French first language and literature

Highlights of the new elementary French first language and literature curriculum (March 2023).


In French first language and literature, students in francophone schools acquire knowledge and skills that support them in many areas of their lives and enable them to communicate orally and in writing with confidence and pride in various communication situations. Students read, write, listen, speak, view and represent and use strategies for understanding and communicating effectively in a variety of situations.

By exploring a wide variety of texts from local, national and international sources, students are exposed to diverse points of view and cultural experiences, allowing them to develop a francophone identity and contribute to the vitality of francophone communities.

Additionally, French first language and literature fosters students' appreciation of the beauty and richness of the French language and cultures.

Find out what is next for K to 6 curriculum renewal.


From draft to new curriculum: Content update summary

  • What we heard about the draft K to 6 curriculum

    We listened to all feedback from classroom piloting and engagement activities and heard these common concerns across all draft K to grade 6 subjects:

    • Load
      • some content is too heavy within a subject, grade or learning outcome
    • Age-appropriateness
      • some knowledge, understandings, and skills/procedures need to be better aligned with students’ developmental level in a specific grade
      • more pre-requisite learning is needed to support the knowledge, understandings and skills/procedures
    • Wording clarity
      • clearer expectations and verb choice are needed in some content for students to achieve learning outcomes
      • clearer descriptions are needed for some knowledge, understandings or skills/procedures
    • First Nations, Métis and Inuit content
      • additional content is needed to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives
      • some content needs to represent First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and contributions more authentically
  • Feedback on French first language and literature

    Albertans and education partners provided valuable insights through various engagement activities on the draft K to 6 French first language and literature curriculum that was released in March 2021.

    To ensure francophone perspectives were heard, the Fédération des conseils scolaires francophones de l’Alberta (FCSFA – Federation of francophone school boards of Alberta) received grant support to engage with their regional school authorities on the draft. The feedback from all engagement activities suggested enhancing content to address francophone perspectives and culture, as well as comprehension and higher-level thinking skills.

    Feedback from classroom piloting in the 2022-23 school year suggested updates to provide:

    • additional content to reduce gaps and ensure clear sequencing within a grade and from grade to grade
    • updated and strengthened content, including adding spelling rules at each grade level and making changes to text types
  • What we updated

    In May 2022, we updated the draft K to 6 French first language and literature curriculum from March 2021 to reflect feedback from all engagement activities. We also aligned the draft curriculum with top-performing jurisdictions, both within Canada and internationally, as well as those with knowledge-rich curriculums.

    In March 2023, we finalized new K to 6 French first language and literature curriculum by updating the draft curriculum from May 2022 to reflect feedback from all engagement activities and classroom piloting.

    Since first releasing the draft K to 6 French first language and literature curriculum in March 2021, we have made the following content updates:

    Load: Refined examples and redistributed content across multiple grades while considering age-appropriateness.

    Age-appropriateness: Shifted content between K to 6 grades or into grades 7 to 12.

    Wording clarity: Analyzed and aligned verbs in learning outcomes to Bloom’s Taxonomy to ensure the higher-level verbs are used in all K to 6 grades, and/or edited for clear and correct language use.

    First Nations, Métis and Inuit content: Made updates based on feedback from stakeholder groups and jurisdictional scans.

    Francophone perspectives and cultures: Updated content across all K to 6 grades based on feedback from francophone communities to enhance knowledge related to francophone cultures, an appreciation of the French language, and a sense of belonging to the Francophonie.

    Comprehension: Clarified strategies to support students’ understanding of texts.

    Higher-level thinking: Modified verbs to reflect higher-level thinking for learning outcomes, skills and procedures statements across K to 6 grades.

Current and new curriculum comparison

The following list shows how elements in the current K to 6 Français langue première curriculum, published in 1998, compare to the new French first language and literature curriculum. The comparisons provide examples and do not represent all the changes that were made.

  Current curriculum (1998) examples New curriculum (March 2023) examples
Francophones cultures and perspectives Culture and identity are generally addressed. Francophone cultures and perspectives are woven through all grades to develop a positive relationship with the French language, francophone identity and a sense of belonging to diverse francophone communities.
Text forms and structures The term 'text' is not clearly defined.

There is limited focus on learning about various forms of fiction and non-fiction texts.

The 'term' text is clearly defined to be more inclusive and diverse and to support digital and non-digital learning. It includes information and ideas provided in books, reports, websites, media, diagrams, pictures, oral stories and more.

