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Old Sep 7th 2017, 7:04 pm   #1
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Question will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

hello there.

I'm a newbie. Makes me sound young, which is a flattering thing :-)

i've heard lots of conflicting advice about what schools my kids will have to go to, and would really value any advice from people who might have been on similar predicement.

i'm british. my wife from montreal. we met in london 20 years ago.
5 years ago we moved to italy.
our kids were 5 and 7 then (now 10 and 12), so whilst english is their 1st language, and they speak french fluently as well, they actually have been schooled in italy / italian. so tri-lingual.

we move to montreal next year.

i've heard that since my wife is quebecian, my kids will have to go to a french school. this scares my kids, since they want to be schooled in english and in the long run, i'd rather they could write, learn in english, rather than have perfect grammatical french.

has anyone been in this situation ? will a school test them 1st to decide what grade to go into ? if they go to a private school, can i make my own decision?

we are very excited about our move. but my kids are rightfully nervous, about being in a school and doing homework in french, which whilst they speak it well, have never had to write it.

thanks in advance for any kind and considerate advice.

from an expat abroad who's buying thermals
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Old Sep 7th 2017, 9:31 pm   #2
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

Hi Newbie. Welcome. Can't your Quebecois wife ask one of her relatives or something?
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Old Sep 7th 2017, 11:18 pm   #3
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

I thought it was a choice? In NS you had to have French ties to go to French immersionor go to English school. I would imagine in Quebec it would be the opposite way around. With you and the kids having English as a first language I imagine you could chose... otherwise live in Ontario just the other side of the Ontario/Quebec border?
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Old Sep 8th 2017, 12:04 am   #4
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

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Originally Posted by BritishManMontrealWife View Post
hello there.

I'm a newbie. Makes me sound young, which is a flattering thing :-)

i've heard lots of conflicting advice about what schools my kids will have to go to, and would really value any advice from people who might have been on similar predicement.

i'm british. my wife from montreal. since my wife is quebecian, my kids will have to go to a french school.
Kids are like sponges and they will pick it up quickly although written is the hardest.

If your wife is a 'quebecian' (never heard that term before..Quebecoise is the term) did she go to school in Quebec in english or french. If english, I believe your children qualify for english education. Keep in mind though that as time goes on the options decline for english education in the public system as more and more kids don't qualify. Realistically english non private education is really only feasible in Montreal, L'Estrie and the Pontiac.

I"m in Ottawa and have an anglo friend from Thurso, QC. He went to the english high school in Hull which is probably a 40 km bus ride each way on a milk run. It took forever to get to school and back and in reality he should have gone to High school in Thurso at the french school. His french is quite good.

Our two kids (16 and 20) have gone through the french immersion system here in Ottawa with little to no help from their parents in terms of language. The 20 year old loved the french part and is studying french language at university and went to university for 1 year in Nice.

Where in Italy are you?
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Old Sep 8th 2017, 12:29 am   #5
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

Hi,
Schooling in English in Québec is available in the public system to the children of Canadian parents who have received their own schooling in English in Canada, or to children who have already started their own schooling in Canada in English. So in all likelyhood they will have to go to French school. Do not worry about your children, if they already speak the language they will do fine. In Quebec, English is very present, in Montreal anyway, so they will have plenty of opportunities to speak English outside the home.
If you are determined to have them schooled in English, you could do private school, or consider moving to Ottawa instead, where they could be educated in English.
Being bilingual is a huge advantage in this country's, and French grammar and writing is much harder to pick up than English so I think French school will make sure your children are fully bilingual.
Good luck!
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Old Sep 9th 2017, 5:58 pm   #6
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

Thanks a lot for great replies.
I've kept digging away, contacted a few schools, my wife (Quebecois of course, darn spellcheck, thank u PD) also heard back from the school's board. Oh, we are in Santa Maria De Leuca, Puglia. Stick a needle in the heel of italy and we are by the lighthouse :-)

i thought i'd share what we found, and what we are going to probably start working towards,in the hope that if others read this post, then they can be a weeeeee (my scottish roots) bit informed. (Oh, and pls DM me if in the future, someone reads this posts, has similar concerns and wants to know how it turns out) .

bottom line: they MUST go to french speaking schooling.
- If my wife had been schooled in English in montreal, they would have been eligible.
- If i (british / foreigner) had been schooled in english in canada, that would have made them eligible. i wasn't. (Though i did for a year teach english in BC, Canada ironically, but that means diddly)

So kids will need to go into french system. Whether private schooling or not.

The kids are tri-lingual, just dont speak french day to day, even though they've always had their mum speak to them. (My french isn't bad, nor my italian, so i'm not a language ignoramus). they'll be fine, but also thanks for your re-assurance @CanAngel.

Many of the schools are now (sept / oct) doing exams for entry into secondary+ for following year. 2018. i believe that they can / will send exam papers for my kids to sit in an italian classroom. Along with copies of their italian curriculum, etc they should be good to go (through to consideration, lottery placing, etc). We just can't officially do this until we (or my wife) has a resident in Montreal.

We will give them french immersion / 121 before they start schooling in sept 2018.
i know they'll be quickly up to speed. Just still worried that my boy will fear it. But they are pretty fast learners / graspers. And worst case scenario my son repeats a year in french. I repeated a year when i was a kid because my birthday fell on the strange timings. I enjoyed. I don't think it is a biggie. This also would give us a year to plan which secondary school he then went to. And it would enable him to sit exams (for private schooling) more suited for him having had a year to acclimatise. So we think he's going to be ok and we can get excited about schools with him, that do arts, tech, etc, etc.

For my daughter, we need to make sure we are in the right neighborhood, irrespective of whether it is private schooling or not. It will be obviously french, and there are 3 we are going to really try and progress. (Her cousins go there, her mum went there, it's 200m from the family home of 50 years, it's all girls. i think she'll love it). thus, my wife will start getting her residency here, to align with the school catchment area / ruling.

So thank you for all you suggestions, and consideration of this situation. I certainly feel more focused. Just a shame that the kids are now going to have to figure out how to write proper french, and put the right way around, those french accents and accuets.

A british expat abroad is off across to another country. Another adventure is now taking shape.

Thank you and i'll keep this thread updated :-)
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Old Sep 9th 2017, 7:17 pm   #7
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

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Originally Posted by BritishManMontrealWife View Post
So kids will need to go into french system. Whether private schooling or not.
My impression of private schools in Montreal is that they are disproportionately english speaking. Lower Canada College comes to mind and there is this list.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catego...ools_in_Quebec
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Old Sep 9th 2017, 11:04 pm   #8
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

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Originally Posted by BritishManMontrealWife View Post
Thanks a lot for great replies.

For my daughter, we need to make sure we are in the right neighborhood, irrespective of whether it is private schooling or not. It will be obviously french, and there are 3 we are going to really try and progress. (Her cousins go there, her mum went there, it's 200m from the family home of 50 years, it's all girls. i think she'll love it). thus, my wife will start getting her residency here, to align with the school catchment area / ruling.

So thank you for all you suggestions, and consideration of this situation. I certainly feel more focused. Just a shame that the kids are now going to have to figure out how to write proper french, and put the right way around, those french accents and accuets.

A british expat abroad is off across to another country. Another adventure is now taking shape.

Thank you and i'll keep this thread updated :-)


Remember Canada is NOT like the UK.

It really means diddly having to get into the right neighbourhood for a good school ............... all schools are more or less equal.

Unless of course, that you mean there is one particular school you want your daughter to go to because her cousins already go there.

Remember however, that she may not get into that school if they don't have room, even if she is living in the neighbourhood. Always have Plan B.

However, it isn't French French that they will be taught ............ it is more likely to be Quebecois French. My daughter was taught French French at school here in Vancouver, and had difficulty understanding Quebecois French when we visited Montreal.

Think how much your kids are going to win by being schooled in French. Canada is officially a bilingual country, French and English. Lots of jobs therefore require people to be fluently bilingual in those two languages ............. not only in federal or provincial government employment, but also in tourism, airlines, etc etc

You are in fact opening up careers galore for your children. Plus if they keep up their Italian .......................................

The only thing you might need to add for them to have unlimited employment opportunities is a Chinese language, especially Mandarin or Cantonese
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 6:57 am   #9
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

yes, loading kids up with language skills throughout their early life has always been a priority. my wife speaks to them in quebecois french, so that's what they know.

adding spanish to their language portfolio should be a doddle. And i agree @Scilly adding chinese would be smart as well.

in the long run, i think they will have a good base to explore exciting careers, and i think their outlook will be beyond a job in a Quebec province. i have introduced them to robotics, A.I. and Space so IMHO those are pretty exciting jobs of the future. I just need to add speaking Martian to the list :-)

thanks for list of schools. LCC, St Georges, Selwyn are on the list, and they have replied saying that due to to my wife's education, my kids (boy for above school) would have to adhere to the language policy.

that's something i find strange. that even if i pay for thme to go to private schooling, i cant' choose which one due to the langauge law. I was private schooled in scotland from aged 7, and never had stipulations.

i think it is something to do with the fact that even if we select and he getss accepted into a private school, the quebec government make some form of contribution, which gives them jurisdiction to impose the mother tongue stipulation.

i'd never thought much about that phrase before 'mother tongue'. now it makes more sense. literally. they have to go what the tongue was of their mum's education .

good replies, great discussion. happy sunday from a sunny italy. (will miss the 10 months of heat and sunshine, but will keep our home here for holidays by the sea)
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 8:41 pm   #10
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

It is only Quebec that forces children into French education ............ part of the scheme to uphold the language and customs of "le province".

The original law that all children should be schooled in French unless one of their parents had been schooled in English in Quebec was brought in by the Parti Quebecois, and was a major part of their plan for separatism from Canada, and existing as a separate French-speaking country in North America.

A similar law governs the signage on shops, businesses etc.

Those were interesting days!!!


There is still a significant proportion of Quebecois that would prefer Separatism to happen ....... as long as Canada would supply defense of the borders, allow use of Canadian money, trade preferentially, etc etc. It also seems that the parti quebecois is still in existence and planning a return to power


I always thought it was strange that Quebec wanted to separate from Canada, but wouldn't let the First Nations in Northern Quebec separate from Quebec and stay n Canada or form their own nation


As you may guess, I voted No in the referendum on whether Quebec should separate ................... both Canada and Quebec, in my opinion, would lose by such an event.


At least Quebec does not seem to also have the law that exists in France to maintain the purity of the language. That actually raises an interesting question ..............

Quebecois French is derived from the French spoken by the people who populated Upper Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries ............... ie, the French spoken at that time in France.

French French has evolved since that time ............ so which is the "pure" French?

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Old Sep 10th 2017, 9:12 pm   #11
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

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It is only Quebec that forces children into French education ............ part of the scheme to uphold the language and customs of "le province".
La Province.

Quote:
The original law that all children should be schooled in French unless one of their parents had been schooled in English in Quebec was brought in by the Parti Quebecois, and was a major part of their for separatism from Canada and existing as a separate French-speaking country in North America.
1. Partie Québecoise. 2. Separation.

Quote:
A similar law governs the signage on shops, businesses etc.
Similar? To what?



Quote:
There is still a significant proportion of Quebecois that would prefer Separatism to happen ....... as long as Canada would supply defense of the borders, allow use of Canadian money, trade preferentially, etc etc. It also seems that the parti quebecois is still in existence and planning a return to power
Which border does the rest of Canada defend?

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As you may guess, I voted No in the referendum on whether Quebec should separate ................... both Canada and Quebec, in my opinion, would lose by such an event.
Just a guess here, but would you have voted for Brexit?

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At least Quebec does not seem to also have the law that exists in France to maintain the purity of the language. That actually raises an interesting question ..............
There is no such law. Just fuddy-duddies in L'Academie Francaise. You know assholes like Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Quote:
Quebecois French is derived from the French spoken by the people who populated Upper Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries ............... ie, the French spoken at that time in France.

French French has evolved since that time ............ so which is the "pure" French?
As was North American English. Which has also evolved. For the most part the French French understand Québecois, but find it amusingly polluted by exposure to the USA and Anglo Canada.

No-one in Québec thinks they speak pure French. You're confusion that with "pure laime".
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 9:31 pm   #12
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

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No-one in Québec thinks they speak pure French. You're confusion that with "pure laime".
Well if you're going to be pedantic it is 'confusing' and 'pure laine'.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 9:34 pm   #13
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

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Quebecois French is derived from the French spoken by the people who populated Upper Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries ............... ie, the French spoken at that time in France.

French French has evolved since that time ............ so which is the "pure" French?
My understanding is that most of the french settlement of Lower Canada was in the 17th-19th century and primarily from Brittany and there was little in the way of two way traffic across the Atlantic.

I have a cousin from London who has lived in Paris for about 20 years and he came to Ottawa with his french wife and kids a few years ago. We went into Quebec just north of Ottawa and they were stunned by the french they heard..words that aren't spoken anymore in France are still used in Quebec.
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Old Sep 11th 2017, 12:28 am   #14
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

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Remember Canada is NOT like the UK.

It really means diddly having to get into the right neighbourhood for a good school ............... all schools are more or less equal.
I don't believe this to be true. If it were true the school district would not be named as a feature in property adverts and I would not have met so many parents who lied about their address or rented a second property to qualify as resident in a desired district. I concede that schools may all be equal but that is certainly not the popular perception among parents.
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Old Sep 11th 2017, 3:43 am   #15
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Default Re: will montreal force my kids to be schooled in french?

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I don't believe this to be true. If it were true the school district would not be named as a feature in property adverts and I would not have met so many parents who lied about their address or rented a second property to qualify as resident in a desired district. I concede that schools may all be equal but that is certainly not the popular perception among parents.

I know, but a lot depends on the individual parent and/or the realtor's perception.

I understand that in Vancouver the schools are much more equal than parents believe .......... and it is not always the "favoured" ones that produce graduates who do well in further education due to the way they have been taught.

The secondary school that is our local one is always being touted as a desirable advantage. I would not consider sending a child of mine there now. I might have done 30 or 40 years ago .......... neighbours' children came out with good marks, and a good education, were well spoken, etc, and did well no matter what they did after graduation (post-secondary, trade, etc)


Why? Because for the last 20 or so years the school's mandate has been to teach to the Asian parental expectations of rote learning.

The kids get high marks, and get into university ............ but have little idea of expanding ideas or doing anything like the old "compare and contrast". They read a university exam question, but often seem unable to understand the "in 6 lines or less", and will literally write down everything that might have to do with the question.

Some years ago, OH had the high school winner of a Lieutenant-Governor's Gold Medal in a class, from one of the schools that teaches this rote learning method and therefore loved by Asian parents .......... he set a short test exam in which one question asked for one aspect of a topic to be answered in 1 short paragraph. The person wrote 9 pages

It was the first "test" exam so OH was very good, and read all 9 pages trying to know how much the person knew. He discovered that everything known on the topic had been put down, but they had been unable to even get near answering the question as asked. I think he found 1 mark to give .... out of the possible 10


Interestingly, I note that the neighbourhoods and the schools that serve them that get the highest ratings are a) the most expensive areas in which to buy houses /condos / apartments and b) it is the private schools that get recommended.


Vancouver may be a little bit different though, because a parent has been able to request that a child cross school lines to attend a different school IF the desired school has room to accept a child from outside of its catchment area. That used to apply only to secondary schools, but some years ago was extended to elementary ones.

Some secondary schools have been set up to specialise in special areas .............. one lays a great emphasis on the arts and children reaching a high level in ballet or music; another might make accommodations for kids involved in high levels of sport. Time can be taken off to work with the personal coaches or their hockey / soccer teams, while the school's teachers set work that can be done off-site.


In Vancouver and other areas of BC, you have to know the code words used to appreciate the type of teaching done by any particular school. I don't know about other provinces.
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