Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

September 12, 2013 10:00 ET

Graham Fraser Calls for Increased Accountability of Language Training Reporting in the Federal Public Service

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 12, 2013) - Federal institutions need to do a better job of reporting on their language training activities, expenditures and results, says a study (http://www.ocol-clo.gc.ca/html/stu_etu_092013_e.php) released today by Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser.

"Since the decentralization of language training responsibilities in 2006, we no longer have access to data that allow us to draw comparisons and evaluate the efficacy of language training in the public service," said Mr. Fraser.

The study noted the importance of employee motivation in second-language learning and maintenance, and the key role of public service managers to lead by example and use both languages regularly.

"Language training is no longer about training employees without second-language skills so they become fully bilingual public servants," explained Mr. Fraser. "Language training should be geared more towards supporting employees who want to reasonably upgrade their skills and who also show an interest in improving their language skills on their own."

Beyond ensuring employees have adequate access to language training opportunities, institutions can create opportunities to help employees build and maintain their second language skills. The Commissioner is presenting a new on-line interactive tool (http://www.ocol-clo.gc.ca/tool_outil/index_e.html) for language training to provide information and guidance to public servants.

"Institutions across the public service are implementing many creative strategies to make their work environments places where both official languages can thrive," the Commissioner said. "I invite public servants at all levels to explore the tool and make use of these effective practices for language training and maintenance."

Contact Information

  • or to schedule an interview with the Commissioner,
    Nelson Kalil, Manager, Strategic Communications
    and Media Relations
    613-995-0374 / Toll-free: 1-877-996-6368
    Cellular: 613-324-0999
    nelson.kalil@ocol-clo.gc.ca