ERIC Number: ED231182
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov-26
Reference Count: 0
Language Policy in Ireland and Canada: A Comparative Survey.
Mackey, W. F.
Both Ireland and Canada are officially bilingual countries. There are similarities between the two countries and differences with regard to numbers of speakers and purposes for which speakers use Irish or French. Yet, a comparison of language policy in the two countries is possible, one which would focus on demographic, economic, social, cultural, political, and juridical aspects of language status. The demographic aspect reviews percentages of unilingual and bilingual French and English speakers in Canada and compares the situation with Ireland. The economics discussion focuses on employment opportunities and notes that the language of work is the one which achieves economic status. The social status of language indicates the importance of education in enhancing language status. For example, the cultural status of a language is dependent upon education, a situation clearly evident in Quebec where both French and English populations have had their own school systems including universities. With regard to the political aspect, linguistic territoriality provides political leverage to enact language policies. Finally, the juridical status of language depends on the decision of the state. In conclusion, a distinction is made between functional and symbolic bilingualism, and it is noted that language autonomy seems to depend on economic advantage. (AMH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada (French Provinces); Ireland; Irish (Modern)
Note: Public lecture given under the auspices of Bord na Gaeilge (November 26, 1981). In original publication (ISBN-0-946339-01-5), bound with "Syllabus for Second Language Teaching."