Graduate Students - Articles (2007-2008)
Articles in this volume
by Andrea Puhl
Are you ready to work in French? If you want to work or apply for licensure in Quebec after graduation but are not sure if your level of French is good enough, click here for information and assistance on how to tackle the French challenge:
Why learn French?
The following publication, Living in French in Quebec, gives some information on the whys and wherefores of the Quebec’s French language policy.
Where to go?
There are numerous institutions, universities and community centres in Montreal and Quebec that offer French language courses geared towards preparing you to work in the province or to pass the test to obtain your licensure. There are many options to fit your type:
Courses in Person:
List of institutions and organizations that offer French language courses:
- Office quebequoise de la langue française
- Ministère de l’immigration et communautés culturelles du Québec
- Information on McGill courses and programs for French as a second language (FRSL)
If you are more the virtual type, check out this page from the Ministère de l’immigration et communautés culturelles du Québec.
Check out the Laboratoire de Langues at the BAnQ (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Quebec). Access is free of charge.
As an alternative, check out if your local library offers language programs:
- Software packages suggested by the Ministère de l’immigration et communautés culturelles du Québec
- Interesting online resources compiled by the Office quebequoise de la langue française.
Private Language Schools:
As an alternative, there are many private language schools that offer courses. However, be aware that these might be quite pricy. Here are some listings:
N.B.: This list is compiled to serve as a starting point in your search to find the right language course for you and is by no means exhaustive.
How to obtain a licensure?
Applicants for licensure in the Province of Québec can pass French proficiency tests at the Office québécoise de la langue française.
If you have any of the following documents, the licensure can be obtained without taking the test (information from the Collège des Médicins du Quebec):
- An attestation from the Office québécois de la langue française proving that you have a working knowledge of the French language; or
- An official document proving that you have followed a full time course of instruction starting from the secondary level for at least three (3) years in a French language institution; or
- An official document (record of marks from the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec) proving that you have succeeded the "Français, langue maternelle" examination in your fourth or fifth grade in the secondary level course; or
- An official document (record of marks from the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec) proving that you have obtained a certificat d’études secondaires from Québec after the 1985-1986 school year.
Need to upgrade your English or French Language Skills? See what some of the language courses are offered free to grad students:
- ESLN 590 WRITING FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS
3 credits; 3 hours. Restriction: open only to graduate students for whom English is a second language. Audience, purpose, organization and style of graduate-level academic writing. Mechanics. Editing. Textual analysis. Critical thinking. Genres: problem-solution, general-specific, process description, data commentary, article summary/critique. Student work-in-progress. ESL diagnosis-correction. Multiple drafts. Extensive feedback including audio-taped commentary and individual course.
- ESLN 650 PRONUNCIATION AND COMMUNICATION
3 credits; 3 hours. Restriction: open only to graduate students for whom English is a second language. Not open to students who have taken ESLN 550. This course cannot be counted towards course requirements of any Graduate program. Focus is on developing pronunciation and communication skills, including aspects of pronunciation that most affect intelligibility, and with verbal and non-verbal techniques for effective presentations.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- DO I HAVE TO TAKE A PLACEMENT TEST BEFORE REGISTERING FOR THE GRADUATE WRITING COURSE?
No. Just register on MINERVA. For foreign graduate students the McGill TOEFL (or equivalent) requirement is sufficient. Most Quebec and other Canadian graduate students have achieved advanced levels of English. If in doubt, we advise students first to reserve a place in a class through MINERVA and then to contact robert [dot] myles [at] mcgill [dot] ca to arrange a free, unofficial language placement test.
- DO I HAVE TO TAKE A PLACEMENT TEST FOR THE PRONUNCIATION AND COMMUNICATION COURSE?
- DO I HAVE TO PAY?
In the vast majority of cases: No. Here is the official policy: "Masters and doctoral students registered in a research program (thesis or non-thesis) and who pay flat-rate tuition may take English or French as a Second Language courses at the English and French Language Centre of McGill (or language courses in the Department of French Language and Literature) without paying extra tuition fees. Graduate students registered in a certificate or diploma program, or those registered in a degree program for which tuition is paid on a per-credit basis, will be charged fees for these courses on a per-credit basis." Post-doctoral students are also required to pay. If in doubt, check with your faculty.
- DOES THE COURSE COUNT TOWARDS MY PROGRAM?
No -- unless your department or committee has made it part of your program. However, the course and your mark will appear on your transcript.
- MAY I TAKE BOTH COURSES?
Yes. Either simultaneously or in succession.
- IS THERE AN IDEAL TIME IN MY GRADUATE CAREER TO TAKE EITHER OF THESE COURSES?
For the pronunciation and communication course, NO. For the writing course, in many cases, YES. We recommend that most students NOT take the writing course during their first semester at McGill. Such students will receive maximum benefit from the writing course once they have acclimatized to working in an English milieu and after they have begun to produce writing (thesis proposals, research grant proposals, thesis chapters, papers for publication, etc.) that they can develop in class. It might be to the benefit of new students to take other courses offered by the English and French Language Centre. See the undergraduate calendar under English as a Second Language or contact robert [dot] myles [at] mcgill [dot] ca.
- THESE COURSES ARE TAUGHT IN THE FACULTY OF ARTS. ARE THEY DESIGNED FOR ARTS STUDENTS?
No. In fact, the majority of students come from other faculties. The one-on-one work guarantees feedback that meets individual needs.
For more information, visit http://www.mcgill.ca/flc/.