Why Learn French in Canada? 6 Important Reasons
Depending on where you go in Canada, you will hear people speaking English or French. Therefore, it’s only natural to wonder how beneficial it is to learn French before moving to Canada.
While you don’t need to be a French speaker to make a living in Canada, it is undeniable that a lot of very big doors will open for you, both personally and professionally, if you learn French first.
Do you want to know why the French language is so important in Canada? Keep reading to find out!
1. Communicate With Everyone
Do you want to embrace Canada’s beautiful multiculturalism? Then you already have a great reason to learn French.
While it’s true that French is a minority language in Canada, it is still the main tongue of about 7.3 million Canadians. That’s about 20 percent of the population!
Take the case of Quebec, a predominantly francophone province where 71.2 percent of the population are French speakers. Or New Brunswick, which is an officially bilingual province.
Even in provinces where English is the main language, you will find sizable French-speaking communities that form a substantial, influential minority.
Then, there are French-speaking immigrants to consider. According to the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), the number of francophone immigrants originating from Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia steadily increased from 1991 to 2011, the top countries of origin being France (21.5%), Haiti (9.8%), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (8.5%).
So, why is the French language so important if you want to relocate to Canada? Because it will allow you to communicate with people from all over the world!
2. Higher Salaries
Canada has some of the best salaries in the world. But do you know how you can boost your income even more?
Easy, by learning French.
In Canada, employees who speak both French and English are eligible for a bilingualism bonus, which is an annual $800 stipend paid by the government.
Of course, not everyone who knows a little French is eligible. The bilingualism bonus is paid only to professionals who occupy a bilingual position and have successfully proven that they meet the linguistic requirements of such a position.
Why is the French language so important for migrants in Canada, then? Because it helps them pay for their summer holidays!
3. Get More Job Opportunities
Even if you don’t qualify for a bilingual position, knowing French will definitely boost your chances of getting a good job.
A 2014 study proved that 81 percent of employers considered French-speaking workers an invaluable asset to their companies.
What does this mean for you? On the one hand, you will have greater mobility within organizations that have branches across the country. On the other hand, you will be able to expand your initial job search to any province, which in turn will give you a better chance to find a position that suits your interests and needs.
But it’s not only private companies that value bilingual candidates. In fact, knowledge of the French language is a common requirement for most state jobs. So, if you’re wondering why knowledge of the French language is so important for migrants seeking to develop their professional career in Canada, it seems the answer is not hard to find!
4. Do Business in Quebec
Quebec, a predominantly francophone province, is mainly known for its breathtaking natural landscapes. But it is its thriving economy, which makes up almost 20% of the total GDP in Canada, that you should take into account before you choose your destination.
Let’s put it this way. If Quebec were a country, its economy would rank at an amazing 33rd place globally, just behind Norway. This doesn’t only mean that Quebec is home to important investment projects, or that its companies make a lot of money every year. It also means that the purchasing power of its residents (both native and non-native) is currently increasing. According to recent studies, the disposable income per capita of this region rose 3.1% in the last year, the fourth-highest increase in the country.
At the same time, Quebec boasts the second-lowest increase in the cost of living in Canada, with an inflation rate of 1.5%.
5. Get More Points in Canada’s Immigration Scheme
Do you want to know how important the French language is for the Canadian government?
Let’s put it this way.
Last year, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that those candidates who were bilingual or proficient in French would receive bonus points under the Express Entry system.
Express Entry is an online procedure used to assess applications for residence permits for skilled workers. This governmental decision is already playing a big part in reaching the goal of 4.4% francophone immigrant admissions in the whole of Canada by 2023.
In this program, every candidate is awarded a number of points under a system known as CRS (Comprehensive Ranking Scheme). This system is based on every person’s profile in terms of age, educational background, work history, and of course, their English and French language knowledge. In order to be accepted, you must score at least 67 points.
Will you let your weak French skills get in the way of all these great opportunities? We didn’t think so.
6. Get Quality Education
With 28 universities in this year’s QS World University Rankings, Canada is also a great destination for those who want to continue their studies both in English and in French.
Now, do you need to speak French to get into a Canadian university? If you’re thinking about relocating to Quebec, the answer is yes.
In Quebec alone, there are 18 universities, all of which teach in French. According to uniRank, which is an unbiased web metric system provided by independent sources, the Université de Montréal (UdeM) is in second place just behind McGill University.
UdeM is a 141-year-old institution that offers programs for bachelor, master and doctorate students in several areas of study. Plus, with an admission rate of up to 50%, this outstanding university is only averagely selective.
As you can see, studying French before travelling to Canada does not only open doors at a professional level, it also allows you to pursue a university education in some of the best institutions on the continent.
Now that you know how important French is in Canada, don’t you think it would be a great idea to take a few one-to-one lessons? We can find the ideal qualified French teacher for you, who can meet you on your own schedule and help you reach your desired French level. Whether you prefer online or in-person lessons, you can choose the option that best adapts to your needs. Want to try a free class to see how we work? Contact us now and get started!