Free French classes polish skills
But a regional program running through the French school board for the past two years is seeking to balance the scales for anyone who cannot communicate freely in French in the region.
The newest series of classes that are offered free of charge will get underway the week of January 18.
The French Second Language courses are being offered by the Commission scolaire des Trois-Lacs through their adult education wing at the Centre Île-Perrot.
According to Louise Normandeau, who oversees the program, “Everybody wants to be able to communicate freely.”
She adds that the classes are geared toward “any individual from a different country or province should attend to help get acclimatized to Quebec.”
Unlike classes that meet once or twice a week for a few hours, participants in the 10-week program will attend classes four days a week, Monday through Thursday, during morning or afternoon sessions.
Morning classes will take place from
It can be a vicious cycle. Unilingual Anglophones or those who can not communicate in French often find themselves with limited social or employment opportunities and thus not enough money to pay high fees for French courses.
8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., while afternoon course will run from 12:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Normandeau says that to her knowledge this is the only organization offering such a flexible schedule.
Who can attend
The free classes are open to adult students. Most who’ve attended in the past have ranged in age from 20 to 50 years old.
Participants can register with an original Canadian birth certificate, or for those from other countries, a permanent resident card or citizens’ card. All participants must also provide proof that they live in the region.
Normandeau notes that the program was born of need. The Commission scolaire des Trois-Lacs started providing the courses in February 2007, when potential students came calling.
“People would knock on the door and ask “Cours français?” and that was all they knew how to say (in French),” Normandeau said.
A side benefit is that students often bond quickly.
“It’s become a meeting place,” Normandeau noted. “People meet people fromthe same country or from somewhere (with) their same language and it helps out. It’s easier when you have someone to communicate with in the class.”
Three classes with between 15 and 20 students will get underway January 18 at the Centre Île-Perrot, located at 333 boul. Perrot in L’Île-Perrot.
All participants are eligible according to the centre, whether they have just moved to Quebec or have lived here their entire life. For information or to register, call 514 477-7000, ext. 5620, or log onto www.cstrois-lacs.qc.ca.
Free French courses will get underway in L’Île-Perrot on January 18.