Quebec has launched a new promotional campaign which will attempt to encourage more immigrants to learn French.
While French is the predominant language in Quebec, and skilled immigrants will need a high level ability of the language in order to qualify to move there, the scheme will focus on encouraging non-French speaking partners of immigrants and those arriving in the province through family reunification streams to attend French lessons.
“French is not only the official language of Quebec and our common language, it is also an essential vector of integration,” said the province’s Immigration Minister, Kathleen Weil yesterday.
The province has long offered subsidised French language courses to newcomers, although the Minister acknowledges that the take up of these lessons isn’t as high as it could be. According to recent figures, some 26,000 people currently take French courses in Quebec, a number the provincial government wants to increase by about 10 per cent.
People who enroll in a full-time course are eligible for financial assistance of CDN$115 per week and reimbursement of child care expenses and transportation. Expenses are also reimbursed for those choosing part-time courses.
The campaign to encourage more immigrants to take French language courses will be distributed in newspapers, radio stations and websites of different ethnocultural communities, in traditional media and social media as well as in the Montreal métro and buses.
Article by David Fuller