Language Pairing Program: learn French while running your business

Find out about the second edition of the Merchant-Student Language Pairing program, which helps merchants learn French in the workplace. This initiative is now running in three boroughs, and there are plans to recruit over 100 new merchants by March 2018.

A priority issue for the Chamber since 2008

Since 2008, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal has been taking action on francization and promoting the use of French in businesses.

The Chamber recently put together a language pairing program with an innovative approach. The program, delivered in partnership with Montréal universities, offers merchants free French lessons with students. The program responds to the reality of merchants, by helping them learn French directly in the workplace.

A program that suits each person’s needs

What is special about the program is that it adapts to the needs of each merchant. In addition to being structured around cases and situations from merchants’ working lives, the lessons allow them to continue their professional activities while learning. This approach equips them faster to better meet the needs of their businesses and customers.

Thanks to the “I’m learning French. Help me practice!” promotional campaign, the program also gets people around the merchant involved, such as customers and business partners, which fosters and encourages participating merchants to continue in their efforts.

For participating students, teaching immigrants and helping them integrate to the work force is a great way to put into practice the theory and techniques they learn at school.

Launch of the second edition of the successful program

Based on last year’s success, the program is expanding to more boroughs, which means recruiting new students and merchants. The program is now available in Côte-des-Neiges, Parc-Extension and Saint-Laurent.

The language pairing program won the innovation in francization award from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications in February 2018 as part of the Fonds de promotion et de valorisation de la langue française (fund to promote and develop the French language)

To find out more about the language pairing program, please visit the program’s web page

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