Wellington, January 14, 2019 – Healthcare professionals in Prince Edward Island now have new opportunities to hone their French language skills at five healthcare facilities in the province.

Café de Paris is a voluntary drop-in language support service offered on location at Maplewood Manor, Community Hospital O’Leary, Prince County Hospital, Beach Grove Home and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Staff at these facilities can make an appointment with a tutor to review specific language questions or to simply drop in to engage in conversation to help develop, or maintain, their French language speaking skills.

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(Photo: Patricia Richard, PEI French Language Health Network and Sonia Archambault, tutor with Collège de l'Île)

“This drop-in model was successfully piloted last year in three locations,” said Élise Arsenault, Executive Director of the PEI French Language Health Network. “We are pleased to expand on this initial offering through our partnership with the PEI Public Service Commission and Collège de l’Île, PEI’s French language community college.”


Café de Paris includes the following components:

  • Drop-in language support.
  • Scheduled one-on-one sessions with a tutor.
  • Customized cue cards of common words and sentences used in the healthcare field.
  • Language training reference materials.

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Café de Paris is also being offered as a pilot project to provincial government employees in Charlottetown and Summerside. This service is being provided in addition to the French language training opportunities currently being offered to these employees.


“As with any skill, practice is an essential component for building confidence in and mastering these skills,” said Marney MacKinnon, Director of Staffing, Classification and Organizational Development. “Taking part in Café de Paris is an innovative opportunity for staff to hone their French language speaking skills right in their workplaces.”


“Collège de l’Île has extensive experience in training bilingual healthcare professionals – licensed practical nurses and resident care workers – who play a key role in the active offer of quality French language health services in our province,” added Donald DesRoches, President of Collège de l’Île. “And as government’s language training provider, we are pleased to add Café de Paris as a new service we offer.”


Funding is provided by Health Canada, via the Société Santé en français, as part of the Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future.


Funding for this innovative project is also provided through the Canada-PEI Agreement on French Language Services, a federal-provincial agreement whose goal is to support the Government of Prince Edward Island in the planning, development and implementation of quality government services and programs in French.


Learn more about Café de Paris at psc.gpei.ca