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French: Not Just Child’s Play


Life + Learning

  • people in french clothing

Tina, Preston | January 2, 2018

Let me tell you a bit about myself. My maiden name is spelled C H A P U T. I grew up in Fergus where everyone said: Shaput – that turned into the nick name Shot Put. At family reunions there were two schools of thought: Shapoo and Shapew. The arguments continue to this day.

It wasn’t until I was in eighth grade that I learned the real pronunciation: Shapu. Why did no one ever know this before? It’s French! Canada’s second official language!

Once I discovered some talent for pronunciation, my whole world changed! I played Clue on the other side: “Mademoiselle Scarlett dans le salon avec le couteau!” I went on to get up to Grade 13 French (there was no immersion back then), spent a summer in Québec dancing in the discos learning how to say “un verre du vin rouge s’il vous plaît”, and third year university in France. Nothing beats a fresh pain au chocolat!  When I got back I wanted to teach French to the world!

Fast forward 20 years and my proficiency lagged. I got a great job at the library doing Children’s programs – in English. Then three years ago I got a new position at the Preston location of Idea Exchange and my whole world changed again! People spoke French here! I was able to run French programs for children and discovered that there is a great demand for adults wanting to learn or improve their French speaking skills.

That is why we are offering a brand new program this winter. I really want to create a comfortable setting where you can learn some French, improve your conversation skills or simply speak en français. And don’t worry about what to do with the kids. We will also provide some fun activities for them while Mom and/or Dad are enjoying some adult time.


Submitted by Eunice (not verified) on

This is a great idea. You might want to publicize more that there are activities planned to occupy the kids while the adults learn. No need to find a babysitter.