- Here is a list of cheap places to practice and learn French in Montreal.
- Some of these courses are free! One might even pay you to take it.
- Learning French can multiply your opportunities in Montreal.
Yeah, you can survive in Montreal without speaking French but you would definitely be missing out on a lot of the culture, entertainment, work opportunities, and friends. And it can make the every day a little harder than it needs to be.
It's not always easy to practice your French language skills in stores or on the streets of Montreal since so many people are bilingual and have no problem switching from French to English to help you out.
But nothing beats being forced to practice your listening and speaking skills to be able to improve.
Really the all-time best ways to immerse yourself is to either find a French-speaking SO or (if you're shy), grab a drink or two, head to a bar in La Petite-Patrie and act like you have no understanding of the English language.
For those of you who may want something a little more structured, organized, and a lot less boozy, we took a look at a few places around Montreal where you can practice your French without too much of a cash commitment.
There are classes and groups of all levels, so it doesn't matter if you're still working on your answer to "Ça va?" or you just want to fine-tune your accent.
Where: Bars around the city
When: Check out their Facebook page for dates.
Mundo Lingo is probably the most famous language group. Anyone of any level can join as long as you want to practice French. It's a laid-back and social way to meet others.
Cost: Completely Free!
Where: 4285 Rue Drolet
When: See the class schedule for the next course
Located in the Plateau, this school is so inexpensive. Courses are subsidized by the Department of Education so tuition costs are low. They have eight levels of courses, so you can find the right class for you.
The Language Laboratory at the BaNQ
Where: 475 De Maisonneuve E.
When: Hours of operation, click here
If you would prefer to not interact with other people, you can still practice online. As a member of The Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BAnQ) you have access to the Language Lab, which has over 20 computer workstations with just about every language program on them. And you can even access them from home!
Cost: Free for Quebec residents
C'est La Vie
Where: 1021 De Maisonneuve O., Presse Café
When: Thursday, from 17:15 to 19:00
There are a lot of French language groups on MeetUp, but this one meets consistently every Thursday and focuses on not just the usual, (hi, how are you) but on humour, stories and jokes.
Cost: $2 and your drink of choice
Where: Wherever you decide; in-person, or online
Conversation Exchange can be hit or miss. The site matches native-speakers of different languages together in order to facilitate a back and forth conversation (say between French and English). The advantage of the site is you can choose the way you want to communicate (in person, email, Skype), but the cons are you have to be rather social and not mind meeting up with a stranger.
Where: 3480 Blvd. Decarie
When: See class schedules here
The Quebec government wants you to learn French. Free courses are offered to immigrants 16 years and older who currently reside in Montreal. As of July, they are even paying you to take free classes; the weekly participation allowance is now $185, and there is both a transportation and child care allowance.
Cost: Free, if you're lucky they may pay you
With so many meetups, clubs, and schools dedicated to improving your French, all that's left is choosing the style you like best.