Slide 1

Report
Background
 Two questions to think about
 The historical, sociopolitical and
educational contexts in Canada
 Minority language rights challenges in
Canada
 Discussion

 The
widespread use of English (Crystal,
2004)
› 400 million: English as a First Language
› 400 million: English as a Second
Language
› 600 million: English as a Foreign Language
 What
are potential impacts of the
widespread use of English on other
languages
› all over the world?
› Within a bilingual/multilingual
context such as Canada?

In a bilingual or multilingual context,
should immigrant children maintain their
heritage languages, that is, continue
using their first languages? Why/Why
not?
Potential impacts of the widespread use of
English:
Linguistic imperialism (Phillipson, 2009)
 Language rights violation : violating
“rules that public institutions adopt with
respect to language use in a variety of
different domains” (Arzoz, 2007, p. 4).

› Implications of language rights (Phillipson,
Ranuut & Skutnabb-Kangas, 1995):
 Mother tongue medium instruction (MTMI)
 Learning at least one official language, as well

Linguistic minority=immigrant=ESL
students
Personal (Babaee, 2010a)
 Social (Wong Fillmore, 2001)
 Cognitive (Cummins, 2001)

Immigration to Canada: Late 16th
century
 The total population in 2006: 31,241,030
 Speaking a language other than English
or French as a first language: 6,147,840
(almost one fifth of the total population)

Immigration: linguistic diversity
 Many immigrants: struggling with
heritage language maintenance (for
example, Kouritzin, 1999)


Family and first language (L1) community
(Guardado, 2010; Guardado, 2002;
Torres, 2006; Yu-Tung Carol, 2009)
› L1 use at home (Guardado, 2010): Spanish
families in BC
› the L1 community
 Resources (Iqbal, 2005): Francophone mothers
in BC
 Size (Guardado, 2010): Spanish families in BC

School
› Attitudes towards HLs (Sotto, cited in Xie,
2010, p. 31)




Principals
Staff
Teachers
Peers
• Language policy
 The medium of instruction: an official
language (English or French)
 MTMI: Anglophone minorities in QB and
Francophone minorities outside QB (the
Charter, 1982)
 Other minorities: if a sufficient number of
immigrants in a community seek MTMI

Submersion programs
› English/French medium instruction

HL programming:
› Bilingual programs (BC, AB, SK, MB)
› HL courses (BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QB, NS)

Vague policy: “sufficient” number of
immigrants seeking MTMI

Bilingual programs: limited to certain
provinces and heritage languages
› Iranian immigrants in BC: No Farsi/English
bilingual programs, no Farsi as a heritage
language courses

Potentially insufficient instructional time in
heritage language programs, for
example, two and a half hour per week
in ON
› An objective of HL education: developing
communicative competence

For policy makers
› Extending HL instructional time
 Especially those outside school hours
› Bilingual programs in other HLs
› HL courses in other HL languages
› Informing community members of the
possibility of HL education at public schools
› Partnership with L1 communities: Offering HL
courses in L1 communities, taking credits

for Teachers
› Creating a supportive atmosphere in the
classroom
› Facilitating collaborative and cooperative
learning opportunities in the classroom
(pair/group work)
› Inviting community members to their
classrooms
› Asking students to relate subject areas to
their ethnic backgrounds, comparing and
contrasting with peers

Communicative skills:
› Translation (words and short stories)
› Functions e.g. greetings in first languages
(English and HLs)
› Guessing games e.g. talking in a HL and
acting out
› Posters in all students’ L1s (English and HLs)
on the walls
› Drawing attention to prefixes, roots, suffixes in
English and asking for equivalents in HLs

The academic proficiency
› Translating terms (for example, The Internet,
bilingual dictionaries)
› Additional resources (for example, books,
websites)
› Simplified instructions
 Pictures
 Simplified language
 Additional explanation
• Modified assignments
– Recognition, rather than, production
• Modified assessment
– Multiple choice, rather than essay type, format
These strategies tend to
› communicate the message to
immigrant students that their HLs are
recognized, valued and used at school,
and that using these languages could
facilitate the learning of English.
› include a variety of HLs, not simply
specific ones.
› communicate the message to Englishspeaking students that HLs must be
recognized and respected in the
classroom.
Thank you for your attention.
[email protected]
Other suggestions for protecting
language rights in Canada?
 Your own context:

› Are minority language rights protected or
violated? How?
› Any suggestions?

Other relevant issues

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