Free Ways to Learn French for Canadian Citizens

Saturday, March 23, 2019 Blog post author: Hamid Hamid
Free Ways to Learn French for Canadian Citizens

If you are committed to learning French, there are ways to make it happen without spending money if you are a Canadian citizen. You might even get paid for learning French while delivering a service like teaching English. There are free courses for newly arrived immigrants by the Quebec government but as a citizen who was born in Canada or landed more than five years ago, you can’t apply for those programs or take advantage of the financial aid. For the methods we go over in this article you don’t need to be an immigrant.

Canadian citizens, born in Canada or landed at least five years ago, or more, are not eligible for Quebec government’s free programs for immigrants. In other words to be eligible for those programs, you should be an immigrant who landed in Canada less than five years ago.

The methods we will be introducing here for learning French are

  • Free Drop-in conversation classes at some CSDM centers
  • Funding French lessons through Emploi Quebec
  • Odyssey program, learn French while teaching English in Quebec and New Brunswick
  • Explore French bursary program
  • Participating in free French conversation events
  • Volunteer work in Quebec
  • Learning French online with apps and websites

Some of these would require you to be physically present in Quebec and some of them not. Most of the methods have requirements you need to meet. Read the short description here, and if you find them interesting, follow the links to their official website to learn more about them.

Free Drop-in Conversation Sessions at Some CSDM Centers

If you live in Montreal, you should definitely visit CSDM in your neighborhood. Such an excellent organization, offering lots of services to Montrealers. Visit them as soon as possible to see which activities they have for you. Sometimes, they even have free services like French conversation classes. These services are different from center to center. You should call them or visit them in person to learn about the details. Here’s a list of the CSDM centers. They also have high quality paid French courses. Here’s the link to CSDM official website.

Are you a naturalized Canadian citizen who landed in Montreal less than five years ago? Take free online French or English classes at CSAI center.

Funding French Lessons Through Emploi Quebec

For those who are working in an office, learning French could be funded by Emploi Quebec. There are a couple of prerequisites to be eligible but the partner language schools help you with that. Normally more than four employees should be participating in each class and the ratio of presence for each student during the semester is very important. Your employer provides the space so the classes take place at your workplace during working hours.

Learn French While Teaching English in QC or NB

What if I told you that you can live in some part of Quebec or New Brunswick, teach English as a language teacher assistant and learn French doing so. This is a teaching job that helps you start your career in teaching and it gives you the opportunity to learn French from your colleagues and locals.

This nine month program is called Odyssey and is a paid job. You help a teacher 25 hours per week as an English language assistant. Check out the eligibility criteria, application process and more here on this blog post about the Odyssey program where Charmaine explains the details.

Explore French Bursary Program for Students

Explore is a French-immersion bursary program for Canadian Citizens and permanent residents who are still student or recently graduated. Their is an application and a selection process. If selected, you’ll explore a region of Quebec or New Brunswick and learn French. All the expenses including French class tuition, accommodation, and food are covered by a government bursary. Read more about Explore Bursary Program or visit official Explore website.

Free French Conversation Events in Montreal

Not all free ways of learning French is initiated and organized by the government. There are many language exchange events in Montreal and Quebec happening frequently. Some events like Mundo Lingo happen in bars around the city and some other, organize an event in a different arena every week. Find them on EventBrite, Facebook or Meetup websites and participate as frequently as possible.

Sometimes Montreal and Quebec City language schools organize free or very cheap weekly events you can attend without being their student. For example CLC Montreal, located in downtown area, has a French speaking Tea Time event that is free if you bring cookies to share with everyone.

Volunteer Work with French Speaking Organizations

Giving back is important, helping others is fulfilling. Why not spend our free time helping others and immerse ourselves in a French speaking environment. This method might work better for those who already speak a little bit French and want to gain more fluency and self confidence. It also gives you a valuable edge if you are looking for integrating in the job market in Quebec because you could add the volunteer work on your resume and also you build a network if you’re new here.

Online Resources for Learning French

Apart from event websites I mentioned earlier in this blog post, there are other websites you could use for language learning. Using apps and YouTube channels are very popular today. You don’t even need to leave the bed to learn a new language. Other great websites like The French Experiment and eLearning French are also offering a range of French lessons for free.

Paid Options for Learning French

You’re not eligible for any of these free methods to learn French? We might be able to help you find a reasonably priced course for you. Take a look at the list of French courses in Montreal or contact us and talk to one of our colleagues.
Blog post author: Hamid
Hamid is an engineer and up and coming entrepreneur. He has a passion for languages and encourages those around him to never stop learning.

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E Morrow Tuesday, July 27, 2021 10:48 AM

I moved to Montreal a week ago as my fiance was transferred here for work. I grew up in Canada and was residing in the US for 15 years. I am extremely disappointed that they are not offering free French classes for Canadian Citizens. Shame on Quebec.

Peter Shahin Saturday, July 17, 2021 4:00 AM

I am a 24 yrs old Canadian citizen, it will arrive to Canada by the end of August for the 1st time is my first time in my life. I am English educated, but wants to live in Laval and look for a job and later a university but needs to learn French. Will the government of Canada help me by paying me a small weekly revenue as it is done with the immigrants???

PATRICIA PEREZ-ESPARZA Saturday, April 10, 2021 6:50 AM

Hi I just moved to Repentigny, QC and I need to learn french, where can I go?

harpreet kaur Tuesday, March 9, 2021 4:22 AM

m harpreet from india i also interested to learn french online classes . can you teache me ? and tell me all procedure. thanku

Alison Francois Saturday, March 7, 2020 7:30 PM

I am very interested in learning to comfortably speak and read French as a second language

Lana Monday, July 22, 2019 8:34 AM

We are naturalized citizens (20 years) and moving to a small city between Gatineau and Montreal. Can you please advise of the ways learning French? Thank you

Coleen van Loggereberg Sunday, March 31, 2019 6:17 PM

My husband and I would like to learn communicative French. Could you advise where we could partake in night classes while residing in Halifax NS. Thank you.

Demiks Team Saturday, April 6, 2019 12:00 AM

At the moment we are not working with any language schools in Halifax. You can always learn French using YouTube channels, apps and other online resources. If you are looking for classes, we recommend that you continue your search on other websites that cover Halifax. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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