The functions, features, and structures of various forms of fiction and non-fiction texts are clear and explicit.

Oral communication Oral language is generally addressed through listening and speaking. There are clear expectations for students to develop oral language skills by listening, speaking, and presenting to an audience.
Vocabulary There is a limited focus on acquiring new vocabulary. There is consistent focus on developing vocabulary by understanding word formation, spelling and meaning.
Phonological awareness There is a limited emphasis on recognizing and manipulating sounds. There is a strong emphasis on spoken sound recognition and manipulation in Kindergarten to Grade 2 to support reading and writing.
Phonics There is a limited emphasis on understanding the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics). There are clear expectations for students to learn phonics from grades K to 3 and then apply this learning to reading and writing in later grades.
Reading There is a limited emphasis on reading fluency and comprehension strategies from K to 6.

There is limited exposure to literary works from a variety of sources.

There is clearly defined and consistent emphasis on developing fluent reading and reading with expression from K to 4.

Comprehension strategies follow a clear progression to enable students to understand information and ideas.

Opportunities are provided for students to study a wide variety of texts from many communities, cultures and perspectives.

Text production The writing process is not clearly defined or developed. Processes and strategies are explicitly developed to support fiction and non-fiction writing.
Grammar Content is not clearly defined and is based on traditional French grammar. The new French grammar is presented in a clear and detailed sequence.

Snapshot by grade

In new K to 6 French first language and literature curriculum, students will communicate clearly and confidently, learn about the relationship between letters and sounds, reading fluency, vocabulary, grammar, create and understand various fiction and non-fiction texts, and francophone cultures and perspectives.

Note: Examples are loose translations that capture the meaning of the original French text rather than word-for-word translations.

  • Kindergarten
    • Recognize texts in the student's environment such as their home or classroom
    • Develop verbal and non-verbal language skills to communicate and understand messages
    • Show understanding of the meaning of words used in daily life
    • Recognize all letters and some words
    • Identify the general meaning of messages read, seen or heard
    • Communicate ideas in different ways
  • Grade 1
    Grade 1
    • Distinguish between texts that present ideas and texts that present information
    • Use active listening to understand and speak about familiar topics
    • Use new words and make connections between spoken and written language
    • Explore the meaning of new words and practise spelling them
    • Recognize letters and some words automatically and accurately
    • Consider strategies for making sense of messages in oral, visual and written texts
    • Express ideas and convey information using simple grammar rules
  • Grade 2
    Grade 2
    • Understand the differences between fiction and non-fiction texts
    • Practise active listening and express the value of the French language in various communication situations
    • Explain the meaning of words and spell them using letter-sound relationships
    • Make connections between letters and the sounds they represent to read fluently
    • Identify the meaning of fiction and non-fiction texts, using comprehension strategies
    • Create fiction and non-fiction texts using complete sentences
  • Grade 3
    Grade 3
    • Identify the characteristics and structures of fiction and non-fiction texts
    • Demonstrate active listening behaviours and a positive relationship with the French language in a variety of communication situations
    • Consider the meaning and spelling of words to expand vocabulary
    • Read complex words, phrases, and passages fluently and with expression
    • Apply strategies to make sense of messages in texts
    • Use ideas, grammar rules and creativity to write fiction and non-fiction texts
  • Grade 4
    Grade 4
    • Recognize fiction and non-fiction texts according to their characteristics and structure
    • Consider the target audience when communicating in various situations
    • Study the formation and spelling of words to enrich vocabulary
    • Make connections between comprehension, experience, and response to various texts
    • Create texts that demonstrate a sense of pride in the French language while applying grammatical conventions
  • Grade 5
    Grade 5
    • Understand the needs of the target audience when communicating
    • Contribute to the vitality of the French language
    • Use knowledge of word formation and spelling to check understanding and expand vocabulary
    • Demonstrate comprehension, explain response to texts, and develop a sense of belonging to the Francophonie
    • Apply the text creation process and grammatical conventions to write various genres of texts
  • Grade 6
    Grade 6
    • Adapt communication according to the situation to ensure comprehension and to maintain the attention of the target audience
    • Contribute to a diverse Francophonie
    • Use an enriched vocabulary and spell words correctly
    • Recognize the influence cultural background has on understanding and response to texts
    • Analyze the text creation process and grammatical conventions to create various genres of texts

Have your say

Share your thoughts on the draft K to 6 curriculum.

Learn more