CFLS Detachment Saint-Jean provides first-rate second language training

A female teacher, standing up and dressed in civilian clothing, is interacting with two women Canadian Armed Forces members dressed in combats who are seated at a table.
Raja Fassi-Fihri, a French teacher, helps Captain Laura Bonenfant and Capt Kerith Gordon learn French. Photo: Sergeant Sylvie Plamondon

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By Lieutenant(N) Yvona Borovichkova, Chief of the Canadian Division, Canadian Forces Language School

The teaching teams in the Canadian Division of the Canadian Forces Language School (CFLS) Detachment Saint-Jean, Quebec are tasked with the delivery of language programs to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members whose trade, posting or career advancement require knowledge of the second official language. The Division is comprised of three sections, namely French, English, and Distance Tutoring. These sections offer programs such as year-long courses, summer courses, and courses by progress level.

The busiest time of the year is summer, when on average, 80 officer-cadets from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC), Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean), as well as those enrolled in the Canadian universities, arrive at the CFLS Detachment Saint-Jean for their Second Official Language Education and Training (SOLET).

“These students are brilliant and they are a good reflection of the future of the Canadian Armed Forces,” says Marilyn Bourdeau, French pedagogical advisor.

For military personnel who can only afford short periods of time away from their duties, the CFLS Detachment Saint-Jean offers block courses consisting of one progress level. These courses are offered in spring and fall in English and French, and are designed to accommodate personnel from the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS).

“We are always pleased to welcome the instructors and personnel from CFLRS. From past experience, I have found that these individuals are always highly motivated and come with a wealth of life experience which contributes immensely to stimulating and profound classroom discussions,” says Giovanna Druda, English pedagogical advisor. “They always take their studies very seriously which makes it a rewarding teaching experience for our pedagogical personnel.”

In addition to the classroom setting, the CFLS Detachment Saint-Jean also offers distance learning courses both in English and French. There is a waiting list due to the immense popularity of this versatile and flexible mode of instruction. In the context of distance learning, the CFLS Detachment Saint-Jean has specialized for many years in distance tutoring.

Since 2014, CFLS Detachment Saint-Jean has been proud to offer an exciting new initiative: the pilot project of the virtual classroom. For the time being, these courses are given in French only. The faculty at the CFLS Detachment Saint-Jean comprises highly enthusiastic and devoted professionals who strive for excellence.

“Our teaching staff is highly qualified and possesses a wealth of experience, averaging approximately 15 to 25 years of teaching experience each, “says Mrs. Druda. “Many of them have dedicated their entire careers to teaching. It is a vocation, not just a job.”


Image gallery

  • A male teacher, dressed in civilian clothing, instructs a class of five military students seated at their desks,in a semi-circle.
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