Should the French Canadian minorities open their schools to the children of the Anglophone majority?
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When the status of the minority language of an officially bilingual country undergoes positive changes, it is not unusual to observe members of the majority language group showing an interest in the institutions of the minority, such as its schools. Just such a development is currently taking place between Canada’s two official language groups. The instrumental value of French has increased significantly since the late 1960s as a result of important political decisions by both the federal and provincial governments. Due to the relative failure of French immersion education to turn out native-like bilinguals, the English-speaking majority is coming to regard the schools of the French-speaking minority as a better alternative. The present paper focuses specifically on the province of Ontario and argues that the long-term survival of French in this province is still too uncertain for the Franco-Ontarian minority to be taking the gamble of an open-door educational policy toward the English-speaking majority. Indeed, an objective assessment of the potential positive versus negative effects of such a policy suggests that the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages.
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