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    British North America Act.

     An act of the British parliament that entered into force on July 1, 1867, establishing the Dominion of Canada, consisting of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.


    Actualisation linguistique en français (ALF).

     The year 2010 saw the publication of a revised edition of the French-language curriculum policy document for Ontario’s schools. It replaced Le curriculum de l’Ontario, de la 1re à la 8e année – Actualisation linguistique en français et Perfectionnement du français, 2002 [Ontario Curriculum – Grades 1-8. Actualisation linguistique en français et Perfectionnement du français, 2002]. As of September 2010, all ALF programs for Grades 1 through 8 are based on the specific expectations and overall expectations contained in the revised version.

    Actualisation linguistique en français (ALF) is a program that reflects the linguistic and cultural diversity of the students who attend Ontario’s French-language schools. This clientele includes students who are from families in which English (or another language) is the dominant language of communication in the home and who often have a limited knowledge of French. Their numbers vary depending on the region and on the community; they must become proficient enough in French to succeed in the regular curriculum. For this reason, the schools must focus on the development of their French language skills, as these skills are the key to learning and education.

    The ALF curriculum document maintains high expectations and rigorous learning contents for every grade; it describes the competences to be assessed in every French-language school in the province for students who are learning French. This curriculum document is primarily designed for teaching staff; but it is also important for students and their parents. It is designed to facilitate the planning of the education and learning that students must acquire in French in order to succeed in a French-language school.


    Aménagement linguistique.

     Aménagement linguistique refers to measures, programs, and services developed to improve the French language skills of students, and to promote the use of French in the learning activities offered by the French-language schools. In October 2004, the government adopted a policy on aménagement linguistique to support the mission of the French-language school.

    This policy concerns all those who have a stake, directly or indirectly, in the education of Ontario’s Francophone children and youth. These stakeholders include students themselves. In a broader sense, it also concerns all those who have a stake in the vitality and existence of the Francophone community. The implementation of this policy calls on all of the partners in French-language education to become engaged.

    The aménagement linguistique policy is directly linked to the mandate of French-language schools. It exists to help these schools better fulfil their mission of educating Ontario’s Francophone children and youth. The objectives of the aménagement linguistique policy are to:

    • deliver high-quality instruction in French-language schools adapted to the minority setting;
    • educate young Francophones to become competent and responsible citizens, empowered by their linguistic and cultural identity;
    • increase the capacity of learning communities, including school staff, students, and parents, to support students’ linguistic, educational, and cultural development throughout their lives;
    • expand and enrich the Francophone environment through solid partnerships among the school, the family, and the community as a whole;
    • increase the vitality of educational institutions by focusing on student retention and increased enrolment, thus contributing to the sustainable development of the French-language community in Ontario.

    Politique d’aménagement linguistique (PAL). A Policy Framework for French-Language Postsecondary Education and Training in Ontario was released in 2011. The strategic objectives of this policy framework are:

    • to enhance the sustainability of Francophone culture in Ontario and increase the economic and employment opportunities available to Francophone graduates in the province;
    • to focus on strategies for enabling French-language and bilingual institutions to promote and expand the use and knowledge of French and ensure the provision of services in French;
    • to contribute to the vitality of Ontario’s Francophone culture by creating an expanded Francophone space.


    Section 23

    Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms defines the right to enrol one’s children in a French-language school.


    Charter rights holders

    Those who have a right to instruction in the language of the official language minority under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In Ontario, Charter rights holders are Canadian citizens:

    • whose first language learned and still understood is French;
    • whose primary education was delivered in French in Canada; or
    • whose brother or sister received or is receiving his or her primary or secondary education in French in Canada.

    Parents must meet one of these three criteria in order to have the right to enrol their child in a French-language school. The children of Charter rights holders are automatically admitted to a French-language school and the school may not refuse to admit such a child, even if he or she does not speak French.


    Ontario Early Years Policy Framework

    Released in 2013, the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework is a guide to support early childhood education in Ontario. It provides a common language for discussing and understanding child development. The objective is to help early childhood educators and practitioners working in the field of early years learning and education.

    The policy framework is based on the research and on views within various fields of knowledge. It recognizes that families, communities, and cultures have different values. It completes most pedagogical approaches.


    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is an integral part (Schedule B) of the Constitution Act, 1982. Section 23 deals specifically with the education rights of Canada’s official language minorities.


    Classes and programs for newcomers

    Classes for newcomers are an excellent way to promote academic success and cultural development. They provide an environment conducive to language learning and to addressing the special needs of these learners.


    Admissions committee

    A committee made up of three individuals charged with reviewing applications for admission to a French-language school by students who are not Charter rights holders. The committee consists of a supervisory officer, the principal of the school to which the student has applied, and a teacher of the Board. The admissions committee process is governed by a school board policy.


    School council

    Primarily made up of parents, school councils were created in 1997 under the Education Quality Improvement Act to increase parent participation in school governance. These councils act in an advisory capacity. The school board has a policy that explains how the school council is created and what its role and functions are.


    Local committee

     A group of parents who come together to press for the establishment of a school in their region. Their application may be presented to their local school board or it may be submitted as an official application to the provincial government.


    Catholic or “separate” schools

    A Catholic or “separate” school is a French-language or English-language school that has a mandate to teach and promote the Catholic religion, in addition to teaching the Ontario curriculum. A Catholic secondary school may admit any Francophone student, just as a public secondary school may do.


    French-language school / French-language public school

    A school that teaches the Ontario curriculum in French to children whose parents are Charter rights holders under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These schools also have students who do not have Charter rights, but who have been admitted by an admissions committee. Also referred to as a language school or a public school.



    In Ontario, Kindergarten is for children 4 and 5 years of age. Under the Kindergarten Program, 2016, the junior kindergarten and kindergarten programs are now jointly known as Kindergarten.


    Exogamous or mixed marriage

    A union in which one of the spouses is not a Francophone.


    New definition of Francophone

    In 2009, Ontario adopted a new definition of Francophone to more accurately reflect the ever-changing diversity of the province’s Francophone communities. Previously, Francophones were defined as those whose mother tongue was French. The new, more inclusive definition includes individuals whose mother tongue is neither French nor English, but who have good knowledge of French as an official language and who use French at home. This includes a great many newcomers to the province.


    Perfectionnement du français

    A program developed for students who speak French but who have had a very different education from that which is delivered in Ontario’s French-language schools or whose schooling has been interrupted. It enables these students to acquire and perfect core skills in reading, writing, and mathematics and to expand their linguistic repertory so that they are able to join the regular program more easily and fluidly. This program also familiarizes them with the features of the Franco-Ontarian education system and with their new social and cultural environment.


    Early Learning Program

    The Early Learning Program offers a wide range of opportunities for learning, practising, and demonstrating knowledge and skills. It provides a foundation for Grade 1 and fosters success throughout elementary and secondary school. Since 2014-2015, every child in Ontario has had access to this program. This program is not offered exclusively by the French-language system.


    Immersion program

    According to the official definitions of schools in Ontario, there are no immersion schools. Some schools governed by an English-language school board have a mandate to teach French as a second language in a so-called “total or partial immersion environment”, i.e., an immersion program.