Careers: French as a Second Language

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Do you have a passion for teaching French as a second language and are you looking for a new position, or to start your career?  Come learn about the Durham District School Board (DDSB), a growing organization with more than 7,000 teaching and support staff across 136 schools and learning centres.  DDSB is located just east of Toronto in Durham Region, a rich and diverse community, and a great place to live!  

Durham District School Board looks forward to meeting with you and welcoming you to our dynamic team!

Visit “Careers” for employment opportunities.  A position awaits you! À très bientôt!

We Value French - The importance of learning a second/additional language

French is an integral part of the Canadian identity and therefore learning French allows students to communicate with French-speaking Canadians but also with millions of native speakers around the world.

Learning another language develops students' awareness of how language and culture interconnect, helping them appreciate and respect the diversity of Canadian and global societies.

There are many advantages of learning a second/additional language for students:

  • increase mental flexibility

  • enhance cognitive development & student’s confidence as a learner

  • improve problem-solving skills

  • develop a better understanding of aspects of a variety of cultures

  • acquire a greater awareness of global issues

  • expand career opportunities

  • facilitate the learning of additional languages

(Source: Ontario FSL Curriculum)

DDSB offers Core French and French Immersion

Core French Program 

The Core French (CF) program begins in Grade 4 in the DDSB and is offered in all the schools, with the exception of the FI centres. By the end of Grade 8, students have accumulated a minimum of 600 hours of French instruction.  DDSB is encouraging students to acquire a strong oral foundation and understand the value of learning another language by pursuing their language acquisition at the secondary level.

In high school academic, applied, and open courses are offered in CF in grades 9 and 10; university preparation and open courses are offered in Grades 11 & 12. 

French Immersion Program

The French Immersion (FI) program begins in Grade one and continues to Grade 12. From grades one to three, students are immersed in 100% French instruction. English instruction is introduced in Grade 4 and is the language of instruction for 50% of the day in Grades 4‐8.

In Grade nine, our students transition to secondary school. From Grade 9 to Grade 12, students must complete 10 credits (6 electives and 4 French language courses) to complete the FI program.

French Immersion is offered in all of the geographical areas of the DDSB. Eighteen elementary schools offer French Immersion. (10 dual track (English and French) and 8 single track (French only) elementary schools). French Immersion is offered at eight secondary schools.

Learn more about the French Immersion program in DDSB schools. 

Diplôme d’études en langue française 

When offered by the DDSB, students enrolled in Grade 12 French as a Second Language (FSL) have the opportunity to challenge the Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF). The costs associated with the DELF are covered by the DDSB. There is no cost to students.

Visit Destination DELF for more information.

We support our FSL educators

In addition to the professional development and supports offered to all of our educators, here are some of the specialized supports that have been made available to FSL educators:

  • Full subsidies (no cost) for Additional Qualifications (AQ) courses for FSL Part 1, Part 2, and Specialist through our DDSB/Trent University partnership

  • In-house trainings offered by our FSL department 

  • Live and on-demand trainings on FSL resources purchased by the DDSB for its FSL educators

  • Professional memberships to the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT), l’Association canadienne des professionnels de l’immersion (ACPI), and the Ontario Modern Languages Teachers’ Association (OMLTA), at no cost to educators

  • FSL expert speaker series for educators

  • Formal certification for DELF exam correcteurs/correctrices offered by DDSB FSL department·
French Language Proficiency

DDSB commits to accompanying educators on their language journey to further build their French language proficiency. Here are some of the opportunities that have been offered:

  • Individual language coaching through ACPI and Première Class

  • Drop-in language enrichment sessions that focus on Francophone culture

  • Franco-fun experiences for staff, such as a virtual cooking class and a French family movie night 


FSL educators are equipped with a host of resources to help them in their practice. For example, past resources have included:

  • An internal FSL staff website where educators can find a variety of French resources that support the Core French  and the French Immersion programs, as well as built-in tools for professional collaboration

  • Pearson’s Écho Pro for Grades 4-6 Core French

  • Pearson’s Mon Réseau, ma vie for Grades 7-8 Core French

  • Pearson’s Jusqu’au Bout for Grades 10-12 FSL

  • Planet French website

  • Scholastic’s French Magazines

  • DELF resources to prepare students to take the exam

FSL educators are provided with numerous opportunities to collaborate. These have included:

