Every time I went into the kitchen they would start talking in Italian at double speed. My fiancée was raised by his aunts; I really needed to know what they were saying.
Vancouver, British Columbia (PRWEB) July 23, 2009
"His aunties were driving me crazy," Christine Li said. "Every time I went into the kitchen they would start talking in Italian at double speed. My fiancée was raised by his aunts; I really needed to know what they were saying."
Christine signed up for a conversation class in Italian through the Modern Languages program at International House, Vancouver. "Christine's story is not that unusual," says Cameron Prior, the Director of Operations for IH Vancouver Modern Languages.
"In fact one of the top reasons for learning a new language has to do with family. And immigrant families need no convincing about the value of learning a second language."
Mixed marriages are increasing and Statistics Canada data supports this trend, there was a 33% increase in mixed unions from the 2001 census to the 2006 census. Multi-cultural Vancouver leads the country in these types of unions.
"We think it has to do with the type of immigrants that Vancouver and British Columbia has attracted over the last twenty years," says Prior. "Since Expo 86 and also due in part to the success of the Provincial Nominees Program, Vancouver has been a destination of choice for new immigrants. These entrepreneurial immigrants tend to be better educated, and there is a correlation between higher levels of education and mixed marriages."
International House Vancouver - Modern Languages is a leader in second language learning. In addition to its extensive English as a Second Language programs, and a very successful Japanese immersion program for children, the Modern Languages program offers courses in several languages such as French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Italian, German and Portuguese.
Christine's story has a happy twist, her fiancée, Roberto, has also signed up for a second language class at International House Vancouver, he is learning Mandarin. He wants to know what Christine's grandmother is up to in her kitchen.