Quebec, Canada

Karine Saulnier-Beaupré
Michele Luchs
Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur

Language and Literacy

Elementary education in Québec is offered in French, English, or an Aboriginal language, and secondary education is offered in French or English. In addition to the official curriculum, some secondary schools offer Spanish as a third language, and some elementary and secondary schools offer students from other language communities instruction in their first language (e.g., Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, German). Sometimes instruction in this language is offered to all students at a school.

Specialists provide instruction in a second language (English or French) in elementary and secondary school. Students receive instruction in English as a second language starting in the first year of elementary school for an average of one hour per week. Some schools provide intensive instruction in English as a second language in the fifth or sixth year of elementary school to meet the needs of the community. In secondary school, the Basic School Regulation suggests that students receive 100 hours of instruction per year in English as a second language in a core program or an enriched program.1 French as a second language is taught in elementary school as a core program for one hour per day, or as an immersion program. The Basic School Regulation suggests that students at the Secondary I, II, and III levels receive 150 hours of instruction per year in French as a second language, and that students at the Secondary IV and V levels receive 100 hours of instruction per year in French as a second language.2