Access Update: Bilingual Nationhood, Canadian Style

Multiculturalism may include the issue of bilingual nationhood.

Often when we talk about multiculturalism we think in terms of the situation in the United Kingdom, for example, where immigrants come to the country and try to learn English and adapt to British culture. But multiculturalism may also include the issue of bilingual nationhood. In Canada, there are two official languages: English and French Canadian. Americans are also realising that for them multiculturalism may also mean accepting a bilingual society: English and Spanish. 

The article below, which appeared in the New York Times in December 2014, discusses this issue. Read the article and answer the questions below.

  1. According to the writer, should English-speaking Canadians be proud of their attempts to speak French? What verb does the writer use to describe how many English-speaking Canadians speak French?
  2. In typical Canadian fashion, before discussing what Canada gets right about multiculturalism the writer mentions something Canada does not do well (“sorry”).  What area of failure does the writer point to?
  3. Look up the word “egregious”. What does it mean and how is it pronounced?
  4. What institution does Henry Kim run?
  5. What political position does Henry Kim point to as an example of the difference between how the US and Canada approach multiculturalism?
  6. What does the social experiment referred to in the article say about Canada as a multicultural society?
  7. What has research shown about immigrant children learning English?
  8. What does the article mention as an added benefit from being bi- or multilingual?
  9. What are the negative consequences that are predicted for the UK due to its new anti-immigration policies?
  10. Point to three examples in the text that show this text is intended for the New York Times’ opinion page.

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Sist oppdatert: 05.01.2015

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