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french it up!


What are the differences between the French programs at U of T St George? What is the best program to take if someone with very minimal french knowledge (near beginner) would like to be at a high B2/C1 level by the time of graduation?



at u of t, we have a lot of very different french programs that all have different focuses, so it all depends on what aspect of french you’re interested in.

if you’re interested in ONLY learning the french language, you’d want to enroll in the french language learning program. there isn’t too much information on the website or the faculty calendar about what exactly this program entails, but it looks like students registered in this program only take french LANGUAGE courses, meaning that you just learn the language itself.

if you’re interested in french language AND literature, you’d want to enroll in the french language and french literature program. again, there isn’t too much info online, but it looks like students take both strictly language courses as well as literature courses that are taught in french.

if you’re interested in french language AND linguistics, you’d want to enroll in the french language and french linguistics program. once again, there isn’t that much info online, but it looks like students are focused on both learning the french language itself as well as the linguistic system that makes up the french language.

phew! ok, that’s a lot of different programs with a lot of vague information. i think that, from your question, you’re looking to just learn the language itself? in that case, you’d probably want to just enroll in the french language learning program. you can take a look at some of the links i’ve put above to see what the required courses are and if they interest you.

keep in mind that you will have to take a placement test in order to be put into any french language courses.

again, because there isn’t a lot of info out there online, i suggest getting in contact with the french department itself who’ll be able to give you more information and better explain the differences between the french programs.

i hope this was helpful! go out there and french it up!

french bonjour GIF




je m’excuse, je ne parle pas le francais

heya aska. this is a question that is not u of t-specific necessarily, but i can’t seem to find the answer anywhere online, so thought i would ask here first before resorting to talking to whomever in whatever administrative position that would know. i completed the explore program in summer 2015 (at a u of t-approved university) but still haven’t transferred the credit (for ~complicated reasons~); i’m just wondering if anyone knows if it counts for 1.0 FCE or just 0.5. thanks !



i contacted the french department’s study elsewhere coordinator (a lovely man named Paul) and he was very helpful in answering your question! i’ve paraphrased his words below:

in short, all explore courses are worth 1.0 FCE, but there are other steps you need to take to ensure you receive the transfer credit.

  1. you need to go to the transfer credit office at sidney smith hall (100 st. george street) and fill out a transfer credit application
  2. then, arrange to have your Explore course transcript sent to the transfer credit office at sid smith
  3. after that, contact french.secretary(at) to book a french placement test
  4. after the test, forward the results to the transfer credit office

our friend Paul also included the following note: “if you have already taken an FSL course at U of T, the placement test result must show that your level has increased by the one full course in order to be eligible to receive a transfer credit”.

hope this helps!

bonne chance!

paix et amour,




i read something somewhere about it


I finished my first year at UTSG and I’m thinking of taking a gap year. During the gap year, I’m thinking of attending a language school to improve my French skills. But I think I read somewhere that attending an institution while taking a year off is prohibited. I’m not sure if this policy only applies to post-secondary institutions or any institution at all. I would really appreciate some information on this.

Thanks 🙂


hey there,

i’m not sure what the rule is when it comes to “post-secondary institutions.” i only have incredibly specific and non-transferable knowledge about uoft that is probably taking up too much space in my head. lucky me.

anyway, the only time this would be true is if you are away from school because of a suspension. students are not allowed to receive transfer credits from another college or university while on suspension. obviously, uoft bodyguards aren’t going to burst in on your first day of class at ryerson or centennial and strong-arm you out of the lecture hall. you can still take courses elsewhere, if you want to. they even kind of encourage it, since it may “help improve your academic skill level before you return to university studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science.” it’s just that you can’t use those credits towards your uoft degree.

if you’re actually just taking a gap year and you’re still in good standing, however, you can totally take courses elsewhere, AND you could potentially (emphasis on the “potentially” – take a look at transfer explorer to see how the courses at the other institution might transfer over to uoft) even get transfer credits for your degree, if that was something you wanted to do.

so go ahead! allons-y, as they say, nous allons avoir un aventure.




@ les mecs: je parle francais, hmu

hi aska! i took the language placement test for french and it told me to enrol in FSL221Y, however, I’m going into my first year of university and I’m a bit nervous about taking a higher level course. Any advice?


hey there,

if you took the test and you’ve been placed in FSL221Y, that’s the one you should probably take. language competency is a bit weird – it doesn’t fit neatly into the academic levels prescribed by the university. a first-year student who’s spoken french all their life is at a much higher level than a fourth year who’s only been speaking it for a couple of years.

SO, if your language competency in french is at a second-year level and all your other courses are 100-levels, i wouldn’t be too concerned about it.

however, keep the drop date for Y courses in mind. if you start the course and feel that it’s too difficult for you, you can always drop it before the deadline and enrol in another french course.

you also may want to speak with the french department about how easy it is to downgrade from FSL221Y1 to a 100-level course, just so you know how the process works just in case you decide to go for it.




oui oui

Hello ! I’m going into second year at UTSG next year, and I was considering getting a citation in French in my degree (or maybe a French as Second Language minor?), but it might make arranging my other courses a bit difficult. I don’t want to lose all the French I learned through high school if I decide not to take it, so I was wondering if you know of any services in UofT that provide french language practice? Thanks a lot! 🙂


hey there,

that’s a very admirable goal! i personally plan on keeping up my french by just rewatching le petit prince over and over when it comes out and crying over the nostalgia.

BUT that might be a bit emotionally draining for some people, so why don’t we explore some other options. y’know. for the weak-willed out there.

1. the French Association puts on events monthly to “create strong ties between Anglophones and Francophones by providing an inclusive and convivial space where cultural and linguistic exchanges happen!” so that might be a cool thing to be a part of.

2. if you’d like a more intensive way of keeping up with your french, the french department organizes a “weekly conversation group” at the Kelly Cafe and in New College, which is a great way of keeping up your french speaking.

3. the french as a second language minor is also a great idea! you only need 4.0 credits to complete it, so it shouldn’t be too hard to fit into your degree.

bonne chance avec votre enterprise linguistique!



i wish we had a parseltongue class

Hey there aska! Could you possibly tell me anything about French languages courses, particularly at UTM? I am taking one as an elective (Y course) and am afraid of signing myself up for something that will take up too much time and become a GPA killer. Are languages courses particularly well known as time suckers? Thanks so much, I-want-to-be-bilingual-without-becoming-insane.


hey there,

language courses aren’t well-known to me as time suckers, but 1) i don’t go to UTM and 2) i haven’t studied any secondary languages at the post-secondary level. i’m not an expert in the topic.

BUUT it seems like indications of ease/proficiency in french are pretty clearly indicated in course descriptions.

this class, for example, is very clearly called ‘advanced beginner,’ specifies a prerequisite, and says that it is not open to native speakers of french.

if you still feel unsure of the difficulty level to expect, you can always chat with someone at the department of language studies about it.

also, we’re into the semester now, so hopefully if you decided to take it, you now have a decent idea of how intensive it’ll be. just keep in mind that september 21st is the last day to add or change F or Y section courses, so you’ve only got a few more days to make up your mind!

cheers, my bilingual bud,



and so “shortly” became a measure of time


How long does it take to get the results of a French placement test?




According to the French Department’s website, you will receive results “shortly” after completing the test.

Descriptive, aren’t they?



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