Notre Shawnigan

Shawnigan Lake School is proud to be rooted in our Canadian heritage and its diversity. Traditionally, our campus has been inclusive and friendly to Francophone and francophile students. Over the past five years we have enhanced our offerings for students with French Immersion background or very advanced skills in the French language.  We want to continue to serve all our French learners with French courses, exams and experiential learning opportunities that create a unique pathway to developing fluency, mastery and passion for the French language.
Our students are placed based on proficiency levels and may pursue French language and culture studies at the highest levels possibly offered in high school. Some of our students will be equipped to apply to bilingual programs at various Universities in Canada ( Therefore, a student coming with significantly advanced French skills may join our French Immersion classes.

French Immersion Courses

The students have the opportunity to take the following courses:
  • Français langue seconde - Immersion 8, 9, 10*, 12*
  • Langue et culture de la francophonie 11*
  • Sciences humaines et sociales 10*
  • Histoire du monde au XXe siècle 12
  • Éducation au choix de carrière 10*

Double Dogwood
Students pursuing the Double Dogwood are required to complete all the courses noted with a *, in addition to completing one of the two other courses offered at the senior level. French immersion students and francophone students are entitled to take the BC numeracy and literacy assessments in the French language.

Testing: DELF and AP

List of 2 items.

  • DELF (Diplôme d’études en langue française)

    All French learners at Shawnigan have the opportunity to participate in testing for the Diplôme d’Étude en Langue Française (DELF) scolaire and junior certificates which are offered at Shawnigan in April or May. These allow learners to measure their level of achievement at a specific level of competency amongst all students worldwide studying the French language.

    More importantly, the DELF examinations are used as a reference in French assessment by most universities in Canada and across the world and a growing number of institutions and organizations worldwide.

    These examinations are based on the knowledge, expertise, interpersonal skills and learning skills that are part of the ability to communicate by way of language at linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic levels. The four key skills are comprehension, expression, interaction and mediation.

    The examination includes the four skills at every level, with varying degrees of interaction and mediation required depending on the level. The 6 levels (A1 to C2) can be regrouped into three broad levels: Basic User (A1, A2), Independent User (B1, B2) and Proficiency Users (Adults C1, C2).

    Here at Shawnigan lake School, we offer A1, A2, B1, B2 preparation and examinations. After completing the examination, the students receive an official proficiency recognition certificate, recognized by the Council of Europe. From our experience, this qualification motivates young learners to increase their mastery in French language on a lifelong basis.
  • AP French Language and Culture

    The AP French Language and Culture class is designed for students who already have a solid level in French. They are able to express themselves orally in a spontaneous fashion and to interact with a French native speaker. Their written skills allow them to write essays, blog entries, e-mails or any creative written production. The students are able to read articles from current French magazines, newspapers and excerpts from classical French literature. They are required to make comparisons and synthesis with the information collected.

    The course is articulated around 6 themes:
    1. Families in different societies
    2. The influence of language and culture on society
    3. Influences of beauty and art
    4. How science and technology affect our lives
    5. Factors that impact the quality of life
    6. Environmental, political, and societal challenges
    Similar to the DELF, the AP French Language and Culture course is used as a reference in French assessment in US Universities and many in Canada. Typically this class is offered to French Immersion students in grade 11. Ideally they should already be recipients of the DELF B1; if not, they will take it prior to the AP exam session.

French experiential learning opportunities

Living the language is the most powerful and inspiring experience a student can encounter. At Shawnigan we made this ultimate access to the French language possible to all French learners. Since 2009, a long and reliable exchange program has been established with Le Lycée Sacré Coeur located in Angers, France ( This privileged connection allows our learners to experience ‘ la vraie vie française’ as they immerse themselves in a family and follow the lifestyle of their carefully selected partner. Several cultural, historical and sports activities are organised in addition to attending classes.

Shawnigan French learners may choose to go in a group tour organized by their teachers for two weeks usually during Spring Break or to work on a fully personalized exchange program, with permission from both school administrations, for a duration of their choice. Most of our students take advantage of this opportunity in grade 10 or 11 for 6 to 8 weeks. In return, Shawnigan Lake School is pleased to host the French youth and their staff from Angers on campus, usually during the first term.

French Immersion Teachers

Our people are our assets. Here at Shawnigan, all our French immersion teachers are francophones with longtime experience teaching French Immersion programs. In addition, our three teachers each hold a master’s degree in the subject they are teaching.

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  • Marleen Guffens 

  • Photo of Paul Klassen

    Paul Klassen 

    Social Studies
    250-743-5516 ext 373
Shawnigan Lake School is an independent boarding school for Grades 8-12 on Canada's West Coast. Our modern, diverse and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.