Some Effects of the Introduction of a Policy of Bilingualism in the Polyglot Community of Sudbury

Authors


  • *This paper could not have been written without the help of my students (D. G. Bédard, P. Boire, D. Bradet, A. Gauthier, R. Labrecque, D. N. Lefebvre, J. G. Richard, A. Roy, and J. R. Turcotte) provided in preparing the questionnaire; the active support of Mr G. Whalen, superintendent of the Separate Schools of the District of Sudbury, and of Mr Emile Guy, research director for les Ecoles séparées du District de Sudbury, of Mr F. J. Costigan, principal of Sudbury High School, of Mr K. I. Lee, principal of Sheridan Technical School, of Messrs J. L. Chauvin and R. M. Poirier, principal and vice-principal respectively of l'Ecole Macdonald-Cartier, of all the principals of the public and separate schools of Sudbury included in the survey, and of the high school teachers and the primary school teachers who cooperated with them and of several other persons; and the patient assistance of the Review editor, Frank E. Jones, and of my wife Anne Marie.

Abstract

Un sondage parmi les élèves de 4e et de 9e des écoles de Sudbury montre que la politique de bilinguisme des gouvernements du Canada et de l'Ontario a donné confiance aux Franco-Ontariens quant à l'avenir de leur langue au pays: des parents qui, dix ans plus tôt, auraient envoye leurs enfants dans des écoles anglaises, les envoient aujourd'hui dans des écoles françaises; le français se parle d'avantage à la maison. L'anglais cependant continue à prévaloir, mais son rôle se modifie. Pour les uns, il devient l'une des deux langues officielles; pour tous, il demeure la lingua franca. Les gens de troisième langue ont de nouveaux espoirs pour la survie de leurs cultures. L'idée du creuset recule.

A survey of grades 4 and 9 school children in Sudbury shows that the bilingual policy of the governments of Canada and Ontario has inspired optimism among French-Ontarians concerning the future of their language in this country. Parents, who ten years ago would have sent their children to English schools, now send them to French schools; French is spoken more often in the home. English remains predominant, but its role is changing. For some, it remains one of the two official languages; for everyone, it remains the lingua franca. Third language people have new hopes for the maintenance of their cultures. The idea of a melting pot is fading away.

Ancillary