Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

From Heritage to International Languages: Globalism and Western Canadian Trends in Heritage Language Education

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

From Heritage to International Languages: Globalism and Western Canadian Trends in Heritage Language Education

Article excerpt

ANTONIO (TONY) J. TAVARES

ABSTRACT/RESUME

Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, educational systems in Canada responded to diversity in their populations by expanding heritage language programming in public schools. The support for heritage languages was directly related to federal and provincial multiculturalism policies. Heritage language education was seen as an essential part of the Canadian cultural mosaic. It also reflected a response to pressures from various cultural groups, especially Ukrainian Canadians, for inclusion and recognition. Government support for maintaining their languages was often a question, from their perspective, of equality of and the right to full participation in a multicultural Canadian society. The inclusion of heritage language programs in mainstream educational institutions was one means of asserting their multicultural rights. By 1980, English-Ukrainian bilingual programs had been established in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. These three provinces have recently agreed to participate in a series of projects thro ugh the Western Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Basic Education aimed at developing common curriculum frameworks for international languages. The shift in terminology from heritage to international languages reflects the impact of globalism on education systems in Canada, as well as significant shifts in multicultural policies and perspectives.

Vers la fin des annees 1970 et pendant toutes les annees 1980, les systemes educatifs au Canada ont repondu la diversite de leurs populations en etendant la programmation des langues patrimoniales dans les ecoles publiques. L'appui pour les langues patrimoniales etait directement lie aux politiques federales et provinciales sur le multiculturalisme. On regardait l'education sur les langues patrimoniales comme une partie essentielle de la mosaique culturelle canadienne. L'appui refletait aussi une reponse aux pressions de plusieurs groupes culturels, en particulier les Ukrainiens-Canadiens, pour l'inclusion et la reconnaissance. Il s'agissait, de leur point do vue, de l'egalite et du droit de la pleine participation dans la societe canadienne multiculturelle; leur revendication pour l'appui gouvernemental pour la conservation de leur langue s'ensuivait. Des 1980, des programmes bilingues anglais-ukrainiens avaient etablis en Alberta, en Saskatchewan, et au Manitoba. Ces trois provinces se sont recemment mises d'accord pour participer une serie de projets par le truchement du Protocole de collaboration concernant l'education de base dans l'Ouest canadien, vise developer des cadres de programmes d'etudes communs pour les langues internationales. Le changement de terminologie de langues patrimoniales aux langues internationales reflete l'impact du globalisme sur les systemes educatifs au Canada ainsi que des changements significatifs de politiques et perspectives multiculturelles.

Introduction

Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, educational systems in Western Canada (specifically in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) responded to diversity in their populations by expanding "heritage" language programming in public schools. (1) The support for heritage language programs in the educational system and in community based or supplementary school programs in the West, as in Ontario, was directly related to the increased provincial attention to multiculturalism and, in some cases, the formal adoption of multicultural policies. In Quebec, similar trends resulted in increased attention being given by governments of all political stripes, albeit for different reasons, to pluralism and "intercultural" education, resulting in the emergence of similar heritage-focused language programs, Programmes d'ensignment de langues d'origine. Heritage language education was seen as an essential part of the Canadian cultural mosaic, at least from the perspective of the various cultural/linguistic groups. Federal and pr ovincial ministries responsible for culture and/or multiculturalism commonly offered financial support for heritage language programming. …

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