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Certificate of Proficiency in French

Persons who are not majoring or honouring in French and who would like to have official recognition of their competence in the French language may apply for admission to the above-mentioned program, which is administered for the University by the Department of French on the Fredericton campus. The goal of the program is to enable students to acquire a functional command of French, by upgrading the four basic language skills, over a four-year period. The program normally consists of 12 ch of French courses at the Introductory and Intermediate levels, followed by 12 ch at the Advanced level. These will normally be 3200 and 4200 (Saint John); 3034, 3054, 4034, 4054 (Fredericton). In all of these courses the student is to attain a mark of C or higher, and the certificate is awarded on the basis of a comprehensive examination upon termination of the last course in the sequence. Students who have received advanced standing for Introductory level French need take only three courses (18 ch) to qualify for the comprehensive examination. A maximum of six credit hours may be transferred from another program.

Students interested in being considered for the certificate must seek the approval of the appropriate academic unit, and should register for the program at the beginning of the sequence, or at the earliest convenient moment. The normal rules governing acceptance to the courses apply; they will be found in the section of the calendar dealing with the two administrative units concerned. In order to be admitted to the program, students must have Grade 12 French or its equivalent.

Full-time students may take these courses as part of their undergraduate program. Persons not working towards a degree may enrol for the courses as part-time students.

Students must sit the comprehensive examination within two years of completing the course requirements. Students who fail the comprehensive examination on their first attempt will be allowed to sit again in the following session.

The Certificate of Proficiency in French will be awarded by the University through the Registrar's Office. The student's transcript will bear a separate entry showing that the certificate has been awarded and recording the grades obtained in the four areas of language competence (speaking, listening, comprehension, reading comprehension and writing).

These grades are A (very good), B (good), and C (satisfactory) and they may be interpreted as follows:


  • A: the candidate participates with ease in conversation
  • B: the candidate can participate adequately in conversation albeit with a certain degree of hesitancy
  • C: the candidate can make himself understood in conversation

Listening comprehension:

  • A: can understand lectures in a job-related context and radio and TV news and programs which interest him
  • B: can understand lectures on non-technical subjects and group conversation
  • C: can understand what is said to him in individual conversation with one other person

Reading Comprehension:

  • A: can understand the main ideas in books, magazines and newspapers without the aid of a dictionary.
  • B: can read printed material of personal interest with occasional help from a dictionary
  • C: can read, with the aid of a dictionary, standard texts written without stylistic difficulties on subjects within his\her interest


  • A: can write papers, essays, etc., which are acceptable in form and format
  • B: can write résumés, letters, short compositions which are structurally acceptable but would need some revision
  • C: can write sentences and short paragraphs which are grammatically acceptable


Full details are contained in a brochure obtainable from the Department of French.