Press Release: New report shows how Québec’s French language learning ecosystem could be improved

2023 - 11 - 1 Outreach

Incorporating international best practices in adult language learning would benefit Quebec’s French language learning infrastructure 

Montreal, November 1, 2023 – The Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) has released the second of two reports examining the most effective approaches in adult language learning. The latest report, entitled “Québec and the rest: A survey of national and international approaches to adult language training,” presents examples of successful adult language training programs across six international and Canadian jurisdictions, and proposes recommendations intended to help improve Québec’s adult French language training ecosystem.

Nicholas Salter, Executive Director of the Provincial Employment Roundtable, explains: 

“Developing this infrastructure will allow Québec to attract and retain workers, address linguistic barriers to employment, and could have an impact on the province’s persistent labour shortage.”

PERT’s previous work has shown that English speakers in Québec face higher levels of unemployment and earn less in median income. The organization’s research has also identified French language proficiency as a barrier for English speakers navigating the labour market.

“If Québec wants to meet its economic goals, it needs to become the best place in the world to learn French, an important first step is to find ways to broaden access to language learning services for Québec’s English speakers, and anyone else looking to improve their French language proficiency” adds Salter.

By highlighting successful strategies from other jurisdictions, PERT hopes to provide policymakers with a wide range of solutions Québec can borrow from to further develop and improve its language training offer for adults in the workplace. 

“When comparing the national and international best practices identified in our report with the current services offered by the Québec government, we see that there is still a lot of room for improvement,” concludes Salter.

The report presents seven key recommendations to help improve Québec’s adult language learning infrastructure:

  1. Increase collaboration between the government, the community sector, and the private sector to expand the provision of adult French-language training programs.
  2. Leverage the private sector to increase workforce-oriented French-language training.
  3. Regularly collect and publish linguistic data in Québec to track French-language competency levels.
  4. Develop and implement a strategy to better leverage technology to improve learner outcomes
  5. Improve the francisation website by enhancing its usability, navigation, and comprehensiveness as a one-stop-shop online government platform that provides all resources and information related to adult French-language training in Québec.
  6. Establish a province-wide network of French-language assessment and referral centres to provide free and affordable assessments for all Québec residents in partnership with community organizations, schools, and language centres.
  7. Create volunteer language training programs to match language learners with fluent French-language speakers

About PERT

The Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) is a non-profit multi-stakeholder initiative focused on addressing the employment and employability challenges facing Québec’s English-speaking community.