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ERIC Number: EJ854584
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
The Ecology of French in Australia
Ritchie, Annabelle
Babel, v38 n3 p24-28, 38 Sum 2003-2004
Language ecology, a term developed by Haugen (2001), describes the relationship between languages and the environment in which they exist; that is, how they grow, change, interact and adapt in a Darwinian-like quest for survival. Of the 6000 or so languages in existence today, some are spoken by vast numbers of people, but others are used by very few. Such endangered languages face the risk of extinction due to natural disasters, cultural assimilation, or genocide. Their loss represents a loss of cultural diversity, and for this reason is a matter of concern. English is the official and dominant language in Australia. Despite this dominance, however, many Australians use a language other than English in their daily activities. Such a "minority language" is one used in fewer settings and by fewer people than English. This article discusses the status and survival of French as a minority and foreign language in Australia. In particular, it describes the domains of usage of French in the Australian environment, and analyses the ecological support systems for the language's survival in this country.
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia