It’s no secret that some of the best paying jobs are reserved for those who speak both English and French
I was looking the other day for lessons to aid with my French. One summer in Quebec didn’t quite appeal to me anymore.
And besides. If Canada has two official languages…why should I have to travel out of my province to learn French?
I mean obviously going to a region that has a bounty of French speakers makes sense,
but at the same time, shouldn’t I be able to learn French in any province through lessons?
And furthermore, shouldn’t these lessons be free of cost, sponsored by the government?
So I thought. I soon realized that my searching was near fruitless, I didn’t find the answers I wanted.
I did however stumble upon a page, describing free French or English lessons for immigrants, sponsored by…
Now quite naturally I was a bit annoyed, and even found myself envious of these immigrants.
Here I am trying to become bilingual, while many immigrants, if interested, could become trilingual.
But then I thought to myself:
“Some may gain these free language courses, but the years they may have lost, the adults anyways, studying in their home country cannot be replaced, all because their degree isn’t recognized.”
Free French and English classes though, outside of school, should be offered to all Canadian nationals, not just the immigrants.
I asked myself then,
“Is it in the government’s interest to promote true bilingualism?”
I don’t think so.
In elementary schools, classes are just 30 or so minutes and not more than twice a week. It’s a mere exposure to French it seems, a little taste of nourishment, an appetizer with no promise of a grand meal. This appetizer is given to students, for just 5 years, from grades 4-9. What is the sense of taking French for just 5 years? Why isn’t it taught along side English or “Language Arts,” as it’s called in elementary schools? We have signs in labels in both French and English, but what’s the point if not everyone by the time they graduate highchool, can read what’s written in French?
French remains an option in Ontario. Perhaps that is the current problem.
If you want to continue French past grade 9, you may.
If your parents would like you to speak French, they may enrol you in a French immersion school.
English and French are equal under the law, yet, I feel as if a person would get farther being a native speaker in English and a substantial level of French, but not the other way around. Otherwise French wouldn’t be such looming option over the horizon.
I personally feel that classes should be in both languages, students should learn both. Students should also start at an earlier age as well, not after they’ve been instructed in strictly English in the previous years. The government needs to do more to ensure that Canadian nationals are thoroughly familiar with both languages, and it starts through education. And if perhaps a person would like to better speak or perfect either languages after school, government funded classes should be available to them.