  • Monthly collaboration drop-in sessions

  • Access to a cross-board database to facilitate self-directed collaboration

  • Networks to access support from like-grade and subject educators

  • The Google Currents platform (similar to Facebook) for educators to connect and share ideas, lesson plans and other resources

  • Support from system facilitators/consultants

  • Opportunities to participate in writing teams and inquiry projects

  • Specific additional support for FSL educators in the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP), including learning hubs and mentoring


We celebrate la Francophonie

Language and culture go hand in hand. We strive to bring authentic experiences to our FSL students. Past experiences have included:

  • FSL Cultural Experiences Series. This series provided cultural experiences directly into our FSL classrooms, organized by the Board. Experiences have included: Internationally renowned recording artist Corneille, storyteller Djennie Laguerre, The Anne Frank House, Étienne, two-time Olympian Jennifer Wakefield, Alpha-Rhythm Roots, authors, and more.

  • School trips to French communities.

  • School performances and event.

  • Class field trips (e.g., Cabane à sucre, restaurants, theatre, museums, learning centres).

The hiring process for FSL educators

DDSB only accepts online teacher applications (for permanent and occasional positions) through Apply to Education. All qualified candidates will be considered for available positions.

 Required Documentation

You need to include the following information:

  • Resume and cover letter
  • Proof of Ontario Teaching Certification and registration with the Ontario College of Teachers
  • Practice Teaching Reports or recent appraisal
  • Proof of specialty qualifications, if applicable (e.g., FSL)
  • Two professional references (include contact information)
  • Criminal Reference Check with Vulnerable Sector component

The minimum requirement is “Registration in good standing” with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). You may apply before you receive your Certification of Registration. Simply indicate that this is in progress on your resume and cover letter. A teaching position will likely be conditional upon supplying the documents at a later point. 

The Hiring Process
For FSL candidates, the hiring process takes place in two stages: the language proficiency assessment and the interview.  
The Interview Process 

Interviews can happen at either the Board level or the school level depending on the time of year.

Preparing for an interview
  • Familiarize yourself with the DDSB website, including our Strategic Plan for Student Success as well as our Equity and Inclusion Plan.
  • Consult the Ontario Curriculum, French as a Second Language (Elementary/Secondary) and the Growing Success Ministry documents.
  • Reflect on your experiences in teaching/learning French and be prepared to share your thoughts and examples with the team. 
At the Board level 

Prior to the interview, candidates will first  be invited to participate in the first stage of the French Teacher Hiring:  the Online DDSB Language Proficiency Assessment.

FSL candidates will be contacted ahead of time to participate in an interview. 

The interview will consist of a series of questions where candidates will have the opportunity to share their qualifications, FSL experiences and pedagogical knowledge with two (2) members of the hiring committee.

At the school level

At different occasions during the school year, FSL candidates will also have the opportunity to apply to the occasional and permanent positions posted below and go through the school interview process.

Typically, the interview will consist of a series of questions where candidates will have the opportunity to share their qualifications, FSL experiences and pedagogical knowledge with two (2) members of the school administrative team. The school interview could take place in English and/or French. Following the interview, candidates will be invited to participate in the next stage of the French Teacher Hiring:  the Online DDSB French Language Proficiency Assessment. 

Verification of French language competence

All candidates interested in teaching FSL in DDSB are required to pass the Language Proficiency Assessment (LPA) using a virtual platform.  The LPA, inspired by the B2 level from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR),  is used to evaluate the French competence of all FSL candidates. The assessment will take approximately one (1) hour to complete and can be done in multiple sittings.

DDSB Language Proficiency Assessment consists of the following:

Oral and Written Production
  • Three questions (minimum of 2 minutes per response) to be answered orally in the form of a video (Oral Production)
  • Two written paragraphs (a minimum of 250 words per paragraph) on the topics provided (Written Production)

Take a moment to consult the preparation document that is sent to all candidates interested in taking the school board's LPA. 

