Inclusive Mentorship Initiative (IMI)

Increase your French-language skills—and gain confidence

The Inclusive Mentorship Initiative program is an immersive French language mentoring program that pairs a French-speaking professional (aka mentor) with an English-speaking student (aka mentee) who wishes to practice and improve their French-language skills. 

Mentors and mentees come from a variety of professions and fields of study, including health and social services and education, administrative and professional, scientific and technical.

The IMI program helps English-speaking Townshippers improve their French-language skills and be more confident in speaking French, thereby improving access to services, increasing employability, and enabling them to be more involved in our community.

Learn French in a fun, informal setting

The Inclusive Mentorship Initiative considers that to learn a language one must not only speak it but speak it in various settings and situations.

Mentor and mentee pairs meet once a week, either in person or online, in an informal setting, a chat over a coffee, a walk in the park, a talk on the phone or via zoom. Pairs talk about anything and everything: work, school, sports, family, games, etc. 

Regular immersive activities and group events also take place to increase vocabulary by speaking, writing, role playing and speed networking—whatever gets people talking in a fun, low key environment.   

The IMI: a wonderful way to be immersed into the culture and community while meeting new people, maybe even a new colleague or a friend!

I want to improve my French

The IMI program is open to English-speaking or allophone* post-secondary school or adult education students who are 18 to 50 years old and live in the Eastern Townships. 

  • Eligible English post-secondary schools include Champlain Regional College and Bishop’s University (French as a second language and TESL students only)
  • Eligible adult education centres include Lennoxville Vocational Training Centre and Eastern Townships Adult General Education (ETAGE) centre: New Horizons Campus and Brome-Missisquoi Campus 

The mentorship program encourages students from any field of study—who want to improve their French, by improving their confidence—to apply to become a mentee. 

*Allophone: a person whose first language is neither English nor French.

What’s in it for mentees

  • Boost your confidence by increasing your French-language skills. 
  • Expand your job opportunities. 
  • Add French proficiency to your resume. 
  • Meet professionals in your field.

Download the Inclusive Mentorship Initiative information sheet.


The mentorship program runs from October to March, approximately 5-6 months of mentoring, giving you enough time to improve your French-language skills.   

Although recruitment typically begins in September, you can contact the Inclusive Mentorship Initiative program manager, Heather, throughout the year at to learn more.


The Inclusive Mentorship program is FREE! There is no cost to you as a mentee or to the mentors–who volunteer their time.   

All activities and events are cost-free; and when you attend, you will receive goody bags, books, dictionaries, snacks, and gifts!

Find out if you are eligible to become a mentee and start improving your French-language skills!

IMI would like to thank all our mentors who volunteer their time to help our mentees improve their French-language skills and gain confidence! 

Eligibility to become a mentor

  • French proficiency: native or fully bilingual
  • Employed, retired or a student, from all fields of work 
  • Free time: available from October to March, 1 HOUR PER WEEK, flexibility 

Download the Volunteer Mentors Wanted sheet (available in French only).

IMI begins recruiting mentors in September but if you are interested in learning more or becoming a mentor in the future, please contact the IMI project manager, Heather, at

Gain existing resources

As in many regions, Estrie is suffering from a labour shortage, yet many English speakers are looking for work. These local English speakers, and those migrating to the Eastern Townships, can help. 

However, to work in Quebec, employees must speak French or have a good working knowledge of French. Through the IMI program, English speakers and allophones can improve their French-language skills, increase their employability, and fill understaffed positions. 

The addition of English speakers in the workforce increases the presence of bilingual staff in the region, hence there are more French speakers to service the French population and more English speakers to service the English population, vacant positions are filled, and people are hired—a win-win for everyone!

Voluntary evaluation process

Although mentees will not be graded or receive credit for their participation in the IMI program, an optional French-language assessment with a French teacher from the New Horizons Adult Education Centre can be done. 

The idea is to help students determine their progress throughout the program. The teacher evaluates the student’s proficiency in spoken French and French comprehension at the beginning of the program and a follow-up evaluation is performed at the end of the year.

I am interested!

Do you want to participate in the Inclusive Mentorship Initiative program to improve your French-language skills, or would you like to volunteer as a mentor to help an English student improve their French? Contact Heather Ancliffe at