If you are looking to study international languages, and you happen to be in Montreal, you are in one of the best places to study in Canada. Montreal is an incredibly multilingual and culturally diverse city, where many people speak French and English and more. In addition to a linguistically diverse population, you will also find fantastic eateries and shops where you can eat food from all over the world, organizations that offer special events for those looking to celebrate and explore international cultures, and plenty of schools where you can learn how to speak the language of your choice.

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Montreal is one of the most exciting places to learn a new language. Source: Unsplash

What makes Montreal so special? Every neighbourhood in Montreal has its own unique character and personality. Downtown Montreal is an urban wonderland and the city’s economic heart: here, you will hear English and French in the areas many businesses and cafes. Stroll into Old Montreal from here and get true taste of French heritage in its cobbled streets and European architecture. Check out Chinatown for a colourful dose of Asian heritage; Little Italy is another celebrated cultural hub where many Italian businesses congregate. La Petite-Patrie is an area with serious latin flair for those who want to immerse themselves in Spanish-speaking cultures; visit Cote-de-Neige to try foods from all around the world: Haitian, British, Thai, Japanese, and Middle Eastern eateries line the main street. This is just the tip of the iceberg, with over 100 different ethnocultural groups in the Montreal area alone. 

When you learn a new language in Montreal, you gain access to resources and people that can help you to reach your goals, whether it is being able to entertain clients, speak fluently to friends and family, or simply learn enough phrases to get through a vacation. You can find programs in the city’s numerous colleges, universities, private schools, and cultural institutes - simply determine your budget and purpose for learning, and choose the best option. You can even consider recruiting the help of a private tutor - Montreal has a wealth of multilingual speakers that are eager to support you in your learning.

This article is all about learning international languages in Montreal - what the benefits are, how to choose a language class, and which schools offer quality classes. Let’s start by exploring the benefits of investing your time and resources into learning a new language.

Learn more about learning international languages in Canada.

Why Learning International Languages is a Great Investment

Learning a new language is one of the best ways you can invest your time and money - if you take your studies seriously, and become proficient in the basics, the benefits are endless. You can travel to new countries with ease, interact with locals, and get through tough situations like asking for directions, communicating with local authorities, drivers and business owners, or making special requests from restaurants or hotels. If you advance your learning even further, you can even add it to your resume and strengthen your job applications. You will have knowledge and skills you can use for life, and update regularly through coursework and travel. 

When you learn a new language, you will also become part of a greater cultural and linguistic community of native speakers and students like yourself. If you take classes, you will meet friends that you would likely not have met otherwise, and benefit from the excitement and pressures of achieving the goals and expectations of the class. Connect with new people in Meetup groups where native speakers and students practice conversation together; visit cultural centres to attend events and festivals; visit restaurants that will serve up the best of a country or region’s cuisine. 

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Immerse yourself in culture as you learn a new language. Source: Unsplash

With hard work and focus, you will find that learning a language is one of the best investments you can make - of course, you must choose the right language so that you will be continually motivated to learn.

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Choosing a New Language to Learn

Choosing what to learn can be the easiest and most fun part of acquiring a new language. For many, the language will be determined on if there are practical needs, like work or school, or personal goals, like speaking the language of your ancestors or travelling frequently to a particular region. If you are not sure what language to pick, consider where your interests in music and culture lie, as that will make learning much more motivating or interesting to you. 

Another factor that you may not have considered when learning a new language is the amount of resources available in that language. Widely spoken and popular languages like French, Spanish, or Mandarin will have loads of books, podcasts, workbooks, and media you can easily find and consume to enrich your language journey. If travel is a motivation for your learning goals, you may want to choose a language in a country you can fly to with some regularity. For example, if Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba are on your list of fave vacation spots (like many Montrealers), Spanish may be the choice for you. If you choose a language that is spoken by less people, you many have to dig deeper for resources, a task which can be rewarding and fun if you are up to the challenge. 

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Find the Best International Language Classes in Montreal

One of the top reasons for learning a new language in Montreal is the choice of private schools, public, schools, and post-secondary schools to choose from. You will also want to consider the availability of courses and the schools that are offering classes. They say the “third teacher” is the environment you are learning in, so choose a school that will make you feel excited to attend. Let’s take a closer look at the best schools in Montreal.

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Montreal has numerous private language schools you can learn the language of your choice. French is an obvious and popular choice, with such a large French speaking community. Check out the ILSC Montreal, GEOS, or the Academie Linguistique International for French courses. The Montreal Berlitz school offers classes in a variety of international languages like Spanish, Dutch, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Arabic in class or online, as well as proficiency testing to check your levels. Budget conscious students can also look into the English Montreal School Board and YMCA for language classes at reasonable rates.

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Find a class that works for you. Source: Unsplash

Colleges and Universities

If you are seriously pursuing languages, a colleges or universities can give you the credentials and course offerings that will make you a successful polyglot. Check out McGill university for courses in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Italian, Russian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Yiddish, Sanskrit, Tibetan and Tamil. Other post-secondary schools with language offerings include: Vanier, Concordia, University of Montreal, University of Quebec, LaValle, Sherbrooke, and Dawson College just to name a few options. Many of these institutions will also offer continuing education options for adult learners looking to sharpen their skills while working full-time.

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Get a Private Tutor

Language learners will also find that hiring a private tutor is the perfect way to practice. A private international language tutor will provide you with the opportunity to converse in a second language with a native speaker, which is arguably the fastest way to becoming proficient. A tutor can help you prepare for exams, explain complex verb conjugations, or give you the boost or refresher you need after a break in your studies. If you are learning the basics, the right tutor can guide you through on a one-to-one basis, or you can even organize a small group.

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Private tutoring is a great option for those who have a busy schedule or have kids that need help in their schoolwork. Check out sites like Superprof for local tutors in Montreal that can help you in your language learning today.

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Colleen is a Toronto-based educator, mom and freelance writer who believes in lifelong learning and strong coffee.