A Guide to French Language Education in Manitoba

Answers to common questions about:
French First Language, French Immersion and French Courses (English Program)


French First Language | French Immersion | French | Contact Us

A Guide to French Language Education in Manitoba
Complete Brochure
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Did you know?

  • Learning additional languages, such as French, enhances students’ critical thinking, creative thinking and problem-solving skills, thereby strengthening their abilities in English Language Arts, Math and Science.
  • Students learning additional languages acquire crosscultural skills, adapt better to varying cultural contexts and display greater cultural sensitivity.
  • In Manitoba’s public schools, one out of every two students is registered in a French program or course.
  • Based on the 2006 Census data, a little less than one Canadian in three identified himself as being able to converse in French and close to one Canadian in four identified himself as being able to speak in French as the first official language.
  • More than 200 million people in 55 countries on 5 continents speak French on a regular basis.
  • French is the second most frequently taught additional language in the world.
  • On the Internet, French is the third most common language, providing a wealth of information, networking and learning opportunities.
  • French is one of the official languages of the European Union, the International Olympic Committee, the United Nations, NATO and UNESCO.
  • Worldwide, more than 145 million people are currently being educated in French.
  • Technological advances are occurring in cutting-edge industries where French is used to communicate. Knowing the language is an asset for a career in nuclear energy, civil engineering, hydro-electric power research, medical research and aeronautics.

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French First Language

Who is eligible?

Intended for a Francophone child or, as stated in Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for a child:

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of a parent whose first language learned and still understood is French; or
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of a parent who received primary school instruction in French anywhere in Canada; or
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whose sibling has received or is receiving primary or secondary school instruction in French anywhere in Canada.

And, in the spirit of Section 23 of the Charter, for a child of a parent:

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with Francophone roots who wants to relearn the French language and reintroduce Francophone identity and culture into his or her child’s life; or
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who wants his or her child to retain French language skills and Francophone identity and culture (e.g. Francophone immigrants who are permanent residents of Canada).

What are the goals?

The Français Program aims to develop bilingual Francophone students who will:

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master French as a first language;
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master English;
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be committed to building a positive Francophone identity;
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have a sense of belonging to the Francophone community;
value Francophone cultures;
value other languages, cultures, and communities throughout Canada and around the world.

What approach is used?

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French first language education is offered from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
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English Language Arts is introduced in Grade 3 or Grade 4.
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School programming and extra-curricular activities provide a solid and dynamic environment that values French language and Francophone cultures.
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School, home and community are committed partners in supporting the student to build a Francophone identity.
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Schools and the school division usually communicate with parents in French. Schools offer assistance to parents who cannot not speak French, enabling them to be involved in their child’s education.

When can students begin?

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Eligible students may enter at any grade level.
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For a child who speaks little or no French, a variety of strategies will be used to learn French and build a Francophone identity.

Where to find more information?

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Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM)
Telephone: 204-878-9399
Préparer un avenir prometteur – promotional brochure of the DSFM
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A locator map of schools in the DSFM
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French Immersion

Who is eligible?

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Designed for all non-Francophone children who want to become functionally bilingual and develop an appreciation of Francophone cultures.

What are the goals?

The French Immersion Program aims to develop functionally bilingual students who will:

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master English;
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be able to communicate in French in personal and professional situations;
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demonstrate an appreciation for the French language, and the cultural diversity of the French-speaking world;
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value the learning of French as a tool for personal, intellectual, and social growth;
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value other languages, cultures, and communities throughout Canada and around the world.

What approach is used?

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French is used as the language of instruction for a significant part of the day.
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In Kindergarten, the language of instruction is French, with occasional exceptions.
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From Grade 1 to Grade 6, subjects are taught in French, for at least 75% of the time.
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From Grade 7 to Grade 12, some courses are taught in French, for at least 50% of the time.
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Cultural and extra-curricular activities in French are offered to support language skill development outside the classroom.
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Schools communicate with parents in English.

When can students begin?

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In accordance with the Curriculum Policy for the French Immersion Program, there are three entry points to the Program: Early Immersion (Kindergarten or Grade 1 entry), Middle Immersion (Grade 4 entry), and Late Immersion (Grade 7 entry).
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Most schools offer Early Immersion. Some schools offer Middle or Late Immersion.

Where to find more information?

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French Immersion in Manitoba – a detailed guide of the Program
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Canadian Parents for French MB – A Parent Association dedicated to promoting French second language learning opportunities

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French (English Program)

Who is eligible?

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Designed for all non-Francophone children enrolled in the English Program who want to develop skills and knowledge in the French language and develop an appreciation of Francophone cultures.

What are the goals?

The French Course aims to develop students who, after many years of study, will:

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acquire a good foundation in French from which to pursue fluency and possibly become bilingual;
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demonstrate an appreciation of Francophone cultures;
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value the learning of French as a tool for personal, intellectual, and social growth;
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value other languages, cultures, and communities throughout Canada and around the world.

What approach is used?

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French is taught as a subject. Recommended time allotment:
K to Grade 3 20 minutes per day
Grades 4 to 8 30-35 minutes per day
Grades 9 to 12 110 hours per credit
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French is used as the language of instruction.
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French language knowledge and skills are developed through the use of themes and projects geared to the interests and life experiences of the students.
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Cultural activities in French enrich the students’ learning experience.
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Intensive French is primarily a literacy-based approach delivering French instruction in a concentrated block of time. Enhanced French, which applies the same approach, may be offered as a follow-up.

When can students begin?

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In schools where it is offered, French begins in Grade 4 and may continue to Grade 12.
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Early Start French may be offered from Kindergarten to Grade 3.
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Distance Learning is available for Grades 7 to 12. Web-based courses are also available for Grades 9 to 12.
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The Intensive French approach may be offered in either Grade 5 or 6. Two to three years or more of Enhanced French may follow.

Where to find more information?

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Canadian Parents for French MB – A Parent Association dedicated to promoting French second language learning opportunities

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Contact Us


For more information, contact:

Bureau de l’éducation française Division
Manitoba Education

509-1181 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3G 0T3
Phone: 204-945-6916
Toll free: 1-800-282-8069, ext. 6916
Fax: 204-945-1625
Email: bef@gov.mb.ca
Website: http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/indexfr.html