A living COCo document, this info-sheet introduces a few practices that have been used to create and maintain a safe and supportive environment for multiple language-use, practice and learning within Quebec community groups and organizations. It also names some challenges faced by Quebec community groups and organizations within the context of language practices.
The practices outlined in this document should be understood as a point of departure from which to innovate; the diverse scales and demographic make-up of our groups and organizations do not allow for any one-size-fits-all recommendations. We hope that groups/organizations will be able to use the sample questions and examples to initiate or continue their own discussions about their language priorities and practices.
Context in Quebec
Organizations’ internal language practices is a complex topic, since language is used constantly within organizations in multiple ways, between multiple people and for multiple purposes. We recognize that people who speak the dominant language do not have to think about language every day, or even very often, whereas people who speak non-dominant languages have to think about it all the time as part of their everyday lives. We also recognize that language is a powerful site for both conflict and collaboration in Quebec. Language practices and politics are inextricably linked to issues of race, class, gender, and other sites of power relations, particularly in Quebec. Although this project focuses specically on language, we must always keep these complexities and intersections in mind.