|Do not confuse the adverb awhile with the noun phrase a while:|
awhile (adverb): We stood awhile on the dock; awhile back.
a while (article and noun): We stood for a while on the dock; a while ago; wait a while.
At the beginning of sentences, while may be used in place of though, although, or whereas:
While most Canadians speak English, Québécois speak French.