What is the political reason why Canada doesn’t enforce bilingual education in schools?For example, my friends from Edmonton and Toronto are pretty much Anglophones only while my friends from Montreal are fluently bilingual in English and French.Canada cannot “enforce bilingual education in schools” because education is a provincial responsibility.
The provinces do teach French in English-language schools.However, taking a subject in school does not make one bilingual.For that, you need to be immersed in the language.
Francophones in Quebec cannot escape daily exposure to English, while anglophones in places like Edmonton and Toronto likely never hear a word of French outside their classrooms.Before you attack English-speaking Canadians you should realize that the demand for French-immersion education outstrips the availability of it across the country.MY eldest son had four years of immersion French in Ontario and is fluently bilingual—about 40% of his workday is in French.
The short and unfortunate answer is that French is not a language used in most of Canada.You can go your whole life without ever having to speak French in English speaking regions, so there is no need to speak French.I worked for a French Canadian company that had incentives and free language programs for their workers and was told that such a discussion was off the table in Alberta because of how not-useful French was.
Even if French was more common and French language education was mandatory in all grade levels, his might not actually result in native-like proficiency.I work in Japan teaching English.Students now learn English for 10 of 12 years of schooling, with many children having kindergarten, lower elementary classes, and other learning as early as age 2.
However, it’s a numbers game.Granted, English is infinitely harder to learn for a Japanese speaker than French for an English speaker, but the problem is still the same; there just aren’t enough hours.FSI ranks French for English natives at 600 hours of intensive instruction.
Assuming this is all that is needed (you can easily double this number for a practical estimate), this comes in at around 900 classes of instruction (remember that a classroom hour is not 60 minutes).At 100 classes per year, that’s 9 years of instruction.But an elementary child likely wouldn’t have 100 classes per year.
In Japan, it’s 35 and 70 classes in elementary, and only goes up to about 125 classes (about 3 classes per week) in junior high.You also have to factor in lost time from non-use between classes, the fact that some children will not practice away from school for a number of reasons, time for testing and class management, and general lost time in class (a 45 minute class probably has about 25–30 minutes of actually work and instruction).
Hi David.Thank you for your question.In Alberta, the requirement for a high school diploma does NOT require any knowledge of a foreign language.
Certain programs at university require a second language.I myself took Ukrainian in high school.That was very long ago!!!
One of my sons took German in high school.The other took Mandarin.In the high school where I taught there were three languages offered as options.
Spanish, German and French.There used to be Ukrainian offered but the teacher retired and no one else was qualified to teach it.It is offered through distance education if someone wanted to take it by correspondence.
Canada is a multicultural country although it has two official languages.If you want to work for the federal government you need to be fluent in both official languages but there is no language requirement for other employment unless expressively needed…eg interpreter for German consulate.In Quebec, French is the dominant language but many people learn English also because it is a universal language.
No other province has French speaking people as a majority.
What is the political reason why Canada doesn’t enforce bilingual education in schools?For example, my friends from Edmonton and Toronto are pretty much Anglophones only while my friends from Montreal are fluently bilingual in English and French.Canadian provinces are responsible for education, ergo, it makes little sense to have the Federal government control linguistic policy but as usual, observers from away, make a mess of observing Canada.
My daughters lived everywhere but were mostly educated in Alberta and both are bi/multi lingual and multicultural.Why can students, not governments; make educational choices, especially since both use their languages and cultures for careers and personal development post, post secondary?One works in French and the other in Danish, in addition to English.
English is compellingly learned but as a default and others are from the heart and serious ambition.It’s no secret one who learns two or more languages does better in two or more than the one who learns just one.
It’s not a political reason, it’s a practical one.Say you suddenly found yourself with your family living in a village in, say, Finland, with 12 Finnish families.What’s most likely to happen?
Your family figures out how to speak Finnish, or the Finns all learn to speak English?Language isn’t something you learn and you’re set for life.If you aren’t in an environment where your second language is a part of daily life you lose it.
Countless Canadians can attest to that.French language and culture are a valuable part of our national identity, but the notion of a fully bilingual nation conflicts with reality.
I am thinking you do not know much about Canada.Quebec and Montreal – French settled and French speaking (although several friends from France have other opinions).French is not generally taught in the rest of Canada these days, although it was mandatory when I was in school.
I am not sure what you mean by a “political reason”.
First in Canada you have rights and freedoms so Canada would never enforce bilingual education.Secondly, Montreal is in the province of Quebec where the french language laws are very strict as french is the first language of the work place.Ontario and Alberta are primarly english and the work places are all english.
Many people embrace the ideal of bilingual education.Many provinces have a shortage of teachers to teach french and their are waiting lists for children to get into french programs.So, in short the Canadian governement would never enforce it.
Even if it did there are not enough teachers to achieve it.
The answer is very simple.Education is a Provincial Responsibility .Each province sets it’s curriculum as it sees fit.
Official Bilingualism is Federal program.It allows citizens to deal with the Federal Government in either Official Language.Areas of Responsibility are jealously guarded and incursions fought back.
Education at the elementary and secondary level is a provincial rather thN a federal jurisdiction.