Achieving bilingualism in the Canadian federal public workplace

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This embedded multiple case study of Canadian public servants in a workplace language training program examines the impact of training on the development, use, and retention of French as a second language in an English-dominant workplace. Revisiting self-determination theory and second language acquisition/retention research from Bourdieu’s critical sociolinguistic perspective, the authors reconceptualize motivation to learn French as investment in linguistic capital. Through triangulated analyses of interviews, observations, and documents on language practices, policies, and ideologies, the study situates the program and individual learning trajectories within the linguistic economy of the workplace in order to identify the conditions in which workplace language training can help promote bilingualism in the languages of both the majority and the minority at work.


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