Montreal places particular emphasis on the inclusion of children from visible and ethnic minorities in schools. The city also has a three-year budget of C$500 000 for developing initiatives to promote the French language (“Francisation”) following consultation with local players, in particular in priority inclusion zones. The city also provides financial support for private/public sector institutions providing training in migrant/minority languages.
The programmes of the Accès culture network described above are also geared towards helping newcomers acquire the necessary language skills. In addition, a programme called “J’apprends le français” (I’m learning French) run by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal is an innovative language project involving pairing between shopkeepers and students designed to improve the language skills of small business owners and staff right in their workplaces.
Again in the area of teaching the local language, under a project called “Liaison agents” run by borough libraries in co-operation with community organisations, schools (reception classes, French for adults) and the health sector, various mediation activities are conducted in order to help non-native speaker newcomers or people with migration backgrounds to learn French. At the same time, the libraries are currently working on a research project on multilingual albums that should enable children to learn French more easily while boosting their skills in their mother tongues.
Montreal History Centre also carries out programmes to promote the use of French and has catered here for migrant groups and reception class pupils since 1992.
Libraries provide online access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers from all over the world in the original languages.