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Home » York Research Chair in Linguistic Diversity and Community Vitality

York Research Chair in Linguistic Diversity and Community Vitality

Language loss, community vitality and Canadian non-official language education policies 

The Language loss, community vitality and Canadian non-official language education policies project examines how Canadian non-official language education policy is linked to non-official language loss and how communities are working to maintain community vitality in the face of this loss.  

The Chair brings a critical race and white settler colonial theoretical lens to examine legislation, policies, reports, oral histories, and community resources related to language, immigration and Indigenous communities. Some questions of interest include: 

  • How does non-official status make an impact on non-official language communities? 
  • How do non-official language communities narrate and negotiate the importance of their languages for community vitality? 
  • What is the role of various types of media in the maintenance, revitalization and reclamation of non-official languages? 
  • What are the impacts of non-official language and education policies on community goals for language revitalization?    

Canada is an incredibly linguistically diverse society, with more than 200 ‘other’ languages reported in 2021 (Statistics Canada, 2024) and over 70 Indigenous languages (Statistics Canada, 2022). Since the passage of the Official Languages Act in 1969, Canada has had two official languages, English and French. However, the designation of Canada as officially bilingual also meant the relegation of all other languages in Canada to non-official status - as either ‘immigrant’ or as ‘Aboriginal’ languages. Even with the recent passage of the Indigenous Languages Act in 2019, Indigenous languages remain designated as non-official by the federal government.  

Non-official languages are disappearing at an alarming rate across Canada. For immigrant communities, this means intergenerational and most often unidirectional language shift into the official languages and for Indigenous language speakers, it is also the loss of mother-tongue speakers (Anderson, 2018; Chavez, 2019); These circumstances represent a growing threat to the future viability of non-official languages, one that will impact diverse community identity, vitality, and survival.  

There is an urgent need for research that will explore the factors that contribute to languages loss and trace their impact on non-official language communities. The goal of this research is to inform better community-oriented policy development, implementation and best practices, and contribute to the body of knowledge on language education policy research on non-official languages in Canada. 

Professor Eve Haque is the York Research Chair in Linguistic Diversity and Community Vitality at York University (Canada). She is also co-editor for the TOPIA: A Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies.  

Her research and teaching interests include multiculturalism, white settler colonialism and language policy, with a focus on the regulation and representation of racialized im/migrants in white settler societies. 

Her current research projects are centred on non-official languages, heritage language education policies, and the harms of language in academic freedom.  

She has published widely on these topics and is also the author of Multiculturalism within a Bilingual Framework: Language, Race and Belonging in Canada published with University of Toronto Press. 


Haque, E. (2012). Multiculturalism within a Bilingual Framework: Language, Race and Belonging in Canada.Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 

Journal Articles  

Haque, E. (2022). Memorializing Aqsa Parvez: Public feelings and secular multiculturalism. Islamophobia Studies Journal, 7(2), 273-298. 

Haque, E. (2021). Forced (Im)mobilities at the nexus of race and language in pandemic times. Modern Language Journal. 105(2), 582-590.   

Haque, E. (2020). States of Emergency and the Muselmann in Long-Term Care Homes. Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. Issue 41, 132-140. 

Acker, S. & Haque, E. (2017).  Left out in the academic field: Doctoral graduates deal with a decade of disappearing jobs. Canadian Journal of Higher Education. 47(3), 81-99. 

Haque, E. (2017). Neoliberal governmentality and Canadian immigrant language training policies. Globalisation, Societies and Education. 15(1), 96-113. 

Haque, E. (2016).  In the Name of the National Multicultural Family: The Documentation of Honour Killings and the Pedagogy of Pain. Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. Issue 36, 79-97. 

Haque, E. (2016).  The Singular Freedom of Academic Freedom. Journal of Historical Sociology. 29(1), 112-125. (March 24, 2016) DOI: 10.1111/johs.12120 

Haque, E. & Patrick, D. (2015). Indigenous languages and racial hierarchisation of language policy in Canada. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 36(1), 27-41. 

Haque, E. (2010).  Homegrown, Muslim and Other: Tolerance, secularism and the limits of multiculturalism.  Social Identities, 16(1), 79-101.   

Chapters in Edited collections 

Haque, E. (2019).  A Foucauldian Approach to Language Policy in Canada.  In, T. Ricento (Ed.), Language Politics and Policies: Perspectives from Canada and the United States, pp.234-245. Cambridge: CUP.        

Haque, E. (2018).  Language, Race and the Impossibility of Multiculturalism.  In, T. Das     Gupta, C.E. James, C. Andersen, G.E. Galabuzi & R. Maaka (Eds.), Race and Racialization: Essential      Readings (2nd Edition), pp. 259-274. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press.       

Haque, E. & Valeo, A. (2017).  Teaching and assessment with the CLB: Teacher experiences and perspectives. In, M. Jezak (Ed.), Language is the Key: The Canadian Language Benchmarks Model, pp. 55-70. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. 

Acker, S., Haque, E., & Webber, M. (2016). The two faces of flexibility—careers and jobs in contemporary academe.  In, G. Wisker, L. Marshall, S. Greener & J. Canning (eds.), Flexible Futures, pp. 51-60. Falmer: University of Brighton Press. 

Haque, E. (2014). Multiculturalism, Language and Immigrant Integration. In, Jack Jedwab (Ed.), Debating Multiculturalism in Canada, pp. 203-223.  Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. 

Haque, E. (2014). Language training and labour market integration for newcomers to Canada. In, Leah Vosko, Valerie Preston & Robert Latham, (Eds.), Liberating temporariness? Migration, Work, and Citizenship in an Age of Insecurity, pp. 201-217.  Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.  

Haque, E. (2010).  Canadian federal policies on language, bilingualism, multiculturalism and immigrant language training: Comparisons and interaction.  In, M. A. Morris (Ed.), Canadian Language Policies in Comparative Perspective, pp. 267-296.  Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.   

Toronto Voices: Language and Identity at The Spot  

Saturday May 4, 2024 

Dr. Eve Haque, York Research Chair in Linguistic Diversity and Community Vitality sponsored the exhibit “Toronto Voices: Language and Identity at The Spot” hosted by The Canadian Language Museum. The exhibit is the culmination of a 12-week program for youth to discuss what language means to young people and to celebrate the linguistic diversity of the Jane-Finch community. 

Read more here.

Mandy Lau  

Mandy Lau is a PhD candidate in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at York University. She is broadly interested in language policy and language ideology within digital culture and AI. Her dissertation explores content moderation policies and hate speech on social media. 

HaEun Kim 

HaEun Kim is a PhD student in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at York University. Her research interests include language and literacy teaching/learning, refugee education, language policy and ideology in the context of education in emergencies.