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Get to Know the Modern Languages Department at TFSS



Why take a French course at our school?

Turner Fenton Secondary School offers students a choice of programs. In addition to the academic programs, Turner Fenton students are given opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities, a student driven extended French conference (Imaginons le français) and excursions in French (the Living Arts Centre, The ROM, Francophone Restaurants).  Here, we try to create a diverse and favourable learning environment which benefits the well-being of each student.   Our knowledgeable teachers motivate students demonstrating empathy, integrity, respect and trust. 


Our school mission statement:  Empower all students to participate, learn and succeed 

Department Theory of Action:  If we focus on making learning, assessment and evaluation more authentic, meaningful, personal, and tailored to students’ level of ability, then students will be more engaged, focused, and productive, and will develop more confidence communicating in the target language and increase intercultural awareness.  Some strategies to support student learning and evaluation in a positive climate include: providing constructive and timely feedback, encouraging self-reflection, and conducting student/teacher conferences.


Our French as a second language programs

Core French (academic and applied):  Students learn French by mastering the basics of the language.


Extended French:  Students accumulate seven credits in French:  four courses in FSL as well as three other subjects taught in French (geography, history and an introductory course to the three social sciences - Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology). 


Middle Years Program and the International Baccalaureate Program (Language Acquisition - French B):  Students learn French at an advanced level with respect to content while incorporating the MYP approaches to learning (thinking skills, social skills, communication skills, self-management skills and research skills).  Teachers and students use statements of inquiry, related concepts and global contexts in order to frame classroom inquiry and direct purposeful learning.  These are developed and integrated naturally into each course.  A method of evaluation is used which conforms to the expectations of the International Baccalaureate Program, as well as those of the Ministry of Education.


Our objectives and our strategies

The principle objective of our program is to help each student to develop his/her skills in communication, knowledge and understanding, thinking & inquiry and application in French. 

Language courses at Turner Fenton permit students to refine and hone their communicative skills in speaking, listening, writing and reading with a variety of differentiated pedagogical strategies and technology.  The goal of our teaching is to increase their appreciation of culture and reach their potential in French by participating in a plethora of rich, authentic and cross-curricular activities.  Our teaching methods motivate students to be sensitive, to explore, to react, to auto-evaluate, to analyse, to reflect, to collaborate, to integrate and to become self learners, as well as to acquire a high level of linguistic knowledge and skills in French.   While planning courses, teachers consider the following principles:  Global-mindeness, equality, flexibility, inclusion, security, cooperative learning, task-oriented learning working towards culminating projects and learning with feedback.  Our grade 9 classes are organized in such a way as to encourage students to continue their studies in French and to prepare them for the following years. 



Our linguistic and communicative goals

Upon completion of a grade 9 French course, the student will be able to:

  • express ideas, desires, needs, opinions and feelings

  • persuade and describe

  • talk about events in the present, past and future

  • talk about his/her daily routines

  • understand written or oral messages in the context of given themes, vocabulary and newly acquired language structures.

  • ask direct and indirect questions

  • use pronouns in sentences to avoid repetition

  • identify, understand and use a variety of conventions and linguistic structures

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

They will 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 language learning strategies; • become lifelong language learners for personal growth and for active participation as world citizens.

The Applied, Core, Extended French, the Middle Years Program and International Baccalaureate Students will be provided with fundamental communication skills in French and an understanding of the nature of the language & its culture. 



Why learn French? 

Our teachers believe that learning French as a second language will encourage students to:

  • broaden their understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity.  Acquisition of a second language contributes considerably to the global development of students and helps them to succeed in other disciplines

  • become more competitive in a working world which has become more globalbonjour.jpg

  • understand the history of Canada and to more fully appreciate francophone culture in their own country.

  • appreciate the arts, fashion, gastronomy, theatre, architecture and dance whose language influences often come from French.

  • appreciate the beauty of this rich and melodic language that we often call the language of love.  French is quite simply a lovely language to learn.

