French is one of Canada's two official languages. Prince Edward Island is a primarily English-speaking province, however, knowing how to communicate in French in addition to English can be beneficial to a newcomer for many reasons, one of them being increased employment and career opportunities.
For details on French education for school-aged children, please see 'Information for Parents, Children and Youth: Schools - Language' section of this Guide.
Here are some French learning options for adult newcomers in Prince Edward Island:
Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada
Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), in French Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC), classes are offered to adult permanent residents who already have an intermediate or advanced level of French. To book a language evaluation and determine whether you qualify for this service, contact Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l'Î.-P.-É. (CIF). If you are eligible, the classes are free, as the cost is covered through Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada. CLIC classes are also offered online. [See Related Resources]
Collège de l'Île
Collège de l'Île is a French-language community college that offers French language training through evening or day part-time classes (held in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague and Deblois), distance learning, one-on-one tutoring, and full-time immersion classes. [See Related Resources]
Université Sainte-Anne is a French-language university based in Church Point, Nova Scotia. It offers French language instruction through one-on-one private tutoring, full-time group courses, and part-time group evening courses in Charlottetown, PEI. [See Related Resources]
University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI)
UPEI offers courses for several French language levels. A placement test must be taken prior to registration for these courses to determine the candidate's language level. [See Related Resources]
Avance Learning Centre
Avance Learning Centre in Charlottetown offers beginner to intermediate French courses for children, teens, and adults. Contact the Centre for more information. [See Related Resources]
Each Acadian community on PEI has a centre scolaire-communautaire (community-school centre) which offers many activities in French to the general public. Joining in these activities is a good way to develop a sense of the sound of the French language and vocabulary, while meeting people in the Acadian-Francophone communities. [See Related Resources]
More French Learning Options
You can learn or practice French outside of structured programs. Here are some ideas:
- Bibliothèque publique Dr.-J.-Edmond-Arsenault public library offers various French language learning materials to loan, as well as language learning software on the library computers. Anyone with a valid PEI public library card can use these resources.
- Duolingo is a free website and mobile application offering numerous language courses in a virtual environment with fun game-like and social network elements. Courses are offered in various combinations. For example, there is a French course for English speakers, a French course for Chinese speakers, etc.
- Read newspapers, magazines and books in French. Watch French movies and television programs, or listen to French radio stations. Contact local Francophone organizations to find out about other opportunities to learn or practice French, such as social conversation groups.