Intensive French

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All students in Grade 6 at Ottawa Christian School participate in an Intensive French program.

Intensive French is a second-language teaching approach in which the French language is taught intensively for a large part of the day during the first five months of Grade 6. Students receive about 55% of their instruction in French during the first half of the year and 20% during the second half. Most of the rest of the curriculum is “compressed” into the second half of the year, with the exception of mathematics, which is taught in English throughout the year.

The program is based on the use of French for authentic communication in the classroom and the development of literacy skills in French. There is a high degree of interaction between teacher and students, as well as among students.

Intensive French is not a different version of French immersion.  Subject areas like math, history, and science are not taught in French. Instead, it is a French language arts program where students listen, speak, read and write French.

For more information about Intensive French, please visit or contact our Principal, Paul Triemstra at 613-825-3000.

Intensive French FAQ

Q. How intense is Intensive French?
A. Students in Grade 6 spend 55% of one half of the Grade 6 school year and 20% of the balance of the year participating in Intensive French. The program continues with strong French instruction in subsequent years.

Q. What is the difference between Intensive French and French immersion?
A. The goals and outcomes of the programs are different. Intensive French students are constantly involved in activities, which helps them develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in French. The focus is on learning to communicate in French, not on learning subject-based content in the French language.

Q. What happens to the rest of the curriculum that is “compressed”?
A. The Grade 6 Science and Social Studies compressed curriculum is covered in the second half of the school year. Students will not have extra work to do in order to meet the required learning outcomes. Science and Social Studies cognitive processes, content and skills are included in different school subjects throughout the year. Cognitive processes such as comparing, contrasting, inferencing, problem solving , analyzing etc. are included in other school subjects. Objectives are attained by carefully selecting outcomes and content and integrating targeted information into the second half of the year.

Q. What about the struggling learner?
A. Cooperative learning and interactive strategies are essential parts of Intensive French. This highly interactive multi-sensory approach to French language learning can often assist the struggling student and be a positive learning experience.

Q. Where did Intensive French originate? What are the outcomes of students?
A. Visit for a fully outlined analysis of the Intensive French program.

We welcome visitors to our school to observe our Intensive French classroom. Bienvenue à notre école!