Infographic: What Canadians think about learning English and French

Infographic on what Canadians think about learning English and French descriptive text below

Text version: What Canadians think about learning English and French

8 in 10 Canadians agree that more needs to be done so that young people can become bilingual.
Region Bilingualism for all of Canada
British Columbia 82%
Alberta 82%
Prairies 80%
Ontario 80%
Quebec 93%
Atlantic 86%

In general, both bilingual and unilingual Canadians support these statements:

  • “English and French should be taught in all elementary schools across Canada.”
    • Bilingual: 94%
    • Unilingual: 86%
  • “Provincial governments should make more spaces available in immersion programs.”
    • Bilingual: 83%
    • Unilingual: 73%

Among Canadians who can speak their second official language:

  • 70% learned the language in elementary or high school
    • Including 79% of those who have English as their first official language
    • Including 57% of those who have French as their first official language
  • 56% learned the language outside of the classroom
    • Including 45% of those who have English as their first official language
    • Including 73% of those who have French as their first official language

Those who learned outside the classroom did so by:

  • Socializing with friends;
  • Watching TV, movies;
  • Using it at work;
  • Taking private lessons;
  • Using at home with family

Most common barrier to learning second official language: Access

Of those who are not fluently bilingual, 1/3 said that a lack of access to language courses had prevented them from learning or becoming fluent in their second official language.

Survey conducted by Nielsen for the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in February and March, 2016. The telephone survey results have a margin of error at the national level of +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Date modified:
2019-02-13