Six adults are seated around a table in a library.

French as a Second Language

Learn about our French as a Second Language (FSL) Program:


Our adult non-credit French as a Second Language (FSL) Program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.


Free FSL Courses are available to adults who are 18 years of age or older, whose first language is not English or French, and who are:

  • Canadian Citizens (naturalized).

  • Permanent residents.

  • Convention refugees.

  • Refugee claimants.

  • Approved provincial nominees.

  • Work permit holders with a letter from IRCC confirming initial approval for permanent residence.

  • Work permit holders with “Initial Approval of PR” on the permit (or similar wording).

  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver Program.

Course Information

There are two terms in each academic year: Fall (September to December) and Spring (February to May).

Because all of our FSL courses are fully online, learners must have the following in order to be eligible:

  • Their own working email address.

  • Basic computer skills.

  • Access to the internet.

  • A laptop or computer.

Courses are offered at Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadien (NCLC) levels 2-8, and are approximately 90 hours in duration including independent study.

Evening courses consist of two classes per week of 2.5 hours each, offered on Mondays and Wednesdays or on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Learners are expected to complete a minimum of an additional 2 hours of independent study throughout the week.


All clients must undergo a Language Assessment at one of the Language Assessment Centres. Based on the assessment, the client’s needs and class availability, the YMCA will refer the client to the appropriate FSL course and provide the client with the referral form and class information.

What is an assessment?

An assessment measures client’s French language ability. It is not a test to pass or fail. The assessment helps to place the client in the right level class.

Why do clients need to be assessed again?

Clients must have a new assessment if one of the following conditions apply:

  • They have been out of a language training program for one year or more.

  • They did not attend a language training program after they were assessed, and one year or more has passed.