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Immigrants need help learning Canada’s ‘secret rules’, researchers say

posted Jul 8, 2012, 4:41 PM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Jul 8, 2012, 4:41 PM ]
By Louisa Taylor, The Ottawa Citizen May 31, 2012

OTTAWA — Immigrants need help learning not just Canada’s two official languages, but also the “secret rules” of Canadian life in order to fit into their new home, according to the authors of a report released Thursday.

The ability to speak and read English or French is viewed as key to the economic success of newcomers, and the federal government is implementing mandatory language testing for immigrants in their country of origin and increasing the level of proficiency required. But in their report for the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Tracey Derwing and Erin Waugh looked at the role of language and cultural practices in how immigrants develop friendships, join social organizations and build networks within the mainstream.