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Parent Counselling Service

Calgary: A multilingual society
Calgary draws its strengths from its multilingualism. In fact, immigrants make up over 21% of Calgary’s population, and 49% of new Calgarians speak neither English nor French. While it will be essential for these immigrants and their children to learn English, maintaining the “heritage language” is also very important.

Benefits of bilingualism
Bilingualism is beneficial to children's development. There are a number of benefits of bilingualism including, but not limited to, enhanced reading and mathematical abilities and ease of learning additional languages. However, parents often have questions and doubts about how to raise their children bilingually.

The Parent Counselling Service at the LRC hopes to address such concerns. It also wants to inform the public about the benefits of bilingualism and encourage families, educators, and policy makers as they support children who are developing competence in multiple languages.

Parent counselling service
We offer counselling from a linguistic perspective based on current language research in the fields of:
•    language development of multilingual children of preschool age
•    language separation and language mixing
•    early second language acquisition
•    multilingual education
•    mutilingualism in everyday life

This service is an initiative led by Dr. Jürgen M. Meisel and supported by Dr. Rahat Naqvi. If you have questions, please see these websitesthat contain helpful information. Click here for an excerpt from "Advantage for Life", a video that highlights the benefits of bilingualism in childhood. If you would like to do further reading on issues related to childhood bilingualism, please see the list of recommended books. If you have general questions or any questions about preschool or family bilingualism, please fill out this form, which will be sent to Dr. Jürgen M. Meisel. If you have questions related to schooling and bilingualism, please fill out this form, which will be sent to Dr. Rahat Naqvi.

If you’d like more information on centres that promote multilingualism in Calgary, please refer to the list we have compiled.

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and the Calgary Catholic School District are committed to students having equitable access to quality, sustainable language learning programs and courses. To this end, the CBE provides programs in:
•    French Immersion and French as a Second Language 
•    Spanish Bilingual and Spanish Language and Culture 
•    German Bilingual and German Language and Culture 
•    Chinese (Mandarin) Bilingual Program and Chinese (Mandarin) Language and Culture 
•    Other Language and Cultures
The Calgary Catholic School Board offers programs in French and Spanish. A listing of the Calgary’s immersion and bilingual school offerings can be found here.

This service has been modeled on that offered at the University of Hamburg.


While all reasonable care has been taken in the compilation and publication of the contents of this website, neither the Language Research Centre nor the University of Calgary make any representations or warranties regarding this information.  The information contained in this website provides information for parents of bilingual children only, and any reliance you place on it is strictly at your own risk.

Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of the Language Research Centre or the University of Calgary.  The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation of these sites or endorse the views expressed within them.