General Information

Why learn another language? When we learn a second language we broaden our cultural and intellectual capacity to understand other people and to live in harmony with them. The value of learning a second language has increased in our global community in recent years. A 30-level language course is the minimum acceptable level required by post-secondary institutions.

Harry Ainlay High School offers four second language programs:  French, German, Japanese and Spanish.  The minimum requirement for the French 9y programs and the Spanish 6y programs is a successful completion of respective junior high language programs.  However, other language courses require no background.  The International Baccalaureate students have choices of French 10-9y pIB (Language B), German 10-3y pIB (Ab initio), Japanese 10-3y IB (Ab initio), Spanish 10-3y IB (Ab initio), and Spanish 10-6y IB (Language B).

The 30 level language courses provide the required credits for entering many post-secondary institutions.  Therefore, it is highly recommended that students complete a 3 year sequence of the courses.  In order to advance to the next level and continue successful language learning at Harry Ainlay, it is suggested that students attain a mark of 60% or higher in the previous level.  Students whose achievement is between 50% and 59% will need the subject teacher’s recommendation in order to advance.

Recommended Prerequisites

Students must register in the level which follows their achieved proficiency level at the end of grade 9.

  • Generally, for students who started FSL in grade 7, FSL 10-9Y is recommended.
  • Generally,  for students who started FSL in grade 4 or earlier, FSL 10-9Y or 10-9Y pIB are recommended.
  • Students with one or two years of Junior High Spanish should register in Spanish 20-3Y.
  • Students with 3 years of Junior High Spanish should register in Spanish 10-6Y


The focus of the IB Second Languages courses is developing fluency in the use of a second language that also results in an increased intercultural awareness. Students enrolled in these courses consider a variety of texts and use the languages they learn to respond to a wide range of ideas and topics. The emphasis is on the acquisition of receptive, productive, and interactive skills that will allow students to acquire a native speaker’s understanding of the contextual and cultural conventions employed in diverse communicative situations, from everyday informal exchanges to literary texts.

Please see our Detailed Course Description Booklet 2015-2016 for detailed information on our Language courses.