Though some may say school can be boring even at the best of times, school can also be full of opportunity – but it’s up to you to make the most of it!

School can be a great opportunity to meet new and interesting people of many different backgrounds, an opportunity to learn new lifelong skills, maybe join a sports team or club that can expand your horizons.  School can be a great place to discover who you really are, your strengths and weaknesses, your passions and hidden talents and help you determine which career or path you choose to follow.

Learning a foreign language is one of the most important parts of the provincial curriculum but surprisingly few students are passionate about learning to speak a new language.

In Canada, French and English are recognised federally as our official languages according to the 'Official Languages Act of 1969".  However,  under provincial legislation only in Quebec and New Brunswick is French considered as an official language. Therefore, French and English are both considered important second languages taught in Canada.

Languages are a valuable assets in this increasingly Global economy. Whether you’re a beginner student or businessperson – why is it important to learn them while you’re at school? And why should French be one of your languages of choice?

If you’re a student trying to decide whether learning French is for you, Superprof has ten fantastic reasons to convince you to take up a language course.

Basile
Basile
French Teacher
4.94 4.94 (16) $30/h
First lesson is free!
Suzanne
Suzanne
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (8) $35/h
First lesson is free!
Francis
Francis
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (5) $30/h
First lesson is free!
Maryam
Maryam
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (10) $40/h
First lesson is free!
Simon
Simon
French Teacher
$25/h
First lesson is free!
Andree
Andree
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (4) $33/h
First lesson is free!
Hamid
Hamid
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (7) $40/h
First lesson is free!
François
François
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (3) $25/h
First lesson is free!

1.     Learning French Language Skills

Firstly as a Canadian, it is one of our official languages and the opportunity and support that Canadians receive to learn French in school as part of our provincial core or immersion curriculums is advantageous.  All of our official federal and provincial forms and documents are given in French and English. So we have a unique opportunity to actually become bilingual.  French is not only spoken in Canada but it's one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, so there are countless advantages in knowing how to speak this foreign language.

Did you know that there are over 220 million French speakers worldwide. 

Learning how to speak French is more than a school subject: it's a life skill
Your French conversational skills can be advantageous in negotiations. ¦ source: Visualhunt

French is an international language which has made its mark on the world in many ways. Many of our english words and expressions are borrowed from French such as rapport, ensemble, rendez-vous, and all the ballet technical terms are French.

2.      Secondary Level French is a Valuable Qualification

Guidance counsellors and teachers will attest that , languages look great on a Resume.

The unique opportunity to obtain Secondary School Core credits in French for free as provided by our provincial curriculums in Canada , should be taken advantage of.

A French qualification on your job applications, even if you're not 100 % fluent, demonstrates a level of proficiency and self-discipline to future employers  that is highly valued in the Global work force.

French is particularly useful when it comes to applying for universities in Canada and globally.   It  can give you the option to take a joint-honours program alongside your major, why not minor in studying French.  So once you complete your studies and graduate, you will be completely fluent - and that makes you a highly attractive and valuable employee.

Check out our top tips for acing your French exams.

3.      Language Proficiency For An International Career

With so many changes in the global economy, languages are now more important than ever before.

If you are proficient in French, you will be able to work for French companies, and be invaluable to those companies looking to expand and strengthen their trade links.

Learning French could definitely open the door to you for those coveted jobs that lets you travel!

As our capital cities become more and more global with an ever expanding global economy, it's no wonder so many  Canadians search for French courses,  be it in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and every city in Canada!

4.      New French-Speaking Friends Worldwide

School is a great place to make new friends no doubt – but have you ever thought about making friends outside of Canada should you be given the opportunity?

Most schools offer a  language exchange program, where students are paired with French pupils of the same age and in turn host each other for a week, whether within Canada or another French speaking country.  It's an invaluable experience to learn the French language and culture and make friends with a native french speaker.

Make friends with native French speakers
Making new friends who are native French  speakers can help you with oral exercises ¦ source: Pixabay - Melanie Schwolert

By the end of your French exchange,  your language skills will have improved and not only will you have experienced a new culture but befriended a native French speaker!

