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Research Domain: Group Two - Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Title of Project: Immigrant and Aboriginal First Languages as Prior Learning Qualifications for Formal Employment in Business, Government and Education Sectors

Start Date: April 1, 1997
Principal Investigator: Dr. David Corson (OISE/UT)
Student Researcher: Michelle Goldberg (OISE/UT)

This research examines the degree of recognition among Canadian employers for informally acquired first languages that are not official languages of the country. It summarizes the results of a survey sent to 78 organizations across Ontario and reveals that while nearly all organizations (88.6%) stated they would benefit from employing multilingual employees, only 30.4% actually actively recruit these multilingual employees. The secondary aim of the project attempts to determine if organizations distinguish between language skills that were acquired formally and those acquired informally. The data reveals that educational institutions recognize formal qualifications more. In sum, this paper attempts to promote awareness among employers and higher education agencies of the need to see informally acquired first languages as qualifications in their own right that deserve recognition in some way where they are relevant.


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