Toute l’info that you need to succeed in French!
In order to obtain a CEGEP diploma (DEC), each student has to pass two credited courses (bloc A and B) in one of the four levels listed below. The student level is established either from his/her high school grade (Quebec high school system) or a placement test.
100 Français de base (bloc A and B)
101 Langue française et communication (bloc A and B)
102 Langue française et culture (bloc A and B)
103 Langue française et littérature (bloc A and B)
Non-credit qualifying courses
Some students may be required to take additional courses before qualifying for Basic French (100). Here are the preparatory levels offered at Dawson. These course do not count in your program; they are in addition to the courses that you need to do to obtain your diploma. However, they do count to establish your course load, i.e. in the amount of courses needed to be considered full time.
These courses are not offered in the daytime during the regular semesters, except for the last one (008-009). They are offered through our Continuing Education division: nights and weekends during regular semesters and in intensive daytime classes during the summer sessions. Please see the Timetable for applicable fees.
- Initiation au français langue seconde (010 – 45 hours OR 011 – 90 hours)
- Pratique du français langue seconde (005 – 90 hours) OR
Pratique de français langue seconde 1 (006– 45 hours) + Pratique du français langue seconde 2 (007 – 45 hours)
- Mise à niveau/Renforcement (008/009 – 60 hours)
Visual illustration of the possible sequences of preparatory courses.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LEVEL ASSESSMENT
It is very important to have your level properly assessed; however, this is difficult to do with a placement test because one’s ability in a class depends on many factors.
If you are put in a level lower that your actual competency, you risk losing your time and being bored. If you are placed in a level too high, you risk failing the class, even if you are a strong student.
On the first day of class, the teacher will verify your level by asking you to write a short text, maybe do a little test, and, probably, introduce yourself to the class orally.
If a French teacher judges that your level should be changed, he or she will propose to do a level change during the first week of class (or before). If you don’t understand the proposed level change, be sure to talk to your teacher!
FRENCH SUPPORT SERVICES
Dawson offers many resources to help students learn French and pass their courses.
The CLEO (help center – Centre de langue écrite et orale) has language technicians available to help on appointment or on a first come first serve basis (see schedule room 4E.10). It is also possible to make a special arrangement to work with a technician on a fixed schedule. A tutoring service is also offered from week 5 to week 13. The tutors are 103 level students who receive a training to become tutor. The student meets with the tutor once a week for 1h15 and practice what the he/she wants to practice (or what the teacher suggests).
Students with language learning difficulties (e.g., dyslexia) or other types of learning challenges (e.g., attention deficit), with or without an official diagnosis, have access to a learning specialist dedicated to French students, and to different types of accommodations.
The Dawson First Peoples’ Initiative has a French teacher dedicated to supporting indigenous students with their French courses needs in general. The role of this teacher is to accompany you through all your French courses, if you want, and to try to make this experience as positive as possible.
Here are some of the functions that this resource-person may take in relation to your French courses:
- Provide information
- Help with administration problems
- Help with level assessment
- Be the link with your teacher, with CLEO, etc.; make sure you have the optimal support system around you
- Help understand teachers requirements, help with language learning and studying, help with test strategies
- Follow up and assistance from one semester to the other over the course of your program
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Start at the appropriate level for you
- Do not delay starting your French courses; complete them ASAP!
- Get mentally ready for the first class, where you will have to write and speak
- Do a little bit of learning, studying and practicing every day or so; do not delay everything until the exam!
- With language learning, the key is PRACTICE: to improve speaking, you need to practice speaking (and make mistakes!); to improve your oral comprehension, you need to do listening exercises (songs, movies, T.V., etc.); to improve written comprehension and vocabulary, you need to read; to improve writing, you need to write.
- Go to class, listen and participate; do your homework; don’t miss any evaluations.
- Get help if you need to! Take advantage of all the support you can get. Students who get help on a regular basis usually succeed.
- Make sure you understand your teachers’ instructions; double check with them if you aren’t sure!
- Share your experience with a positive personal support system (friends, family, other students, etc.).
- Have fun! Learning languages can be fun, and having fun helps the learning process.
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