The Best Way To Discover Quebec City

The Best Way To Discover Quebec City

by Elizabeth Davies

The Quebec Local Tour Guide class is the ideal way to acquire a great deal of knowledge about the city and make friends to boot! 

There are many benefits in signing up for the Quebec City Local Tour Guide class, for example:

Are you a newcomer to Quebec City or are you planning to come soon? 
Are you a resident and wish you knew more about this historic city? 
Is English your second language, and you want to fine-tune your listening and writing skills.
Lastly, would you like to have a rewarding career as a Quebec City Local tour guide?

Quebec City Tour Guide Course students lunching at Le Parlementaire.

The lead instructor, Mr. Stephen Marchessault, who is in his ninth year as coordinator, shares his expertise on the city in a professional and yet laid back manner! He knows the city very well being born and raised here; hence, he is quite familiar with both English and French cultures. Not only does he have an abundance of information; he will hand out  additional written material to further help you.

Learn how Quebec was shaped prior to and after the arrival of Samuel de Champlain, founder of Quebec City, over 400 years ago. Discover the geology, the explorers, the key role of the  Amerindians, the intricate  architecture, the religious heritage, the military heritage,  the changing economy and lastly, the unique culture.

Comments sent in from Ms. Louise Desgagnes, Quebec City resident, stating why she took the course:

“1.-Immersion: It is the only course in English other than grammar, conversation and university that could be taken during the evening.

2-Vocabulary words: Stephen gave us a lot of usual terms as in architecture, geology, geography, religion. Since I didn’t grow up in the English language, I don’t know how to call material taken to build a house for example.

3-Written: The written assignment was a really good exercise to find synonyms, how to build phrases, saying things the way it has to be said in English and not translating it word for word.

4-Listening: Stephen talks slowly and in very good English. It is easier to learn English from an Anglophone person rather than a Francophone one who speaks English.

5- Frequency: Two evenings a week plus some Saturdays was a good frequency. The other days were for reading notes. So the rhythm of being in touch with English was very good.
A good way to learn too is having activities in English. We can associate what we see with what is said.

Finally, it was a very good way to learn the English language in a Francophone city.”

Comments from newcomer and former student, Lori Godon, Quebec City:

“Although VEQ ( The Voice of English-speaking Quebec) plays a major role in helping newcomers establish themselves in the city, The Quebec Local Tour Guide course helped me learn so much more about life in Quebec. In addition, I  have made friends and have had the pleasure to work as a tour guide. I have fallen in love with this city and I highly recommend the Local Tour Guide Course given at St. Lawrence College.”

Having taken the course as well; my personal comments are:

Although I was born and raised in Quebec City, I never really took the time to discover the city –let alone its history. Of course we learned about it at school, but as a teenager, it was the least of my interests! “The Plains of Abraham” was just a huge park where we played football, St. John’s Street was were the bars were, “Place d’Youville” was for eating pizza or going to the movies at the “Capitol” , St. Joseph Street was the downtown department store area.

On a bus trip 'learning the ropes'.

Oh my, how times have changed!  A born-again Quebecker; literally looking at  this city from a whole new perspective! I have recently chosen the Old City as my home; thus, having the opportunity to walk the narrow streets each day!  The Quebec Local Tour Guide class has opened so many “doors” for me!! In the summertime, I share my passion for the city with tourists from all over the world. As an extra bonus; many former students have stayed in contact, including Stephen– always willing to answer our questions or give a helping hand!

In conclusion: The Quebec City Local Tour guide course can be beneficial for many reasons!! Now that you will have acquired a huge amount of knowledge about your city ; you can also stay abreast with contemporary Quebec by reading the online magazine “Life in Quebec”.

Champlain – St. Lawrence College, which is the only English-speaking college in the city, is located in Saint Foy near Laval University and CEGEP Sainte Foy at 790 Neree-Tremblay. For more information, call: 418-656-6921 ext. 215 or check out the link below:

Quebec City Tour Guide Course in English 
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Arrticle and photos: Elizabeth Davies

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