After immigrant from France fails French check, Quebec says it might tweak guidelines for tradespeople

2021-04-08 16:30:00

After a French man—from France—failed Quebec’s official French check, the province says it’s engaged on adjusting its testing for tradespeople.

Yohan Flaman, 39, stated he was flabbergasted when he failed, in his first try on the immigration check, to show proficiency in his personal mom tongue.

Voila, I flunked, I flunked my check. It occurs to everybody, to flunk a check,” he advised CTV Information.

“However I am positive that for many who aren’t French, it’s tough, no?”

He discovered sure questions “deceptive,” he defined, suggesting the province may wish to ease up a bit with the timed examination.

“I am unable to perceive how a Mexican, somebody who comes from Mexico and who has by no means spoken French, may go the check,” he stated.

Flaman, a long-haul truck driver, later did go. However his story, first reported by Le Devoir this week, has gotten picked up by media throughout Canada and even some worldwide retailers.

On Wednesday, Quebec’s immigration division—formally named the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration—stated it’s rethinking the way it approaches folks working in numerous fields.

“Holding in thoughts how tough it may be to evaluate the extent of French wanted in accordance with the candidate’s socio-professional profile, the [ministry] is at the moment finishing up work” on a set of “profiles” of the French wanted for various trades and professions, spokesperson Arianne Méthot advised CTV.

In different phrases, the province is taking a look at tailoring its language necessities to the roles its potential immigrants wish to do in Quebec.

“This reference information will make it potential to determine minimal talent thresholds in accordance with the individual’s skilled profile and to the precise necessities of the focused employment, each oral and written,” wrote Méthot.

Flaman, who has been dwelling along with his Canadian now-wife within the Quebec area of Beauce for the final three years, stated the concept sounded stable to him.

“If the [province] is doing issues which are good for people who find themselves immigrating and that may assist them, I believe it’s good,” he stated.

Quebec’s immigration minister, Nadine Girault, has been following his case and “is delicate to” it, in accordance with a press release from her workplace.

“Relaxation assured that we’re at the moment evaluating find out how to enhance the strategies of exhibiting mastery of French and higher assembly the wants of immigrants,” it stated.


The change the province described can be important, not less than for the younger employees drawn to the fast-tracked immigration stream Flaman used, known as the Quebec Expertise Program or PEQ.

To keep away from taking a French check, candidates can submit proof they’ve gone to high school in French, or proof that their skilled order has signed off on their language abilities.

But when they don’t have these information, all of them need to do the identical check, it doesn’t matter what discipline they work in or their stage of training.

Meaning assembly the requirements of two France-based organizations that administer and grade the checks, considered one of which is Paris’s Chamber of Commerce.

Flaman, who grew up within the area of Limoges, could not present he’d attended three years of highschool in French, as required—he advised CTV he began working at age 14 and doesn’t have a high-school diploma.

So he did the check, an audio one the place the members take heed to spoken French on headphones and mark multiple-choice solutions, all inside a strict time restrict.

The audio system are from France, not Quebec, so it wasn’t a query of accent or slang. Flaman stated he had no drawback understanding them.

“I’m French—I communicate French!” he repeated.

The issue was the way in which the check requested him to research the discussions.

“They ask you, for instance, to research a dialog between two folks, and afterwards they ask, what have been these folks speaking about?” he stated.

“What topic was it about? Was it a publicity announcement, was it a dialog among the many household, or what?”

There have been lots of examples like that, some much less clear than others, he stated.

“You may have a dialogue on the radio—they’re speaking to one another about politics. So you need to know to say it is a few political subject,” he stated.

In others, “is it a dialogue on the radio, or is a household dialogue? Then you’ve gotten two folks from the identical household speaking a few assembly, little questions like that.”

He wasn’t “concentrating arduous sufficient” and he began to appreciate it wasn’t going effectively.

“There was a second once I dropped out, truly,” he stated. “There you go, I flunked.”


The entire expertise gave him sympathy for the non-French. He’s heard of individuals from Guatemala who failed, for instance, and needed to return house and take a look at once more to reapply, he stated.

“Some questions have been ambiguous, and positively there can be foreigners not from France who would have lots of hassle with them,” he stated.

He additionally discovered it ironic, he stated, as a result of he’d already proved work wasn’t an issue.

“The strangest to me is that as a truck driver, I needed to go all my licensing and driving checks, and in French, proper?” he stated.

Quebec’s immigration division stated it could not present statistics on how many individuals go or fail the language check on the primary attempt for the reason that check is given by suppliers outdoors of the province.

In the meantime, Quebec has had an enormous want for immigrants, particularly within the trades, within the final a number of years because the economic system has boomed.

Even within the pandemic, “we anticipate that we’ll be in a labour scarcity in each sector through the fall,” stated Montreal Chamber of Commerce CEO Michel Leblanc in late March, after the province launched its funds.

Girault, the minister, stated it was the earlier authorities that first acknowledged the Paris-based checks and that “for 2 years, our authorities has been working to modernize our immigration system… to be able to assist the labour market and Quebec’s financial get better.”

Flaman stated he’s blissful general that Quebec tries so arduous to guard its language—naturally, he understands.

“I am French, and that Quebec needs to guard French, I discover that fully justified,” he stated. “The check was just a bit—voila.” 

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