6 April 2018

Do you speak both of Canada’s official languages? Will your children? In a post published on 5 April 2018 on the “President’s Blog” of the Institute for 21st Century Questions, 2008 Foundation scholar Irvin Studin made the case for French immersion programming in Canada. As first argued in an article published by The Toronto Star on 20 February 2018, Studin demonstrated how the “pitifully low levels of French-English bilingualism” in Canada have no other cause than a “lack of national seriousness.” He emphasized the dire societal and strategic implications of dying bilingualism. The size of the talent pool from which Canada’s prime ministers, senior federal public servants, diplomats, premiers, and heads of national agencies are chosen would shrink, resulting in a form of linguistic elitism. More generally, decreasing levels of multilingualism would imply less engagement in the “four-point strategic game” of the century involving America, China, Russia, and Europe. Studin concluded that encouraging French immersion as well as third and fourth languages – Indigenous and foreign alike – is the key to both Canada’s domestic administration and external strategy.

Irvin Studin is a 2008 Foundation scholar, the president of the Institute for 21st Century Questions, and editor-in-chief and publisher of Global Brief magazine. Studin is also a visiting professor at Université du Québec à Montreal with the Raoul-Dandurand Chair. Read his blog post here and his article here.

Irvin Studin

President of the Institute for 21st Century Questions, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Global Brief magazine, Visiting Professor at the Université du Québec à Montreal (UQAM).

2008 Scholars