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Meeting the French Requirement of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma


According to the Ministry of Education, all Ontario students are required to complete one credit in French as a Second Language.

Most students complete this compulsory requirement at Grade 9, the first year they enter high school. The 1999 Grade 9 and 10 French as a Second Language Curriculum offered only two options to students: FSF1D (Core French Academic) and FSF1P (Core French Applied). The prerequisite for both of these courses was and still is (under the 2014 curriculum) a minimum of 600 hours of French instruction, or equivalent. Students who attend the brick and mortar public or private elementary schools in Ontario often meet this requirement, as French studies are part of pupils’ daily learning.

Learning Canada’s Second Official Language Under Old Curriculum

Under the previous curriculum, many international students, homeschooled students or individuals who transferred from another province to Ontario were unable to meet the French compulsory requirement through completion of the French courses offered. These students were able to meet this OSSD requirement through the “substitution” of a compulsory credit course. While this was a quick fix to the problem, many students lost the opportunity to learn Canada’s second official language.

The new curriculum attempted to address this issue by designing and offering a French course that has no prerequisite: FSF1O. Now, students who were unable to accumulate the minimum 600 hours of French instruction during their elementary years are able to complete this diploma requirement through completion of a credit course. However, most public and private high schools do not offer the FSF1O course and as such, school guidance are still using “substitution” to help students meet this graduation requirement.

Why FSF1O is not being offered?

For one thing, there is a shortage of certified French teachers in Canada. Another reason is a lack of academic resources to help teachers develop the course. While with the publication of any new curriculum, textbook giants such as Nelson jump at the opportunity of publishing a new text book, no resource was created to support the FSF1O curriculum.

Along with English, French is one of the only languages spoken on all five continents. For many Canadians, being fluent in French can open post-secondary education and job opportunities. French is also a great language for those interested in traveling and learning about arts.

BrightMinds is one of the only Online High Schools in Ontario that offers FSF1O course

Designed to meet the expectations of the French curriculum and delivered by Ontario certified teachers, our FSF1O course not only helps students meet their graduation requirement but also gives them the opportunity to become familiar with the French language. Students who complete the FSF1O can continue learning French as a Second Language through their high school years, improving their education as well as their job prospect.

Contact us today to learn more about this one-of-a-kind course!