A common frame of reference for francization
 
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A common frame of reference for francization

A common frame of reference
What is the common frame of reference for francization?
What is the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes?
What is the Programme-cadre de français pour les personnes immigrantes adultes au Québec?
Who are the Échelle and the Programme-cadre intended for?
Why adopt a common frame of reference for francization in Québec?

Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes
What is a French competency level?
Where does the concept of competency levels come from?
What prompted the elaboration of the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes?
Who contributed to developing language competency levels?
What is the relevance of having francization agents use common language competency levels?
How many language competency levels are there?
Useful links

Programme-cadre de français pour les personnes immigrantes adultes au Québec
What are the levels of the Échelle covered by the Programme-cadre?
What are the two components of the Programme-cadre?
What is the preferred educational approach in the Programme-cadre?
How is the Programme-cadre different from the Programme général d’intégration linguistique (PGIL – general linguistic integration program)?

A common frame of reference

What is the common frame of reference for francization?

In the context of the harmonization of government francization services, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion and the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport decided to join forces to develop a frame of reference specific to Québec. This frame of reference is comprised of two documents: the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes (PDF, 1.9 Mo) and the Programme-cadre de français pour les personnes immigrantes adultes au Québec (PDF, 2.6 Mo). Both of these reference documents serve as a common benchmark in Québec for evaluating language competency and the teaching of French to educated immigrants.

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What is the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes?

It is a common frame of reference specific to Québec that describes, in the form of observable behaviours, the French language competencies of immigrants. It enables a linguistic portrait to be drawn of immigrants at every step of their immigration and integration process, in plain language that takes into account the competencies they have acquired and their learning progress. The Échelle is the foundation upon which French competency programs and evaluation tests are built.

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What is the Programme-cadre de français pour les personnes immigrantes adultes au Québec?

Derived from the Échelle, the Programme-cadre establishes a benchmark in Québec for teaching French to adult immigrants. The Programme-cadre is designed to harmonize the content of French courses offered to immigrants in educational institutions and community organizations mandated by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion and by school boards under the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport. It also includes content to facilitate the cultural integration of immigrants and the development of their intercultural skills, that is, the most useful sociocultural markers, the common values of Québec society and the connections between these values and the various fields of activitywithin society.

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Who are the Échelle and Programme-cadre intended for?

The common frame of reference, composed of the Échelle and the Programme-cadre, are intended for:

  • the designers of the didactic material (evaluation activities, course content for adult immigrants, etc.);
  • French teachers at the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) et and Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS);
  • employees who work in francization at MIDI and  MELS;
  • francization partners of MIDI (universities, CEGEPs, NGOs, school boards).

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Why adopt a common frame of reference for francization in Québec?

The objectives of the common frame of reference for francization are to:

  • enable standardized evaluation of French language competencies across Québec;
  • provide immigrants with standardized course content, regardless of the type of institution attended (MIDI or MELS) in Québec, thus promoting their integration into Québec’s social life and job market;
  • harmonize government francization services currently being offered and optimize the use of resources.

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Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes

What is a language competency level in French?

It is a description of a person’s oral and written language proficiency at any given time during the process of learning French.

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Where does the concept of competency levels come from?

The concept of a language competency level is not new in the field of language teaching. Several countries have put in place initiatives to establish descriptions of a range of language proficiency levels. Following a new policy on English-as-a-second-language courses offered to adult immigrants in Canada, a task force developed the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB). The language proficiency levels proposed by the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion are based on the CLB.

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What prompted the elaboration of the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes?

The multiplicity of Francization agents for adult immigrants and the diversity of settings for learning French as a second language made it clear that common guidelines needed to be adopted in order to define French-as-a-second-language competencies.

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Who contributed to developing language competency levels?

From 1997 to 1999, a first scale of competency levels was developed by a team of researchers from the Université de Montréal and McGill University and experts from the Ministère des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration (MRCI). Representatives from the Ministère de l’Éducation (MEQ), school boards, community organizations, colleges and universities were called on to help develop the Échelle. In 2008, the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles joined forced with the Université de Montréal to update the Échelle. This work was supervised by representatives of the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles, the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, the Office québécois de la langue française, school boards, community organizations and universities.

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What is the significance of having francization agents use common language competency levels?

Descriptions of language competency levels establish benchmarks that can serve as points of reference to determine a person’s French language performance. Having common benchmarks allows to:

  • adopt a common language
  • better match training programs
  • develop evaluation tools
  • assess the overall language competency of newcomers
  • better refer students to appropriate training settings
  • facilitate employment references
  • define the Ministère’s French competency requirements for the selection of immigrants

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How many language competency levels are there?

There are twelve competency levels for each of the three skills: oral interaction, written comprehension and written expression. These levels are divided into three stages:

Stage I - BEGINNER

Levels 1 to 4

Stage II – INTERMEDIATE Levels 5 to 8
Stage III – ADVANCED Levels 9 to 12
 

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Useful links

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Programme-cadre de français pour les personnes immigrantes adults au Québec

Which levels of the Échelle are covered by the Programme-cadre?

The Programme-cadre reflects the distribution and evolution of the relevant learning objectives for the beginner and intermediate stages. This corresponds to levels 1 to 8 of the Échelle for the four competencies: oral expression, oral comprehension, written expression and written comprehension.

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What are the two components of the Programme-cadre?

The first component describes, based on each language competency that must be acquired, the training content in terms of field of activity and learning situations, communication intentions, structure of the message, vocabulary, grammar, phonetics and writing.

The second component presents sociocultural benchmarks and the common values of Québec society. It also describes the intercultural skills that immigrants must develop during their educational curriculum.

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What is the preferred educational approach in the Programme-cadre?

The Programme-cadre uses the communicative approach to teaching French. Language is considered a common tool for social interaction. As an extension of the communicative approach, an action-based approach is employed. The person learning a language becomes a social player who must accomplish tasks in given circumstances and in a particular context, within the various field of activity.

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How is the Programme-cadre different from the Programme générale d’intégration linguistique (PGIL)?

The Programme-cadre is developed according to competency levels while the Programme général d’intégration linquistique was developed according to situational objectives.

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