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  • Writer's pictureHannah Johnston

A new approach to French learning examined through John Abbott program.

John Abbott College has received funding from Co-operative Education and Work-Integration Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) for a creative French language learning program. The grant was given primarily to help an immersive French language learning initiative that Maria Popica, a French professor, started.

PHOTO: John Abbott College


The awarded funds were used to cover the living expenses of the participating students, freeing them up to concentrate on the program's requirements. The project's objectives were to organize on-the-ground events and give second-language learners of French a real-world job experience in Montreal's French community.


Two eminent organizations, the CIUSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal (Sainte-Anne Hospital and Centre d'hébergement Denis-Benjamin-Viger) and the Lester B. Pearson School Board (six primary schools, immersion program in French), notably collaborated on the project.

Students were given the responsibility to draft their resumes and cover letters, submit their applications, and participate in the interview process at the school, hospital, or residence of their choosing.


After being employed, the students participated in training and activities. They collaborated closely with patients and other students while being supported by their supervisors. The institutions valued the involvement of JAC students very much, and in light of the present staff shortages, their contribution was substantial.


The project greatly impacted the student's professional and personal growth. A research project was included in the curriculum to assess how the experience affected views toward the French community and motivation to improve their French literacy. Every area that was looked at showed improvement, according to the data.


After finishing the program, students felt an increased confidence in their ability to use their French language abilities practically and discovered an appreciation for community involvement. A few students even mentioned that their future goals had changed, and they were now thinking about jobs in healthcare or education.


SOURCE: John Abbott College

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