Glendon’s Bilingual Advantage

Languages?  Oui !

As Southern Ontario’s Centre of Excellence for French-language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education, our integrated approach to bilingual liberal arts education is unique in Canada.

Why study languages at university?

Language and communication skills are key in today’s global workplace. With extra languages, you can:

  • Succeed in today’s increasingly international job market
  • Be a top contender for the jobs you really want
  • Have a greater chance for rapid advancement
  • Cultivate a deeper appreciation of other cultures
  • Be able to work with people from many backgrounds
  • Travel around the world with ease

But … why French?

  • Bilingual graduates can earn up to 12% more than the average unilingual graduate when they enter the workforce
  • With 128 million first-language speakers and another 51 million second language speakers, French is an important world language
  • It’s also one of the only languages in the world spoken on five continents
  • French, along with English, is of special importance in Canada and is the official working language of major organizations like the United Nations, NATO, and the International Olympic Committee

How you’ll learn French at Glendon


Our integrated approach to language learning and our small campus size mean that you’ll achieve a solid, working knowledge of French in two main ways:

Students at all levels of French proficiency ‘ from true beginners to the more advanced ‘ have a place at Glendon. Our bilingual, multicultural campus provides the ideal setting for language learning.

Does everyone study some French? Oui !

How does it work?

Every student that graduates from Glendon has reached our minimum requirement for a Bilingual BA : a solid, intermediate level of French.

Once you’re admitted to Glendon, you’ll complete an online assessment for your French abilities in order to place you in a class that’s best suited for your abilities:

  • Absolute beginners take French as a Second Language (FSL) courses with other beginners
  • Students with more experience in French will be placed in intermediate FSL courses that work best with their knowledge
  • If you’re advanced, you’ll have the opportunity to take one or more discipline courses taught in French (e.g. Introduction à la psychologie)

Choose your level

Every Glendon student graduates with at least one level of bilingual certification. How far would you like to take your language credentials’

Level 1:

The Bilingual BA is part of Glendon’s basic graduation requirements, achieved by:

  • Taking FSL courses to the second-year level
  • Taking at least one discipline course taught in French

Level 2:

The Certificate of Bilingualism is awarded to students who:

  • Complete three full-year courses taught in French — a combination of FSL and discipline courses at the appropriate levels

Level 3:

The Certificate of Bilingual Excellence is awarded to students that:

  • Receive an average of B or higher in three full-year courses in French
  • Successfully complete an examination in English and French at the end of their degree

Level 4:

The Certificate of Trilingual Excellence is awarded to students that:

  • Receive an average of B or higher in three full-year courses in French
  • Receive an average of B or higher in three full-year courses in Spanish
  • Successfully complete an examination in English, French, and Spanish at the end of their degree

Our small, close-knit campus offers you a unique bilingual environment where your French will improve on a daily basis just by being here.

You’ll hear French from other English speakers practicing their second language on campus, and from francophone students of various backgrounds: about 1/3 of our students come from French-speaking locations around the world — Quebec, France, Belgium, Morocco, Cameroon, Haiti, and Mauritius, to name just a few.

Many of them are at Glendon doing the same as you, but in the reverse: learning English while they earn their university degree. Our campus is truly bilingual to the core: all Glendon professors and staff speak both languages; our services, library resources, and even our campus signs are offered in English and French.

Socially bilingual

As a result, student life happens bilingually; sometimes, even trilingually. Our student newspapercampus radio station and student clubs warmly welcome both anglophone and francophone students, while our Drama Studies students put on productions in English, French and increasingly, Spanish at Theatre Glendon. You might also have the chance to help your neighbours in residence with their English while they’re helping you with your French!

If you want to develop your language skills even further, some other popular options with Glendon students include:

  • Taking part in one of our numerous international academic exchange programs
  • Spending your summer doing the ever-popular Explore program, a five-week language bursary program designed to enhance your language skills by immersing you in a francophone community

Language learning outside of a degree program

Want to improve your French competency, but don’t need an extra credit? For this and other non-credit courses for a variety of languages and cultural experiences, the Glendon Extended Learning program is your answer.