Meetings are excellent opportunities to promote a bilingual work setting. Bilingual meetings can take a little longer, but there are no shortcuts to making all participants feel welcome.
When a meeting is held in both English and French, we are more willing to participate, speak with greater ease, and feel respected because our first official language is being used.
To make sure we all have these benefits in Canada’s bilingual regions, here are eight tips for holding bilingual meetings:
- Send an invitation in both English and French.
- Share all material for the meeting in English and French at the same time.
- Host a bilingual meeting even when most participants are unilingual. Ask a bilingual colleague to lead the meeting if you cannot do it yourself. Say “Hello/Bonjour” to begin the meeting.
- Announce at the beginning of the meeting that all participants can use English or French.
- Provide ongoing summaries if needed, and alternate between English and French.
- Invite people to ask questions when needed.
- Treat all ideas equally.
- Ask for feedback on how the bilingual meeting went.
We all win when we work together.
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