Bilingualism at RMC Saint-Jean
– an article by Officer Cadet Connor McAlinden
On October 27 the 001 French classes attended a very informative presentation on Bilingualism. This presentation was held in LaHaie 213, between 13h00 and 15h00. This presentation was also unique because it was given from the perspective of two ex-cadets of CMR St Jean, 7855 Paul Hession and 7964 Don Bell from the class of 1969.
This presentation was on both of the former cadets experience with bilingualism, not solely in the military, but also in there civilian careers. From basic conversations with people on a plane, to hiring new secretaries, both men used their knowledge of French picked up at CMR St Jean in their careers after the military and the opportunities the new Ocdt’s would be exposed to by becoming bilingual. They also passed a lot of great tips to the new Ocdt’s starting to learn French. Practice, Practice and more Practice, use every second you have here at CMR to practice and improve your French because CMR is the perfect Environment for you to learn and practice with Francophone Ocdt’s and staff. “Learn to laugh at yourself” said 7855 Paul Hession. Learning to laugh at yourself for the mistakes you made will made learning the language easier, the fact is we all make mistakes and by laughing at them and moving on, it will make your experience of learning a new language easier. “Be the goofy Anglo that never stops speaking French” said 7964 Don Bell, be the one who never stops speaking French during the French week, no matter how awkward you may sound never stop speaking French, especially to other Anglophone cadets. The more attempts at trying to speak French the more you will learn.
This presentation was extremely informative to those who attended and provided everyone with a different perspective on learning French and the opportunities not only in the military but also in the civilian world created by being bilingual. This presentation as part of the multicultural week will hopefully inspire the young Ocdt’s to strive to improve and complete there Bilingualism pillar and reach their maximum potential. Thank you to the fantastic presenters for your insight and time, the RMC Foundation for making such meeting possible, and the Language Department for organizing it.