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Concordia’s Réussir en français introduces initiatives to support French-language learning

‘We’re leveraging the talent and expertise of our department to make resources accessible anytime, anywhere’
November 24, 2020
By Taylor Tower

Réussir en français is Concordia’s hub for developing and strengthening French-language skills.

A year after its launch, the initiative of the Département d’études françaises in partnership with the Office québécois de la langue française is introducing projects to reach more of the university community.

“We’re leveraging the talent and expertise of our department through social media to make French-language learning accessible anytime, anywhere,” says Denis Liakin, professor and chair of the department.

Sarah Brisebois-Kirk (BA 19), a conversation group facilitator and études françaises alumna, was hired to curate a Réussir en français Instagram account. Launched in September, it offers bite-size lessons on grammar, vocabulary and more. The account already boasts more than 600 followers.

Brisebois-Kirk is also assisting the department’s Svetla Kaménova in the development of linguistic video capsules featured on the Réussir en français website. These videos cover common grammatical and linguistic as students prepare for tests and complete homework assignments.

Conversation groups

In addition, the department moved their conversation groups online as a pilot after the COVID-19 crisis shutdowns. Open to faculty members as well as students and staff, the weekly groups held in the summer had the highest turnout in the department’s history despite being online only.

Close to 300 members of the university community participating in the virtual conversation groups.

Chloe Lei, a teaching and research librarian in the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, was one such participant. She says she particularly liked the small size of the group and the variety of activities.

“We created a concept map on any topic we wanted using an online tool and shared it in class,” Lei says. “Mine detailed my food options during COVID-19 confinement, making use of very practical vocabulary.”

Lei adds that the opportunities to speak in the group were invaluable in helping her practice listening, writing and speaking.

French testing for immigration

As of July 2021, graduates, future graduates and temporary foreign workers who want to immigrate to Quebec through the Programme de l’expérience québécoise must take a standardized test in French, including the Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCFQ).

At the moment, Concordia is the only Montreal university offering the test in person.

“We are proud to offer the TCFQ to the internal and external community,” says Malek Garci, coordinator of the French studies and French literature programs and the department’s TCFQ administrator.

“There’s been a huge response — all of our sessions for 2020 are full,” she notes.

Pascale Sicotte, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, says she is excited to see this program continue to flourish.

“I applaud the efforts of the Département d’études françaises in making sure our community has the tools they need to succeed in French today and into their future in Quebec.”

Learn more about Concordia’s
Réussir en français hub and stay connected by visiting the Facebook and Instagram pages.


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