Please note: Our Winter session is now being offered through remote learning with Zoom, since our physical campus is closed to the public until further notice.

French Program for Civil Servants

Come learn to communicate in French or perfect your French skills.

What is my current level? We have updated our evening classes. Follow this link for details.

Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) has been offering French language training to civil servants for over 20 years. Our team of experienced language instructors specializes in helping students prepare for the Second Language Evaluation (SLE) for the federal civil service.

Fill out the form below and email it to to request language training or to get assessed: 
icone_pdf Request Form - French Courses for Civil Servants

What is the Second Language Evaluation (SLE)?

The SLE is a standardized language assessment used to determine proficiency in certain language skills deemed necessary to the duties and responsibilities of positions within the civil service. There are three important components to the SLE:

  • Written Comprehension
  • Written Expression
  • Oral Proficiency

For more information on SLE, consult the Government of Canada's General Second Official Languages Qualifications Standards.

Reaching Your Language Goals

Regardless of your current language level, we have many flexible options for anyone who needs French language training. We use the Programme de français langue seconde (PFL2) developed by the School of Public Service to help employees reach a specific level of proficiency in French for work purposes. The program is also supported by our own in-house course material, the Collection À Vous! With these tools, USB  can help a student gain proficiency in written comprehension, written expression or oral proficiency.In order to do well on the SLE, it is important to have both the language skills and an understanding of how to perform well on test day. USB uses a number of strategies to help students achieve their utmost best performance. These include: 

  • practice tests, both timed and untimed;
  • realistic simulations of the test experience;
  • structured independent learning opportunities that help students improve specific areas of language proficiency;
  • activities and authentic interactions with members of the French quarter community of Saint-Boniface;
  • individualized feedback, based on the criteria used by SLE evaluators.

How Long Will It Take? 

The time required to meet your language goals depends on many  factors including, but not limited to: 

  • Current knowledge of French;
  • Previous French courses taken;
  • Learning style;
  • Previous experience with the SLE;
  • Willingness to take risks;
  • Willingness to find opportunities to study and use French outside of the classroom.

In order to improve your chances of succeeding the SLE test, you should consider the following:

  • Between 1000 and 1500 hours from a true beginner to B level 
  • Between 475 and 665 hours from B level to C level.

The amount of time it takes an individual to reach a specific language level will vary considerably. So, in order to provide a more accurate assessment of your customized language path, please contact us in order to book a language evaluation. 

Fill out the form below to request language training or to get assessed: 
icone_pdf Request Form - French Courses for Civil Servants

Course Options

You can choose the pace that best suits your needs: 

  • Part-time evening group classes (3 hours per week for 11 weeks);
  • Part-time individual or group training (14 hours or less per week);
  • Full-time individual or group training (typically between 15 and 25 hours per week).
  1. Evening Classes 

    These classes are designed for people pursing language training at a more leisurely pace or for those who are just starting their French learning journey. We offer three sessions of evening classes a year: September, January and April. Each class is 33 hours long and closely follows the Programme de français langue seconde (PFL2) of the School of Public Service.

    What is my current level?
    In order to better meet the needs of our students, we have changed how we offer evening courses. Although the course names have changed, the content is still specifically tailored to the needs of current and future civil servants.

    We have reduced the number of levels and given each course a broad theme. Each level is built around developing the skills to accomplish everyday language tasks. This program is based on the Government of Canada’s language training objectives.

    If you have previously taken classes with us, you might be familiar with the “OF” course codes. The table below will help you choose the best level for your next class.

    Old Level

    New Level

    OF 1, 2, 3

    Level 1

    OF 4, 5

    Level 1

    OF 6, 7

    Level 2

    OF 8, 9

    Level 2

    OF 10, 11

    Level 3

    OF 12, 13, 14

    Level 4

    Consolidation 1

    Level 4

    OF 15, 16, 17, 18

    Level 5

    OF 19, 20

    Level 6

    OF 21, 22

    Level 7

    Consolidation 2

    Level 7

    OF 23, 24, 25

    Level 7

    OF 26, 27

    Level 8

    OF 28, 29

    Level 8

    OF 30

    Level 9

    OF 31, 32

    Level 9

    Consolidation 3

    Level 10

    OF 33, 34, 35

    Level 10

    OF 36, 37

    Level 11

    OF 38, 39, 40

    Level 11


    If you have are uncertain of your level, we can do a quick language assessment to help you find the level that is best for you. Please contact us if you require more information.

