LPAQ: Language planning and attitudes in Quebec

Questionnaire survey

Status: completed

The questionnaire is a vital component of the project. It addresses demolinguistic factors as well as language attitudes and self-reported language use. The primary respondents are anglophone Quebecers, but francophone and allophone respondents are also needed.

The initial target of 300 respondents was easily reached once the online questionnaire (now closed) was supplemented by on-street collection: in fact, the number of complete responses is now 648.

Data analysis in the return phase unveiled a number of interesting correlations. While analysis and interpretation are ongoing beyond the project timeframe, the following selection of findings can be highlighted here:

  • Of the 648 complete questionnaires, 578 were retained after elimination of those respondents indicating a length of residence in the province below 10 years.
  • Respondents were assigned to one of the three categories 'anglophone', 'francophone', and 'allophone'. This was done based on their own language ranking, on their self-assessed proficiency ratings, and on the language in which they took the questionnaire. This resulted in 355 anglophone respondents, 168 francophones, and 55 allophones.
  • Younger respondents (18–44) were more likely to be multilingual, with older age groups (45+) more likely to be bilingual.
  • After French and English, the languages used by the sample are, in decreasing order of users, Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, and 49 others.
  • Language profiles include English-French bilingualism (13%), French-English bilingualism (5%), repertoires beginning with French-English-Spanish (5%) and English-French-Spanish (4%), as well as 3% beginning with English-French-Italian. The remaining 70% are variations thereof or including other languages.
  • In attitudinal responses, the statement 'Bill 101 was necessary' shows higher levels of agreement among francophones than among anglophones.
  • Gender plays a negligible role in attitudinal responses, unlike age, which correlates more or less strongly with many of the statements about language policies.
  • Attitudinal statements sometimes correlate with self-declared proficiency in the 'other' language: for the statement 'I think carefully about which lan- guage to use when first speaking to someone I don’t know', francophones tend to agree more when they (say that they) have a high proficiency in English, and vice-versa for the allophones.