Difficulties with virtual French classes for newcomers in Quebec
The acquisition of the French language by newcomers in Quebec has been hampered by the pandemic. Director of the settlement organization Bienvenue à Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) in Montreal Luis Miguel Cristancho said some students in the online French courses have quit and some think it’s not efficient to learn this way. Some think they won’t have a chance to talk. The government has continued the French courses online, but Cristancho pointed out that learners need to have good computers and good Internet service. The programs are heavy on audio and video. Some newcomers found that their problem was not the Internet but the lack of face-to-face instruction. Sometimes they don’t understand what people are saying in the video, and there is no teacher to pick up on this and help. The Ministry of Immigration issued a statement saying they recognize that this form of education is more difficult for immigrants with little education. They said the majority of courses at the beginner level and courses for people with little education take place in-person when possible. Cristancho said if learners had access to low-cost high-speed Internet, that would help a lot.