Basile
Basile
French Teacher
4.94 4.94 (16) $30/h
First lesson is free!
Suzanne
Suzanne
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (8) $35/h
First lesson is free!
Francis
Francis
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (5) $30/h
First lesson is free!
Maryam
Maryam
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (10) $40/h
First lesson is free!
Simon
Simon
French Teacher
$25/h
First lesson is free!
Andree
Andree
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (4) $33/h
First lesson is free!
Hamid
Hamid
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (7) $40/h
First lesson is free!
François
François
French Teacher
5.00 5.00 (3) $25/h
First lesson is free!

5.      Learn French and Travel in Europe

The ability to speak French makes traveling a lot easier – especially if you’re traveling in Europe!

If you plan to study or just to visit Europe, you will find it easier and much less daunting traveling around France. Whether you’re looking for the nearest metro in Paris or you need directions to "Le Tour Eiffle" or "Le Notre Dame" , speaking any level of French can make you a far more confident traveler.

6.      Immerse Yourself in Francophone Culture

It is one of the most visited countries in the world, France and for that matter other French-speaking countries have an incredibly rich culture.

The cultures associated with the French language are known all over the world for the richness of it's history, architecture, art,  cuisine and so much more.

But to fully appreciate the richness of these cultures, is to experience French culture in its own language!

The ability to communicate with people who make up a culture in their own language ensures that nothing is ever lost in the translation.

So, whether you’re talking to locals in French, reading the French descriptions in art galleries, or taking city tours with a French-speaking guide,  the best way to fully immerse yourself in it's culture is to experience it in it's own language!

7.      The Younger the Easier

Countless studies have shown that the best time to take on a second language is in early adolescence. But a new study by MIT shows that students up until the age of 18 are still within the critical period to be able to learn a new language, quicker and easier than adults.  However, in order to achieve native proficiency in a language it is critical to start before the age of 10. This is why it's so important to learn French at school.

People who learn a language before the age of 15 are more likely to be better at pronunciation in their second language than those who learn in adulthood.

Youngsters are more successful at picking up languages because:

  • Physiology of their brains are wired to do so – children and teens are more easily inclined to soak up information around them than are adults.
  • The optimum environment of a classroom for learning, the proximity to plenty of other students to practice with and given that there are not too many distractions while being taught.

Therefore studies have shown that in order to fully become proficient in a second language, it is best to start learning before the age of 10, but further studies have shown that children between the ages of 10 and 17, 18 are still within a critical period of learning, at a pace faster and easier than adults.  So the earlier the better when it comes to learning French!

8.     Improving Your Cognitive Function

Did you know that studying a language could also give you a boost of creativity, and helpful if you're studying art or creative writing?!  This is because learning a second language has been shown to increase levels of creativity and even slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Learning French will have far more benefits than you can imagine
Learning French can unlock your full potential ¦ source: Pixabay - Seanbatty

Learning a language is a bit like a workout for your brain: making it stronger and healthier, it has even been shown to make the brain physically grow in size!

9.      Improves English and Language Skills

Even if you're a native English speaker, a little-known benefit of learning how to speak French is that it can help you get to know English better!  It's a phenomenon that can only be experienced.

Two ways that learning French can help your English language skills:

  • Vocabulary: Thanks  to the Norman conquest of 1066, many of our english words are rooted in French.  So English and French are so closely related,  for example, the word ‘pulmonary’,  the French word for ‘lung’ is ‘poumon’.  English words rooted in french are; cream - creme, adult - adulte, ballet-ballet, cliche-cliche, climate - climat, picnic - picque nique , remarkable - remarquable, revue-revue
  • Grammar: English grammar can be difficult but grammatical terms , verb agreements and tenses are important to  know how to structure your sentences.  So it is easier to understand grammar rules when you comprehend the meaning of noun, verb, adverb and subordinate clause.

10.  Communication and Comprehension Skills

Learning French, demands a lot of practice, not only in the classroom but in the real world too.

As with any language, learning French can be daunting, but  why not just begin, perhaps by ordering  your first meal in French! You will find that throwing yourself in the deep end will work wonders for your self-confidence in any language.

 

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Yvette

Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.