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Study: Language practices of children in Francophone families living outside Quebec, 2006

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Released: 2015-12-17

One-third of the children of Francophone parents living outside Quebec in 2006 exclusively or primarily used French for reading and a smaller percentage used French in other daily activities.

This finding is included in a new study released today, "Language practices of children in Francophone families living outside Quebec."

Children of Francophone parents are defined as those who had at least one parent with French as his or her mother tongue or first official language spoken.

The study is based on data from the Survey on the Vitality of Official-Language Minorities, conducted in 2006 among Francophone and Anglophone minorities in Canada. Among other topics, the survey examined the language used by these populations in their daily activities and has not been conducted since.

The activities examined in this study include reading, television viewing, Internet use, participation in organized sports as well as participation in other organized activities.

Many children of Francophone parents outside Quebec use English in their daily activities

In 2006, 33% of children of Francophone parents living outside Quebec exclusively or primarily used French to read, while 48% exclusively or primarily used English. Another 19% used both languages equally.

The use of French in reading activities was higher among children who spoke French most often at home (74%), who had two parents whose mother tongue is French (65%), and who lived in communities where at least a quarter of children had French as their first official language spoken (67%).

Children used English more often in other daily activities, even when French was more common at the family or community level.

For example, nearly three-quarters (74%) of children with at least one Francophone parent watched television exclusively or primarily in English. This compared with 12% who watched it exclusively or primarily in French, and 14% who watched it in both languages equally.

Among children who spoke French most often at home, 42% watched television exclusively or primarily in English, while 32% watched television exclusively or primarily in French. About a quarter watched television in both languages equally.

Similarly, nearly half (48%) of children with two parents who had French as their mother tongue and 43% of Francophone children living in communities where at least a quarter of children had French as their first official language watched television exclusively or primarily in English.

  Note to readers

Data in this article were obtained from the Survey on the Vitality of Official-Language Minorities (SVOLM) carried out by Statistics Canada in 2006 in collaboration with a number of federal departments and agencies. The SVOLM collected relevant information for the measurement and evaluation of key indicators of the vitality of minority language communities in Canada.

The study focuses on the children (aged less than 18) of French-speaking parents who were living in Canada outside Quebec. The Francophone minority population in this survey includes persons (a) who have French as their mother tongue, alone or with another language; (b) those whose mother tongue is a non-official language and who, of the two official languages, know only French; or (c) those whose mother tongue is a non-official language, who know both French and English, and who speak either a non-official language or French, alone or with another language, most often at home.

Products

The article "Language practices of children in Francophone families living outside Quebec" in Insights on Canadian Society (Catalogue number75-006-X) and a detailed report titled "Language Practices of Children in Francophone Families Living in a Minority Linguistic Environment" in Portrait of Official-Language Minorities in Canada (Catalogue number89-642-X) are now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website, under Publications.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact René Houle (613-854-8473; rene.houle@canada.ca), Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division.

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