Canada-Wide Analysis of Official Language Training Needs in the Area of Justice
Training is an essential component of the institutionally bilingual court. This study confirms beyond a doubt the relevance of a joint initiative to promote the learning of legal terminology in both official languages. This is all the more true as sociodemographic data confirm the existence of a sizeable pool of justice stakeholders with a basic knowledge of both official languages. Without proper training,these stakeholders will be unable to advance from a basic knowledge of the official languages to the ability to function in both languages in their work environment.
This study confirms that often the basic training offered to justice stakeholders improves their command of bilingual legal vocabulary only incidentally. In some cases, these programs of study could be improved to enable students to improve their bilingual proficiency in legal vocabulary. In other cases, it is doubtful that basic training can address the problem: on-the-job training should then be the preferred course of action.
On-the-job training activities are already in place, but access is too limited. The new federal training investment should broaden access to initiatives that have already proven successful. And new tools should be developed and made widely accessible.
The strategy used to meet training needs should include both intensive training and regular training activities. There is no choosing between the two, since the success of one determines the success of the other.
New training tools are also needed that enable stakeholders to maintain a direct, continuous link to legal terminology in both official languages. There is virtually no learning format that stakeholders can access to improve, at their own pace, their command of legal vocabulary in both official languages.
All stakeholders are asked to consider the strategies proposed in this report. The purpose of this study is not to dictate or impose specific initiatives, but rather to provide a frame of reference based on the training needs as perceived by justice stakeholders. The collaboration of stakeholders will therefore be essential to the success of this initiative.
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