Adapting children in Canada

Adapting children in Canada

Many people put off immigrating to Canada because they are afraid to take their children out of their home country until they have learned English. This is a big mistake: compared to adults, children learn new languages much more easily and quickly and adapt to life in a new country.

Children adjust to life in Canada by learning English or French, talking to their peers, going to school and much more. In this article we will look at the main factors that influence children's adjustment to an unfamiliar environment.

Language learning

The sooner your child starts to learn English or French, the better. Children usually start speaking a new language faster and better than adults when they arrive in Canada. Younger immigrants learn everything on the fly and get rid of their accents in no time. But the older they get, the harder it is for them to pick up the language and adjust to life in a new country. Fortunately, Canada has programs for learning the official national languages and adapting them to mainstream school.

In English-speaking provinces, immigrants should enrol their children in English as a Second Language (ESL) schools, which is tailored to immigrant children and is a kind of transition period for learning in English. It allows your child to integrate more easily into an English-speaking environment. To find an ESL school, go to

In Quebec, immigrant children first attend a preparatory class (classe d'accueil) where they learn French until they are strong enough, according to their teachers, to study at school on the same level as locals. As part of their learning, children learn about Canadian customs, rules of the country, and are taken on excursions and museums. Children learn about Canada in a playful, non-intimidating way. There are almost 700 preparatory classes in Quebec City — in Montreal, Laval, Marguerite-Bourgeois and Pointe-de-Lillet. You can register for these classes until the end of the school year in September.

In addition, Toronto has programs for immigrant children who have not received adequate schooling in their home country because of war, poverty or other reasons. These programs include

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