    Consult the full list of courses in the brochure or register

  2. Full-time or part-time language training at the Université de Saint-Boniface

    Language training at the Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) takes place in a completely immersive environment. As the only French-language university in Western Canada, USB often hosts conferences and cultural events, which provide fantastic opportunities for students to enrich their understanding of French language and culture. Additionally, our location in the heart of St-Boniface also provides opportunities for students to try their new language skills outside of the classroom.

    Fill out the form below to request language training or to get assessed: 
    icone_pdf Request Form - French Courses for Civil Servants  

    View our the USB Events Calendar at

    See an overview of local businesses by visiting the Tourisme Riel website.

  3. Full-time or part-time language training at your office

    Université de Saint-Boniface can also send a qualified instructor to your office to teach. All of our instructors have their Reliability Status certificate in order to help facilitate access to your place of work.

    Fill out the form below to request language training or to get assessed: 
    icone_pdf Request Form - French Courses for Civil Servants  

Maintaining Your French 

One of the most important parts of language learning is maintaining your skills. If you are anticipating taking the test again soon or just don’t want to lose what you’ve already worked so hard to achieve, the Université de Saint-Boniface can help. Our experienced instructors can provide flexible training based on your current situation.

  • Individual or group classes
  • Flexible schedules
  • In your offices or at USB
  • Customizable program designed to maintain language proficiency or review specific skills

Who Are Our Instructors? 

Experience in instruction, training and quality control are three elements that USB emphasizes in order to ensure the success of its students.


Université de Saint-Boniface has a rigorous hiring process. Our instructors all have university degrees and experience teaching to adults. In fact, most of our instructors have well over 1000 hours of teaching experience with USB. 


After an instructor is hired, he or she must complete a theoretical training course in order to better orient them in a communicative-experiential teaching style. This style emphasizes a student’s ability to perform language tasks in a realistic context. As well, our training program requires a 33-hour practicum during which the new instructor observes and assists a senior instructor. During the practicum, the new instructor will teach and get feedback from his or her mentor. This ensures that all of our instructors understand our pedagogical approach and it establishes a collaborative teaching practice.

In addition, every instructor who teaches to civil servants receives on-going, specialized training in the PFL2 program materials, the Second Language Evaluation (SLE) itself, and the realities of the federal public service. 

Quality Control

USB follows a comprehensive quality control program, which includes the following:

  • Regular evaluations of our instructors;
  • Formalized, individualized language progress feedback;
  • Team meetings regarding students’ progress;
  • Weekly meetings between instructors and students; and
  • Monthly meetings with each student.

A central tenant of our quality control program and our pedagogical approach involves listening to the concerns of each student in order to better meet his or her individual needs. We feel that an open and continuing dialogue with adult learners is essential in helping a student fulfill his or her language goals.



For more information, please contact us:

Continuing Education Division
Université de Saint-Boniface
200 De la Cathédrale Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba CANADA R2H 0H7
Phone: 204-235-4400
Fax: 204-235-4489

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Fall Session: Aug/Sept
Winter Session: Dec/Jan
Spring Session: Mar/Apr


Reading and Writing – Level C
Course dates: February 2 to March 11, 2021, twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Registration fee: $635 (materials and taxes included)
Registration deadline: January 19, 2021

Oral Interaction – Level C
Course dates: February 1 to March 10, 2021, twice a week, every Monday and Wednesday, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Registration fee: $635 (materials and taxes included)
Registration deadline: January 19, 2021


Inscrivez-vous en ligne


icone_pdf Consult the brochure

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