Is multiculturalism stifling bilingualism? |

National Household Survey data on languages spoken in Canada will be released Wednesday, and will likely provoke debate over the declining importance of French. Official Languages Commission Fraser is not concerned:

Other languages and cultures have always been popular in Canada, and in some communities those third languages are in the majority, he continued.

But no single “other” language is giving French or English a run for predominance across the country or even in a single region. And none of those languages has the staying power of French or English.

“Historically, the pattern in Canada has been that immigrant community languages do not survive to the third generation as a language spoken at home,” Fraser said.

While his point is valid (Ukrainian Canadians being the prime example), not quite so sure that this will apply to the same extent in the future, given that cheap travel, free communications, and myriad language specialty media make integration and identity more complex and varied.

Is multiculturalism stifling bilingualism? |

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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