medicine / business / tourism and wants to know if it’s worthwhile to continue in FSL.

Share the job-specific benefits – for industries like medicine, business/finance, retail, tourism, and trades – of having knowledge of the French language from French in Ontario.

Q. A parent is concerned about their child’s FSL grade and is wondering whether or not to keep them in their FSL program. How can I encourage them to stay?

French language education has far-reaching benefits for a student’s education, professional career, and life.

Share the job-specific benefits of having knowledge of French from French in Ontario.

Explore the additional transferable skills gained from learning a second language from the French as a Second Language Transferable Skills document.

Vision and Goals

French as a Second Language – Core, Extended, and Immersion, Grades 1 to 12


Students will communicate and interact with growing confidence in French, one of Canada’s official languages, while developing the knowledge, skills, and perspectives they need to participate fully as citizens in Canada and in the world.


In all French as a second language programs, students realize the vision of the FSL curriculum as they strive to:

  • Use French to communicate and interact effectively in a variety of social settings;
  • Learn about Canada, its two official languages, and other cultures;
  • Appreciate and acknowledge the interconnectedness and interdependence of the global community;
  • Be responsible for their own learning, as they work independently and in groups;
  • Use effective learning strategies;
  • Become lifelong language learners for personal growth and for active participation as world citizens.

A framework for French as a Second Language in Ontario Schools; K-12


Students in English-language school boards have the confidence and ability to use French effectively in their daily lives.


  • Increase student confidence, proficiency, and achievement in FSL;
  • Increase the percentage of students studying FSL until graduation;
  • Increase student, educator, parent, and community engagement in FSL.