Evolving French language learning

Overcoming obstacles and building bridges.


French language learning in New Brunswick

French language learning within New Brunswick’s anglophone school system has been evolving for more than 50 years.

Being able to communicate in both official languages provides students with social, cultural, academic, and cognitive benefits and opportunities that will follow them throughout their school years and beyond.

In Canada’s only officially bilingual province, we are committed to help all learners develop their French language skills in a way that allows them to converse openly and with confidence. We want to give every anglophone-sector student the chance to learn a conversational level of French, at a minimum while giving them opportunities to achieve more advanced levels of French before graduation.

That means we need to move toward a system that supports every learner in accessing French language learning opportunities– no matter where they live or how they learn. This includes ensuring students have the chance to truly engage with diverse communities and nurture a deep cultural appreciation for bilingualism.

What is conversational French?

A conversational level of French would translate to a B1.1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CERF), or an Intermediate level of the New Brunswick Oral Proficiency Scale. This is our minimum target.

Here are the criteria:

  • Able to satisfy routine social demands and limited requirements in school/work settings
  • Can provide information and give explanations with some degree of accuracy, but language is awkward
  • Can handle most common social situations, including introductions and casual conversations about events in school and community; able to provide autobiographical information in some detail
  • Can give directions from one place to another; can give accurate instructions in a field of personal expertise
  • Has a speaking vocabulary sufficient to converse simply, with some paraphrasing
  • Accent, though often quite faulty, is intelligible
  • Uses high frequency language structures accurately but does not have a thorough or confident control of grammar
  • In certain situations, diction would probably distract a native speaker


Program and information

Education green paper

Succeeding at Home: A green paper on education in New Brunswick

Report on second-language learning

2021 Review of the Official Languages Act of New Brunswick

Prototypes initiative

Innovative programming to increase French language proficiency for anglophone learners.

Services linguistiques

A collaborative project involving the anglophone sector of EECD and the four anglophone school districts in New Brunswick.

Everyone at their best

10-year education plan (anglophone sector)