DALF (Diplôme approfondi de langue française) levels C1 & C2
Candidates who have achieved a level C1 and above on the DALF are exempted from taking the Language Proficiency Assessment.  A copy of the DALF certificate must be included in the Application package. 
How to prepare for the LPA in advance?
  • Familiarize yourself with the main ideas of The Ontario Curriculum, French as a Second Language (found in front matter/context of the elementary or secondary curriculum)

  • Review  French grammar basics (e.g., choice of verb tenses, gender and number agreement, past participle rules, word order) by visiting websites to test your grammatical and lexical knowledge

  • Review how to say common pedagogical terms in French (e.g., culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy, assessment for, as, of learning, action-oriented approach/tasks)

  • Practice your French language skills (e.g., listen to French media, do a practice interview in French with a friend, read French texts, ask a colleague to review a writing passage)

Please note that the use of a dictionary, grammar, translation application or any other reference is not permitted during this language proficiency assessment. 

Helpful websites 


Frequently Asked Questions

I am a new FSL graduate teacher. Can I apply for a position if my Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) application is still being processed?
Yes. Pending your OCT qualifications, you can receive a letter of permission allowing you to work as a supply or permanent teacher.
I am French speaking but am not a certified teacher. Can I apply for positions?
Depending on the system’s needs in regards to FSL teachers, non-certified French teachers could be considered to work as emergency supply teachers. These positions will be posted on our website when DDSB is looking at hiring non-certified FSL teachers. 
Can I apply for an FSL position if I took my initial teacher training abroad?

You must be licensed to teach by the Ontario College of Teachers in order to obtain an FSL position in Durham School Board schools. Visit the OCT's website for more information.

I am a certified teacher. Can I apply for a position if I do not currently have my FSL Part 1 qualification?

Depending on the FSL needs at the time of application, this may be possible. Applicants who are not currently qualified for FSL but who speak French can apply (the teaching placement would be on a one year letter of approval).  All applicants interested in teaching in our FSL programs must enroll in the FSL Part 1 course within the school year. Job offers will be conditional on obtaining the FSL qualification or equivalent (permanent teachers).

What is the DDSB Language Proficiency Assessment?
All applicants interested in teaching French have to complete the DDSB Language test.  This virtual test has been designed to assess the applicants’ French competence.  For more information regarding the Language Proficiency Test, please consult the section 'Verification of French language competence’ located on this webpage. 
Do I need to complete the Language Proficiency Assessment even if I graduated with a French Degree or French is my first language?

Yes. The only exception is for all applicants who received a level C1 or C2 on the DALF. 

Do I need to complete the Language Proficiency Assessment even if I received a DELF certificate/diploma?

Yes. The only exception is for all applicants who received a level C1 or C2 on the DALF.

If I have already passed the Language Proficiency Assessment from another Ontario school board, is it mandatory for me to take the DDSB assessment?
Yes. Since there is no standard language proficiency test presently used by Ontario school boards, this requirement is still in place for any FSL teacher, who didn’t receive a level C1 or C2 on the DALF, wishing to obtain a position in our schools.
If I complete the Language Proficiency Assessment and I qualify to teach Core French, can I be reassessed to teach French Immersion?

Yes.  We encourage you to look into opportunities to continue perfecting your French skills.  If you are interested in retaking the Language Proficiency Assessment, please contact the Human Resources Services to make this request.

If I qualify to teach French Immersion, does that also give me the flexibility to teach Core French?
If I failed the Language Proficiency Assessment, can I receive feedback?

Yes, unsuccessful candidates will receive an email summarizing some of the language challenges that were taken up within the test as well as some recommendations to help them develop and deepen their mastery of the French language. 

If I accept a position as an FSL teacher, will I have the opportunity to teach in the regular program if I wish to change careers?

Our primary goal is to hire candidates who have a passion for teaching FSL. We hope that with what is in place in terms of mentoring, collaboration and networking, professional development workshops and available resources, candidates will have the desire to have a long career as FSL teachers within our schools. It should be noted that according to school board policies, all permanent teachers holding the necessary qualifications can apply for positions that interest them during their career. 

How to become qualified as a French teacher in Ontario

Not yet qualified as a French teacher? Visit the following sites to learn how to become a French teacher in Ontario.

Many opportunities are available for French language enrichment in the greater community.

DDSB offers many options to help support the linguistic development of our educators. For more information, please consult the section “We support our FSL Educators” located on this webpage.

Please visit the following links to learn more: