Official Language Minority Communities’ Frame of Reference for Vitality 

Signs of vitality in official-language minority communities Examples of questions that could help you identify the situation
Demographic and demolinguistic renewal through natural population growth, immigration, and language retention and transmission.
  • Is the minority community able to pass its language on from generation to generation (intergenerational transmission/linguistic continuity)?
  • Do bilingualism rates in the majority and minority communities encourage inter-group communication?
  • Is minority-language transmission an issue for families formed through minority-majority parental relationships?
  • To what extent do migratory factors (interprovincial migration, rural exodus, immigration) have an impact on a population’s size and relative predominance?
Individuals who have a sense of belonging in the linguistic community, who have linguistic aspirations and relevant practices.
  • Do people identify with their minority-language community?
  • Is there support for minority-language community associations and events? Do people invest time and money?
  • What is the perceived importance of being able to use the minority-language in day-to-day life?
  • Do those who are right holders have access to minority-language educational institutions?
  • Are younger children enrolled in minority-language daycares?
A collective leadership and an ability to mobilize its population and community organizations.
  • Have minority-language communities mobilized themselves in target sectors and in support of strategic institutions that represent the best opportunities for strengthening community vitality?
  • Are there cooperation mechanisms in place that promote exchange and dialogue within the communities? With governments?
An environment that offers…
  • Do the minority communities have adequate access to early childhood services, elementary and secondary schools?
  • Are there strategies for recruiting, integrating and/or retaining students in the school system up to the end of high school?
  • Is the school environment culturally enriched? At both the educational and extracurricular levels?
  • Do the programs in place enable students to attain a performance level comparable to that of the majority?
  • Are efforts made to improve access to minority-language postsecondary programs?
  • Are there strategies to promote enrolment and retention of right holders?
Minority-language education
Cultural and leisure activities
  • Is there a sustained level of consumption of minority-language cultural products?
  • Are there cultural networks that give access to resources for arts and culture creation, production, distribution and learning?
  • Are there symbols, media and festivals designed to promote the linguistic community’s cultural identity?
  • Are the minority communities’ cultural products accessible throughout Canada?
Existence of institutions and active offer of services
  • To what extent are services in various sectors, such as health, social services, employment, etc., accessible in the minority language?
  • Are the services offered nearby?
  • Are services provided by public administrations improving or declining relative to practices in the past (short and medium term)?
  • Are there community centres, libraries, movie theatres, cultural centres, retirement homes, etc. for minority-language community members? If so, what is their level of use?
Minority language visibility
  • Is the minority-language visible in the public space?
  • Are there media (radio, television, newspapers, Internet sites) that reflect the reality of the linguistic minority?
  • Are efforts being made to expand and strengthen the linguistic environment by forming solid partnerships between minority-language institutions, family and the community?
  • Are the minority communities using their “virtual space”?
Economic and social integration
  • How economically vulnerable are the members of minority communities relative to the majority?
  • Are there barriers to employment that can be attributed to language? Are there sectors or types of jobs that are particularly affected?
  • Is the minority-language community well represented in public sector employment?
  • Do immigrants integrate into linguistic minority communities and under what conditions? Are there strategies and welcome services in place for the integration of immigrants and newcomers.
Relationships with the majority that lead to…
  • Does the majority-community acknowledge the minority communities’ needs?
  • What is the rate of bilingualism among the majority? (Shows openness to the other language, better services for the minority, better quality of interaction with the minority)
  • Are institutions where the majority language is predominant able to provide support for minority community users?
  • Have the minority communities established relations with the majority’s various networks?
  • Have interests common to both the minority communities and its majority been identified and links established?
Support from the majority and dialogue/ cooperation between the two language groups
Recognition and respect for language rights
  • Are the minority communities legally and/or politically recognized? Does the recognition apply to all of the sectors and activities necessary for community vitality?
  • Are there information programs for this purpose?
Influence and power in public institutions
  • Have minority communities developed a strategy for cooperation with the various levels of government? Have the various levels of government been receptive?
  • Are there minority community members represented within public and para-public institutions?
The ability to be part of a broader linguistic environment
  • Are there any common regional or Canada-wide issues? Are there any networks with a mandate to work on these issues?
  • Are there any unifying events linking the two linguistic communities?
  • Are there any regional or national media or means of communication that facilitate dialogue?
  • Have minority Francophone communities and French-speaking Quebec developed partnerships?
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