French à la Québecoise
September 16, 2019 4:23 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for French courses in Quebec to do next year, can anyone point me in the right direction? More details inside.

Location: preferably Montreal but would consider other places.

Duration: a few months to a year, and to start in March/April time (flexible).

Would be good if the course was formally recognized (so maybe at a university?) or led to some kind of certificate at the end (some kind of DELF/DALF qualification?).

Level: I have studied French at university level (long ago) and also lived in France for about a year and worked in a job where I had to speak French to customers, but it's very rusty.

All my previous experience is with France French but I imagine most courses would lean more toward the standard sort of Quebec newsreader-type French so I shouldn't think that would be a problem (I can understand the French spoken on Radio Canada and things like that, but watching a movie I have no idea. I did manage to understand what people around me in the street were saying in Montreal).

In terms of hours, a minimum of a couple of hours a week (I would like more but I imagine that would get pretty costly).
posted by iamsuper to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you Canadian? The government offers intensive French courses for free for Canadian students through the Explore bursary.
posted by five_cents at 4:57 AM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh yes, I should clarify I'm not Canadian, I'm British :(
posted by iamsuper at 4:59 AM on September 16, 2019

I don't know specific courses, sorry, but hopefully someone does.

I did want to say - you may want to look outside of Montreal in order to experience a more immersive environment. There are definitely francophone areas of Montreal and it is more french-immersive than it was 20 years ago, but it's still got a considerable anglophone population and background and at the faintest hint of an accent people will switch to English with you. Quebec City also has a lot of English around due to the tourism trade but it's more francophone outside of the old city.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:22 AM on September 16, 2019

I just reached out to two friends, one of whom moved from another part of Canada to Montreal and started French lessons, and to another who teaches French to immigrants (as part of their “intégration” process).

Would you mind sharing what would be your “status” when you’ll be in Montréal? Will you be visiting for leisure? Immigrating here?

As far as I understand, if you are considered an immigrant, you have access to free or heavily discounted French classes that come in full time, part time, etc. formats. There seems to be a lot of information here.

Otherwise, my friend who moved from another province (and could not be considered to be an immigrant) studied at this school and said it was good and quite official, with diplomas / certification. He now takes private lessons (with another great friend! — happy to introduce you).

I haven’t heard from my friend who teaches full time (err... not the private teacher mentioned above), but will comment here when I do.

If you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do (re: French, or adapting to life in Montréal), let me know! Bienvenue chez vous! :)
posted by vert canard at 6:51 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Speaking only of location, I'd recommend getting outside of Montreal as well. Even as someone who speaks passable French, I find that too often in stores and restaurants people automatically switch to English with me, maybe because they think it's easier for me but more likely they don't want to have to deal with my tortured conjugations and pauses. Ideally what you want is to be immersed, i.e. forced to speak French at all times, outside of the classroom. Quebec City would be better for that. Also look into Jonquiere. My best friend did an immersive course there 15 years ago and found it an excellent place to learn.
posted by fso at 7:19 AM on September 16, 2019

I agree with the others – Montrealers are mostly bilingual and people will switch quickly to make communication easier. Here's the page for the language department at Université Laval in Quebec City, which would be a better place to immerse yourself in the language and arguably has a more neutral accent than the joual de la métropole.
posted by zadcat at 7:34 AM on September 16, 2019

I did an immersion program at Laval in Quebec City over a full academic year when I was 29 and by the end I was very conversant in the language. I haven't kept it up, sadly but I still have the best Quebecois accent, which I love. It's been 10 years so I don't know if Quebec is still as uni-lingual as it was when I was there, but it will certainly be less anglo than Montreal. I deliberately did not chose Montreal as my experience is that anglophones will be treated as anglophones, and that everyone speaks a lot of English so it would not force me to be in French all day, everyday.

I've also spoken to someone who was at UQAC Chicoutimi and found it very immersive.
posted by girlpublisher at 7:51 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm a Canadian who did the Explore program quite some time ago - happy to discuss details over MeMail if you're interested! (Not the Explore program itself, but the place I wound up in.)

I would second the comments above about Montreal - I never really got to speak French on my visits there, everyone switched to English as soon as they heard me speak.
posted by invokeuse at 10:36 PM on September 16, 2019

I am not Canadian, but did the five-week Explore program at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières in the '90s and it was wonderful -- possibly the best summer of my life. It's about midway between Québec and Montréal. Here's a review from someone who was in the program much more recently -- I very much concur.
posted by mookieproof at 10:57 AM on September 17, 2019

« Older Explain RAM to me like I'm a small child   |   Academic articles on Indigenous hunting rights in... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments