Oui ou No? Learning French as a Second (or Third) Language

French is one of Canada’s two official languages. Learning French is also part of every province’s school curriculum – and a requirement for many public (and private) sector jobs.

If that’s not enough to convince you that French is a language worth learning, then perhaps these additional tidbits might help:


1. If you speak English, learning French is not only easier to learn, it also makes it easier to learn other languages

With the English language having French and German roots, English-speakers may find that French is somewhat easier to learn than Spanish, for example.  Once you’ve learned French, the other ‘Romance’ languages (i.e. Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) will come more easily.  Why? Because with Latin as their base, these languages share a good proportion of basic vocabulary and a number of similar grammatical forms.

In other words, it will be a lot easier to pick up el español if you can speak French.

2. French is spoken all over the world

French is an official language in 29 countries around the world. An estimated 220 million people worldwide can speak it and according to the 2011 Census, nearly 10 million of those people live in Canada (i.e. about 30% of the Canadian population.)

Outside of Canada and Europe (where French is still taught in school), French remains a growing global languageSome studies project that by 2050, French will be spoken by over 750 million people, with a predominant presence in Africa – one of the fastest-growing economic areas of the world.

3. It’s good for the brain

Learning a second language is like a workout for your mind. In fact, people who speak more than one language have denser gray matter in their language centers than monolinguals. (In other words, the parts of the brain devoted to memory, reasoning, and planning are larger in those who speak more than one language.)

Countless studies also show that analytical, social and literacy skills are improved when growing up with several languages (i.e. it can have a positive impact on self-esteem.)

4. Opens up more doors (to travel and careers)

Need we say more?


Click here to learn about Ellington Montessori School’s French Program.

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