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Building French skills with the Department of Education

The Nova Scotia French Language Assistant Program is a great opportunity.

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Gabrielle Fairbairn
Opening doors with another language.


I grew up in a bilingual house. My mom is from Quebec so I always spoke French with her. But I'm from Nova Scotia, and growing up here it makes it difficult sometimes to practice French because almost everything is English. I never saw how I could really use my French until I travelled to Europe after high school. It was so useful, and I saw the real value of knowing another language.

I got involved with the Nova Scotia French Language Assistant program when I started university, and worked with them for four years at both HRSB and CSAP schools. It was a great opportunity and I learned a lot from working with kids in the classroom. A huge part of it is inspiring kids to see that French is something for them, that it's not just classwork. It can be hard to develop your French skills in a province that is mostly anglophone, but helping them to speak in a way that engages them goes a long way toward them keeping it as a lifelong skill.

For the program I worked eight hours a week, and it was very flexible with my schedule as a student. It was really awesome working there as a university student, because they put your education first and it's never an issue when school becomes a priority.

My experience with the program has inspired me to follow this path and I'm starting an education degree at Mount Saint Vincent in September. I loved the work and the chance to help others appreciate a language that has opened so many doors for me.

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