I Fine-tuned my French

2015-2016 Issue 2

Veronica_BoggiaMake no mistake: Veronica Boggia is bilingual. Growing up in Montreal she attended mainly English-language schools and had “no problem speaking French.” So much so that she joined a company that was predominantly French. “Many of our corporate events take place in France, and communication with vendors and partners are mostly done in French,” says Boggia.

Talking was never an issue, but when it came to writing she was not as confident. “Writing for a francophone audience demands you to be clear and concise. I wanted to appear professional, and I felt any mistakes I made were glaringly obvious. I began to feel self-conscious about my writing skills. I’m very expressive and articulate in English, so it felt like there was a noticeable disconnect when trying to communicate in French.”

When her first job performance review recommended polishing her written French, Boggia had already begun researching programs, and settled on the online program Certificate of Proficiency in Written French – Workplace Communication. All courses are offered completely online, with personal support from an online tutor and a flexible schedule.

“It just seemed to have the best of all aspects,” says Boggia. “I had no interest in going to school in the evenings, and I learn better when I can dedicate hours to my studies, but not just on set days. The online aspect allows for both flexibility and structure.”

The course helped Boggia boost her confidence and touched on “every single thing I felt I needed to improve. I wanted to refine my writing and communicate with my colleagues and superiors with assurance. Not only was the course helpful, but I was able to apply the lessons immediately, because everything is tailored to the corporate context.” Her employers have been equally impressed with the results “My boss and colleagues noticed right away. They saw the improvement and encouraged me to continue. There’s no question that it’s helped my productivity.”

As a bonus, she enjoyed interacting with teachers, the program’s professional content exposed her to Quebec’s businesses, and it’s had a positive impact outside of work as well. “Now I listen to French-language radio, read French magazines and one of my favourite TV shows is French!”

As a result, she would recommend the course to anyone who wants to fine-tune their French. “A lot of people can claim to be bilingual, but speaking is not the same as writing. My mom is a financial advisor and I suggested she take it, even though she’s very good in French. The course is so well designed it would be useful to anyone in a corporate setting.”

The Certificate of Proficiency in Writing – Workplace Communication is available online in both English and French.

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