July 23rd, 2024

Explaining Quebec’s new French requirement for out-of-province university students

By The Canadian Press on December 14, 2023.

McGill University campus is seen in Montreal on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Not only is Quebec hiking tuition for out-of-province students to McGill and Concordia universities to $12,000, the government is also requiring 80 per cent of them to have a Level 5 intermediate knowledge of spoken French before they graduate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL – Not only is Quebec hiking annual tuition for out-of-province students at McGill and Concordia universities to $12,000, the government will also require that 80 per cent of them graduate with an intermediate knowledge of spoken French. The new French standard takes effect in the 2025-26 academic year and also applies to students at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Que.

According to the province’s “scale of proficiency in French,” the Level 5 oral knowledge demanded by Quebec means the person “understands the essentials of conversations on everyday topics.”

Here are examples from a Quebec government document of the kind of French skills out-of-province students will need by the time they graduate.

Be able to understand:

– Information from a neighbour about activities planned for a neighbourhood party.

– A description in a TV news report of the effects of a flood.

– A colleague’s story about an overseas trip.

– A friend’s explanation of her decision to accept a part-time job offer.

– How to follow a roommate’s instructions for paying the rent with a mobile app.

Speak well enough to:

– Reserve a hotel room over the phone and inquire about the services offered.

– Describe a health issue to a nurse on the provincial health phone line.

– Recount to a friend the high points of an outing.

– Explain to a new work colleague the procedure for filing for overtime

– Offer advice on finding accommodation to someone who has just arrived in Quebec.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2023

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