Skills in an official language (English or French) significantly affect the economic integration of Canada’s immigrants, including their employment levels and incomes. Official-language skills also have an impact on how well immigrants integrate socially in their workplaces and communities. In this study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Tracey Derwing and Erin Waugh examine the relationship between officiallanguage knowledge and the social integration of adult immigrants to Canada.
The authors review a range of research findings, including those from a recent Citizenship and Immigration Canada study of the English-language proficiency levels of 3,827 immigrants, whose speaking and listening skills were assessed at the time of their citizenship test (the average time spent in Canada at the time of testing was six years). One notable finding was the low scores of Mandarin and Cantonese speakers, the majority of whom had entered the country through the independent immigration class.