The Language Centre is responsible for the bilingualism pillar at the College. Its objective is to allow students, when they become officers in the Canadian Armed Forces, to perform their duties adequately in both official languages.
Upon their arrival, students take a placement test that measures their level in their second official language. If they do not reach the level required to be exempt, they are registered in Second Official Language Education and Training (SOLET).
The Language Centre offers courses at four levels (100, 200, 300 and 400), each level being a prerequisite for the following one. Consequently, students are grouped according to their initial level and take an average of five classes per week. Groups are limited to ten students and are often smaller. Classes focus on three skills: Reading Comprehension, Written Expression and Oral Expression. All efforts are made for the students to become bilingual as quickly as possible, and classes constantly foster their interaction and participation.
The Centre’s courses are based on a military curriculum that aims for a professional and functional bilingualism. However, they also incorporate a number of methods that boost the diversification of learning tools, including language applications, audiovisual media, educational games, excursions, etc. Students can also visit the Resource Centre of the department where they can borrow learning material.
Furthermore, the Language Centre offers one-on-one tutorials designed for students who are trying to catch up on their regular class or who simply want to refine their second language. Via an online registration system, they can reserve an individual fifty minute tutorial when it is convenient for them, with the instructor of their choice.
Typically, if after their second year at the College students still haven’t reached the bilingualism level required by the curriculum, they take an intensive ten week immersion summer course. During this course, the instructors usually put together field trips that allow students to materialize their second language skills in real situations.
The success standard of the 400 level course, which is also the standard of the bilingualism pillar and the exemption standard, is a profile of at least BBB on the exams supplied by the Public Service Commission of Canada. Once a student reaches this standard he/she doesn’t have to take SOLET classes anymore.