Languages Educational Package

Why does it matter what language we speak? Or whether anyone else speaks our language?

Fifty years ago, Canada became officially bilingual, partly because the two languages have not always been treated equally.

French was used much more widely in western Canada until it was flooded out by English-speaking settlers — what’s known as the Manitoba schools question was one of the big reasons why.

Of course, before the first speakers of French and English arrived in our country, there were many Indigenous languages being used all over.

There are lots of words that come from First Nations or Inuit languages that everyone in Canada knows.

But that doesn’t mean we all understand each other — imagine what aliens would think if they came to our country and heard how differently we speak, depending on where we live.

There’s lots to talk about and read about in the December issue of Kayak!

Our Thanks

We are grateful to the Department of Canadian Heritage for their support of this educational initiative.


Speaking Like a Canadian and Identity

In this lesson, students will use the historical thinking concepts to analyze the ways in which Canada’s identity developed through language, culture, and the growth of immigrant communities.

Learning Basic Cree Conversation

This lesson will introduce students to the basic sounds of the Cree language (Y dialect). Students will compare and contrast the Cree letters of the alphabet to the letters of the English alphabet.


Determining Significance in Canada’s Bilingual Story

Using this activity, students will rank the importance of different moments in Canada’s story of bilingualism to explore how historical significance is established and how it varies.

Picture This

We have so many great words that you won’t hear outside of Canada. Even better, many of those words are the same in French and English.