The immigration of Italians towards Canada began in years the ‘80s and ‘90s. However, there are different reasons for this movement, but the biggest one was the war.These first movements were going to create the first Italian generations in Canada. These generations spoke only their dialects and came to Canada without knowing a word in English. This means, not only they had difficulties to integrate with Canadian society but also with other Italians because of different dialects. Many members of the first generation wanted to settle in Canada, indeed, after the first world war around 46,000 Italians became permanent residents[1]. Since settling down, supporting families, and making a bright future was their primary goal, they focused more on working than on learning English. Moreover, many of them worked in agriculture fields, in mines and steel factories; these works didn’t require a specific specialization at that time, and this is another reason that the first generation didn’t urge to learn English. Therefore, it can be said that the native language is still alive among the first generations. Indeed, still today couples of the first-generation talk to each other in Italian/dialect, furthermore, they communicate in dialect/Italian with their grandchildren too.

The second generation, on the other hand, made a further step in this process, which means they focused more on how to integrate with society and improve their conditions through education. Indeed, in the 1970s many members of the second generation move up in becoming employers, developers, home ownership, and so on[1]. However, this generation can speak either their native language or English. When they are outside, for example, with friends or colleagues, they have to speak English, but when they return home, they have to speak Italian or dialects to communicate with their parents (1st generation). Therefore, they became bilinguals, and they still speak Italian/Dialect when they talk to their parents.

However, the biggest difference between the first and the third generation is that the 3rd generation has not those worries that the 1st generation had such as supporting family and settling down. Therefore, they can focus on education and on other things, which may help them to be more connected with Canadian society. Indeed, the third generation is well integrated with the society. However, in most cases, the third generation speaks only English. The reason is that when they are outside, they have to speak English (as a 2nd generation), but even in the home, they can speak English to communicate with their parents, which was not possible among the second generation.

This shows that in most cases Italian is not spoken at home after the second generation. Now it is interesting to know why the 2nd generation didn’t choose Italian/dialect to communicate with their children and what factors influence the third generation in learning italian. This project also presents a reflection about the future generation, that means if that generation will be in touch or not with their tongue language.

[1] http://www.oxfordreference.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/view/10.1093/acref/9780195415599.001.0001/acref-9780195415599-e-813