Learning German in Quebec City? Eine Geniale Idee!

Learning German in Quebec City? Eine Geniale Idee!

After my eldest son signed up at the German Language School, I decided to sit in on a class and find out more about it. I arrived on Saturday morning to observe Olivia Lexhaller’s class at the Centre Communautaire Noel-Brulart in Sillery. After snapping a few photos, I sat at the back and marvelled at the ease with which her advanced students were able to speak German. Anyone who would read out loud from their exercise book received a chocolate truffle, so perhaps that helped.

Lexhaller moved to Québec City from the city of Munich, in southern Germany. She started teaching at the German Language School in 2002 and became director in 2004. The four German Language Schools of Quebec operate on Saturdays with the support of the German Eastern Canada consulate.  According to their website, the school offers quality German courses at very competitive prices for people of all ages. In addition to teaching people to speak German, they also introduce them to different aspects of German culture. It sounded good to me, but I had to ask; who are these people and why, especially in Quebec, did they want to learn yet another language?

Olivia Lexhaller teaching German

I was surprised to discover that there are approximately 2,000 German people living in Quebec City. Some of them sign up for German language classes because it helps them to stay fluent in their first language. There are others who want to learn German for any number of reasons; work, travel, to be able to speak with German relatives, or just for fun. Some students stay for as long as 10 years and Lexhaller says this longevity creates a real family atmosphere.

In Montreal, many parents of German heritage send their children to one of the three German Language Schools every Saturday. These students are then eligible for secondary school credits granted by the Quebec Ministry of Education. They can also receive preparation and admission to the standardized German Language Diploma. This is the linguistic pre-requisite for German universities. On top of that, the German government offers sponsorship and affordable tuition fees.

German Christmas Market in Quebec City

I was wondering where someone might go to have a good German time in Quebec City. It turns out that movies in German are sometimes screened at Cinema le Clap or at Cinema Cartier. But if you’re looking for something that you can really sink your teeth into, you’ll want to check out the 3rd edition of the German Christmas Market in Quebec City. It runs from December 3 to 5 and December 10 to 12, in the Holy Trinity Cathedral square. Presented by the German community of Quebec, this charming village of wooden booths is the place to try some warm wine, German Christmas cakes, gingerbread, grilled sausages and roasted chestnuts. If you’re not only interested in food, there will also be traditional Christmas decorations, hand-crafted items, and entertainment.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Categories: Opinion

About Author

Jason Enlow

Jason Enlow is a Special Education Technician at an English elementary school. He was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Burlington, Ontario. Jason studied Radio and Television at Ryerson University in Toronto. His previous employers include CityTV, CBC, The Weather Network, and Global Television. He’s worked as a DJ, camera operator, musician, teacher, translator and video game content designer. Jason moved to Quebec City in 1997 where he still lives today with his wife and three sons.