Teaching English as a Second Language
Geneviève Fugère fell in love with the English language when she attended an English elementary school. In fact, she loved it so much that she decided to become an English teacher. So when the time came to choose a university, she decided to check out Bishop’s.
“When I came here for my first visit, I completely fell in love with the people, the campus and the program!’’ she says.
Despite her moderate ease with English in her first year, Geneviève realized that she had a lot more to learn. Fortunately the campus is filled with students from around the world who are more than willing to help.
‘‘My English has improved a lot since studying here,’’ she says. ‘‘Being around Anglophone students made me practice. People correct me in a friendly way, which is helpful.’’
‘‘The more English you hear, the more you can reproduce it,’’ reminds the future teacher.
Conversation is one thing, writing is another. Here, Geneviève does what so many other Francophone students do: head to the Writing Centre.
‘‘I go to the Writing Centre for every paper. It’s been such a fantastic resource for me! My sentence structures are French, so I’m working to change that. The more I go, the more I can talk to them and work on improving myself. I’m almost at the point I can do it on my own!’’
If writing papers in English seems overwhelming for first-year students, they can submit their essays in French. Tutors are also available for a one-on-one learning experience.
But as Geneviève points out: ‘‘The best way to improve your English language skills is to be surrounded by English speaking people. Believe me, you will figure out a way to communicate with your professors!’’
Other exciting learning opportunities come when Francophones meet international students, many of whom don’t know how to speak French. ‘‘English is the common language for so many people from around the world. Once I met a student from Germany. We quickly realized that the only way we could communicate is through English, so it was a beneficial learning experience for both of us!’’ she says.
Geneviève encourages hesitant students to take a chance and fall in love with Bishop’s.
‘‘Take a chance, you have nothing to lose! I promise that if you come for a visit, you’ll never leave!’’