Language attitudes towards French: A mixed-method investigation on potential Chinese immigrants in Ontario and Quebec Canada
Keywords:language attitudes, Chinese immigrants' group, French language, language acquisition
This mixed-methods study aims to explore the language perceptions of Chinese individuals who live in Canada and consider immigration, specifically focusing on their attitudes towards French. The goal is to understand their attitudes towards French and, ultimately, increase policy makers’ awareness of the future maintenance of French in Canada and re-evaluating the current language teaching approach. Seventy-eight Chinese participants from Quebec or Ontario regions completed two questionnaires that were derived from the Belief about Ethnolinguistic Vitality framework, followed by a semi-structured interview conducted with sub-sampled nine participants to explore reasons behind their attitudes. In terms of analyses and results, although Quebec participants believed that French would become more commonly valued and used in the future, both Ontario and Quebec participants claimed that French would not be as essential as English, and they had more positive attitudes towards the English acquisition because of its great regional power and instrumental benefits. Additionally, a multi-regression analysis demonstrated that attitudes towards French engagement were affected by sociocultural differences and language proficiency but were not affected by educational contact (French language course). The findings of thematic analysis indicate that problems about the monolingual teaching approach led to a negative view of French lessons and even a negative attitude towards engaging with the French language. Finally, practical implications and suggestions were provided in order to enhance their attitudes towards French engagement in Canada.
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