Bilingual Language Policy In Canada

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Professor: Joel Hartse Course: LLED 200 Semester: September 2014 Name: Seohui Park (Sophie) 71578141 Final Essay Support on Current Bilingual Language Policy in Canada Personal bilingualism is different from official bilingualism. Whereas it can’t be said that all Canadians are bilingual, Canada is one of the countries that has adopted the official bilingual language policy. The reason why it has two official languages goes back to its history of being colonized by two cultural subjects; the English and the French. While the British colonized the west part of Canada, the French settled on the east coast, allowing both languages to enjoy autonomy and to form their identity. However, in 1982 by a Constitution Act, has forced the once great…show more content…
It is an obvious fact that huge part of Canadians is anglophone, however, compared to other languages, French speakers also make up a large part of the population. Demographics from Kiernan shows that 57% of Canadian population is anglophone and 21.8% are francophone (Kiernan, 2011), adding these together nearly 80% are speaking English or French. For the government to communicate with their citizen, it is so natural to set both English and French as official languages. In addition, this language policy doesn’t require Canadian to speak both English and French, nor forcing francophone to learn English and vice versa. According to the Constitution Act in 1982, the bilingualism in Canada is only institutional, which means the government and institutions can communicate with citizens by two official languages (Ménard&Hudon, 2007). For example, they provide services or publish booklets in both official languages so that majority of public can understand. In other words, unlike the common beliefs that the law recommends citizen in Canada to use both languages, two official languages are only a means to serve and communicate with as many citizens as…show more content…
Legally, the Constitution Act section 23 in 1982 says those whose first language is neither English nor French “has the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in that language in that province”. Not only legal promise, but they are also supporting their language education of both official languages and their own languages. Since 1970 the federal and provincial governments have cooperated to enhance language minorities to keep studying their language and assisting young children to learn English or French as a second language (Ménard&Hudon, 2007). One example of this is the OLEP (the Official Languages in Education Program) in which the federal government provides additional funding to language minorities education in provinces, investing about $6.4 billion in 2005~2006 (Ménard&Hudon, 2007). Like this, bilingualism policy is not all about official languages, but it also includes ways to protect minority

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