When Bilingualism Isn't Enough: Perspectives of New Speakers of French on Multilingualism in Montreal

Type of resource
Authors/collaborators
Title
When Bilingualism Isn't Enough: Perspectives of New Speakers of French on Multilingualism in Montreal
Abstract
The authors point out that most newcomers to Quebec will will settle in Montreal and many will attend one of the ‘francization’ (French as a second language) courses offered by the provincial government. These newcomers are told that learning French and its adoption as the province's common language are essential conditions to gain social inclusion through participation in public life and the labour market. However, the authors note, Montreal is by no means a monolingual city with about a third of the population having a language other than French as their first language. They point out that research shows a clear trend in Montreal towards French/English bilingual elitism. The authors analyze the use of newcomers' linguistic resources to access eliteness and social inclusion. In a context where public discourse strongly promotes a monolingual ideology, the authors argue that plurilingual repertoires of newcomers are not always recognised as a valuable resource. However, newcomers’ language practices show that their plurilingual repertoire has symbolic and material value beyond the elite French/English bilingualism, thus challenging the boundaries between elite and non-elite linguistic groups in Montreal.
Publication
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Pages
1-17
Date
2019
Language
en
DOI
10.1080/01434632.2018.1543693
Citation
Paquet, Roseline G., and Catherine Levasseur. “When Bilingualism Isn’t Enough: Perspectives of New Speakers of French on Multilingualism in Montreal.” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development (2019): 1–17.
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