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French as a Second Language Courses (FSL)

The Department of French does not permit auditing of FSL courses. It is impossible to switch language course sections during the academic year.

The FSL series is designed for beginners (FSL 100, 102), those wishing to achieve the level of university entrance (FSL 121), and students in minor, major and specialist programs (all other courses).

The following is a guide for beginners in French.

1. No knowledge of French: FSL100H1. Students enrolled in FSL100H1, whose command of French raises doubt about their bona fides as beginners, will be asked to do the online placement test and may be moved to a higher level FSL course.

2. Very limited knowledge of French (Placement Test required): FSL102H1

Please note that FSL100H1 and FSL102H1 do not count towards any of the French programs but can be used as breadth requirements.

1) Determining the appropriate level of your first French course: The Department places students in the language course appropriate to their level of linguistic competence based on the results of its Placement Test. Given that 100, 200, 300 and 400-level FSL courses correspond to levels of competence in French and not to years of study, a student may be recommended to enroll in a course at a higher level than his/her year of study. The Placement Test, available at, is mandatory for all students who wish to register in an FRE or FSL course for the first time (except true beginners with no knowledge of French who may enroll directly in FSL100H1). The Test can be taken only ONCE and the results of the first test will prevail in the event of multiple attempts. Ideally, the Placement Test should be taken in the term preceding the one in which students wish to register in (e.g., for a course starting in September, students should take the Placement Test in the summer term, prior to their registration date on ACORN and before the beginning of classes). Please allow three to five working days to obtain your test results. Self-placement is not allowed in the Department of French. The administration reserves the right to conduct an additional test if in doubt about a student's undeclared proficiency in French.

2) Sequencing: Students are reminded that they must take FSL courses in the appropriate sequencing (100>200>300>400). In particular,

• If placed at a higher level than FSL221Y1 by the Placement Test, students registered in a major program must take FSL271H1 before any FSL300 or 400-level course.

3) Auditing: No auditing is allowed in FSL courses.

FSL121Y1, FSL221Y1, FSL321Y1, FSL421Y1, FSL442H1 & FSL443H1

These courses constitute a progressive five-level series that provides students the opportunity to become proficient, focused, autonomous French language learners. Over time, students can acquire an in-depth understanding of the grammar of French via a focus on all of the major skills – writing, speaking, reading and listening. Each of these courses investigates a particular cultural theme of the French-speaking world.


French Language and Practical French: The French language program is designed to accommodate the widest range of previous learning experiences and particular interests of students. Emphasis is placed on both written and spoken language; at higher levels, half-courses allow for specialized study of one or the other.

FSL 100H1 F/SFrench for Beginners
FSL 102H1F/SIntroductory French
FSL 121Y1YFrench Language I
FSL 221Y1YFrench Language II
FSL 271H1FFrench Grammar, within Reason
FSL 312H1FWriting French: the Language of the Media
FSL 313H1F/SFrench for the Workplace
FSL 314H1FFrench for the Arts
FSL 315H1SFrench Oral Communication for Professional and Academic Contexts
FSL 321Y1YFrench Language III
FSL 375Y1YPractical Translation: French-English
FSL 415H1SProfessional Communication in French (Oral)
FSL 421Y1YFrench Language IV
FSL 442H1French Language V: Written French
FSL 443H1French Language V: Oral French
FSL 472H1FReading and Writing Fiction and Non-Fiction in French
FSL 473H1SOral French in Context

Revue Arborescences

Considérant que rien de ce qui touche la langue française ne lui est étranger, la revue Arborescences se veut un espace de réflexion sur les enjeux actuels des études françaises aussi bien en littérature, en linguistique qu’en didactique.


Estimant que rien de ce qui touche la langue française ne lui est étranger, la revue électronique Arborescences veut offrir un espace de réflexion sur des questions d’importance en études françaises, relevant aussi bien de la didactique que de la lit

History of the Department

165 years of French Studies at the University of Toronto (1853-2018)