If one thing has become clear to language-learning experts, it’s that no one method works for everyone. Being in bilingual Montreal is a great start, but you may need to do more than swap a few words with your supermarket cashier if you want to finetune your French. Here are a number of different ways to improve your language skills while in the city:
Back to School: For those who need the routine and discipline of classroom learning, Montreal has lots of great private language schools which offer small-group, tailored French programs – whether you need help with writing or holiday conversation. Check out ILSC Montreal or GEOS Academy, located downtown.
Book Smart: Some lucky visitors to Montreal will be motivated enough to sit down each day with an audio guide and textbook and then head out to practice what they’ve learned in the cafe’s and markets of Le Plateau! If that’s you, grab a copy of Ultimate French, which has 40 lessons, verb charts, quizzes and hours of audio to immerse yourself in. For something a little different, try Les Portes Tordues: The Scariest Way in the World to Learn French, which is essentially a cool bilingual story book with extra help for learners.
Conversation groups: Montreal has lots of very casual and fun conversation groups if you do a little digging. Start with Meetup.com, Kijjiji, and Couchsurfing to find groups dedicated to helping you progress – both with the language and making new friends!
Private Tutor: A great thing about living in a bilingual city is that there are bucket loads of private tutors available at very reasonable prices. You can check forums for recommendations, or trust your gut and go with one of the many who advertise their services on Craigslist Montreal. Prices shouldn’t be much more than $25 per hour – make sure you ask specifically if you’re expecting exercises, grammar instruction, and homework sheets.
Of course if you’re staying in one of our awesome MyStudioMontreal.com apartments then you can avail of our super friendly concierge service, with staff who are bilingual and would be happy to help you with any French-related arrangements – just until you get the hang of the Quebecois accent!