Immersion trip to Quebec City for the Continuous French Course, 2018-2019: Operation Picturesque
For a group of CAF members at CFB Borden who had been taking the Canadian Forces Language School’s Continuous French Course at Borden since July 2018, a cultural and language immersion week in Quebec City was a unique and memorable element of their language learning.
As part of their course, the students created an immersion plan to apply the knowledge they had acquired in the classroom. The students made the most of an incomparable learning experience in Quebec City’s Old Town from March 4 to 8, 2019. The main objective was to immerse themselves in a Francophone environment as much as possible, and practise their second language.
To obtain authorization for the trip, the students prepared a detailed proposal and presented it to the course personnel. It proved convincing – the various levels of the chain of command supported the project and the students received approval for the trip.
Their departure for Quebec City was delayed slightly due to the extreme cold: they had to boost one van to get it to start. Then they ran into bad weather near the Ontario/Quebec border. However, they arrived safely and ended the day at a small restaurant in Quebec City that resembled a medieval tavern.
During their stay, each day was divided into two components. In the morning, the students took formal courses with their teachers in a room at the Naval Reserve complex, and in the afternoon they participated in various educational, cultural and sporting activities. The activities on their outings were part of the class’s learning program and were carefully planned.
While in Quebec City, the participants stayed at the Naval Reserve complex, and dined at the mess. They were taken on guided tours of the Governor General of Canada’s residence in Quebec City, the Citadel, the Plains of Abraham Museum, and the National Assembly of Quebec. They walked in the streets of the historic Old Town, shopped in French, and enjoyed the excellent restaurants in the area. In short, they lived their lives in French.
Thanks to this experience, the group of budding Francophiles developed their confidence in communicating with Francophones. They learned a great deal from those interactions, and discovered things they had not known about the history of the founding of New France, and the beginnings of Canada. So, if you run into members of the class around Borden, go ahead and speak French to them!
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