Study French

Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 12:02 PM
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Study French

I would like to study French in Quebec. I am curently a Spanish teacher and would like to learn French to the point I could teach French I in high school. I would like to do this over several summers through four or five weeks of immersion each summer. Any school suggestions for Montreal or in Quebec?
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Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 07:37 PM
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I thank you for all your help for Mexico in the past and welcome to my neck of the woods here in la Belle Province. I would recommend without hesitation coming to either Montréal or Québec and attending either l'Université de Montréal (UdeM) or l'Université Laval in Québec City. Both cities are great places to live. Montrealers myself included tend to be quite bilingual French/English, which has its plusses and minuses and far as learning a language is concerned, and may not be as total an immersion experience as you seek, in which case, you may want to consider Quebec City or smaller locales.

Thinking of your goals, I think how long it took my French to really get to high levels of fluency. After 5 years high school French, several university courses, it was a good 3 years of considerable effort living immersed in a majority francophone neighborhood in Montreal before I really felt quite conversation-fluent in French. And I tend to think I have an aptitude for languages! Compare that to 1 year university Spanish, a year brushing up on vocab and grammar and after several days in Mexico, I felt I was pretty functional already!

Anyhow, I guess what I'm saying is, French isn't so easy (a great mastery of it is challenging; even my mother, a former French teacher in the US has trouble understanding spoken Quebecois or even European French) and don't be surprised if after several summers of 5 weeks you don't feel ready... However I certainly encourage you to give it a go and I'm sure at very least you'll have fun in the process but remember even a large number of francophones I know don't feel qualified to teach French .

Bienvenu à la Belle Province!!!! DAN

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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 12:44 PM
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I think that you would be wise to choose somewhere else than Montreal, as the prevalence of English might distract you from your studies. Better to go to Québec City or if you really want total immersion to a place such as Chicoutimi. There are programs at Laval in in Québec, or at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC). This is not to say that you wouldn't get good instruction in Montreal, but that outside the classroom you would be better in one of the other cities.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for the info. More is welcome- Daniel- I think you are right, I think it would take significant work, perhaps a lot more than Spanish did to get where I would like to be in French. My end goal would be to get enough grammar and to be able to speak at what I would call an intermediate level, so I could pass the test I wold need to take to teach. I don't know if a few summers and practice with our French instructor here would do it. I would like to try anyway- Thanks
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 12:16 AM
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No offence, Dude, but is it really fair to your students to become their French teacher when you can only understand/speak French at an intermediate level and have learned just enough to pass the qualification test? If you do want to pursue such a project, I think you should set your sights a little higher. At the very least, you should aim to have passed the French Ministry of Education's DALF's C1 exam, which would establish that your French level is at "near fluency" (C1 refers to the second-to-highest level of language ability measured according to the European Union common framework). Have a look at http: //

But I wouldn't want to dissuade you from teaching French. Your other posts indicate that you're someone who is interested in the culture of the place whose language you are teaching. You could offer your students more than grammar, if you explore French cultures as you learn the language. By all means, spend a summer or two in Quebec (I second the recommendation for Quebec City or Chicoutimi for a more intense immersion experience), but you should also try to spend at least one summer in France, so that you can tell your students about the different cultures. Also, the accents are very different as between Quebec and France, and some of the vocabulary is quite different although the grammar is very similar (fewer differences than you might see between European Spanish and "Americas Spanish"). And why not add a somewhere in another French-speaking region to the mix - e.g. French Guyana or North Africa? Could you get scholarships for such study?

If you already speak Spanish and are a teacher, you've learned something about learning a language and probably will find learning French a little easier.

A couple of resources to consider to get you started: the BBC's French Experience course (two levels) is quite good at delivering manageable chunks of grammar, combined with a lot of very interesting information about the cultures of La Francophonie (the French-speaking world), with exposure (through the audio tapes and CDs) to different accents. There are books, CDs or audio tapes and a TV series that can be purchased. Go to, as well as Amazon to buy materials. Pimsleur also has a good set of audio CDs (useful once you've got some basic grammar) - very expensive to buy, so see if you can borrow them from the library. If there's an Alliance Francaise in your city, their courses are often good (but sometimes not). I also find the "Teach Yourself" series of language instruction books to be useful, but you'll want to buy a companion guide to grammar.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 07:27 AM
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I didn't read the other replies, so I'm sorry if this is a repeat.

I was just opposite of you! Studied french for years, wanted to become a french teacher, but decided to pick up Spanish as well.

I spent 5 weeks at the Universite Laval in Quebec City last summer. I loved it! I had a bad professor, but I think she retired after my class.

I'm not sure how old you are, but there were a lot of younger students, as well as some older "nontraditional" students.

The program has a beginner level courses through advanced. You can stay in the dorms or with a family. If you really want to learn, I would stay with a family. I lived in the dorms and they were horrible - disgusting and dirty. I also spoke English the whole time I wasnt' in class! But if you stay with a family, they make you speak French, and you learn sooooo much more that way.

Quebec City was fantastic. I miss it so much. You didn't HAVE to speak French to get by, but it sure helped.

I think that with your Spanish background, French will not be that hard for you to learn. Especially if you live with a family. That is the best suggestion I have for you - wherever you go, stay with a family if you are serious about learning and speaking French.

Here's the ulaval website for more info:

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