  • travel to a francophone destination


How to improve your French language skills

 Do not be afraid to make a mistake!  •  Take chances  •  Speak French!  •  Speak exclusively in French in class and as often as possible outside of class  •  Acquire CD Audio programs which are easily available in community libraries and in the language section of most book stores. Consistently using the programs will improve listening and oral skills  •  Record and listen to yourself on a device after having read aloud or speaking spontaneously about a certain subject  •  Read a bit of French every day  •  Read news reports in French on-line  •  Watch French language television and movies  •  Set any movie that you are watching on the target language and set the subtitles in target language as well  •  Listen to French language music  •  Travel to French speaking destinations  •  Sign-up for summer exchange work or study programs  •  Review your notes and vocabulary lists frequently  •  Read labels!  •  Set all of your social networking pages to French



Annual French Conference at Turner Fenton

This conference will take place at the school on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.  Students from Beatty-Fleming & Sir John A. MacDonald will attend the conference along with a select few of our grade 9-12 students from the extended and core programs.  A group of Grade 11 & 12 students making up an executive planning committee are in charge of the organization of the conference.  The Modern FrConf.pngLanguages Department and the students want to run this event to promote the use of the French language at Turner Fenton, outside of the classroom, as well as to develop the understanding and appreciation of francophone culture in Canada and around the world.  Some of our students will lead workshops, organize games and singing activities all in French.  They will have the opportunity to enjoy French food as well.  We will be inviting guest speakers and instructors who will guide the workshops in French.  Cross-culturally, students will participate in high energy cultural style dance classes led in French.  This conference will be a fun, meaningful and educational French experience for all involved.


Note to parents:  Strategies to help your child to succeed in learning languages

Here are six strategies that you can use to help your child succeed in learning French as a second language at any level.

  • Show that you are interested in your child learning French as a second language by asking questions and by participating in some French learning activities together.  You can perhaps ask him/her to teach you some vocabulary recently learned. 

  • Check what your child is doing in class (homework, assignments, workbook, course outline, vocabulary).

  • Visit a useful site on the Internet to help your child with their homework in French.  Here is an example:  http://www.fslhomeworktoolbox.ca/index.php

  • Participate in some French cultural activities with your family (travel to a francophone region, visit a museum with a French historical or artistic exposition, watch French films or English films with French audio and subtitles, listen to French music, go to a French restaurant, prepare a French meal, explore French Internet sites.

  • Ensure that your child works to practice a little bit each day in a comfortable study environment without too much distraction.  He/She can read a little in French or begin a daily writing journal in French.

  • Encourage and motivate your child by telling him/her that you are proud of their progress in learning a second language. 


How to communicate with the language teachers at Turner Fenton:

At Turner Fenton, communication between administration, teachers, parents and students is

essential to the success of students.  We hope to encourage parents to get involved in the learning of French as a second language and consider it as an important part of their child's academia.  You could perhaps speak to the teacher about his/her progress, presence or behaviour.  Here is how to communicate with teachers at Turner Fenton. 

telephone:  (905) 453-9220  (Each teacher has their own extension where you can leave a message).

e-mail:  [email protected]

parent night:  takes place twice a year.  Please see attachments with information about dates that accompany report cards

Grade 8 information night – October 23, 2019 at 5:30.  General Parent Night – October 16, 2019 & March 26, 2020 at 5:00-7:00pm.

online learning platforms:  Students have access to several online learning platforms where many teachers post announcements, homework and assignments.  These include My Class, Google Classroom, ManageBac, and D2L - Brightspace. 


Teachers of the Modern Languages Department 

Mme Damitz (Head of Department) 
Mme Nadalin-Hill
Mme Arapi-Strumos
Mme Ragbirsingh
Mme Gagnon
Mme Suppa
M. Marissen
Mme Capati



Helpful Websites



About.com - French




BBC - French



Un jour, une actu




The French Corner


Social networking for languages



Language podcasts

Daily French Podcast



Peer Tutoring

May be available during lunch periods. Drop in to the Moderns Department Office for more info.



Movies: les misérables, les choristes, les intouchables, el laberinto del fauno, como aqua por chocolate.


TV shows: Les Parent,  le téléjournal, l'union fait la force, la semaine verte, Tou.tv.


Musique: musique plus, youtube


Magazines: Okapi, Phosphore, Géo ado


Student photo
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