Language selection


From Linguistic lnsecurity to Linguistic Resilience (FON4-J03)


This job aid includes exploratory questions designed to promote reflection, initiate constructive conversations, and provide encouragement on the journey towards linguistic resilience.

Published: June 6, 2022
Type: Job aid

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From Linguistic lnsecurity to Linguistic Resilience

This job aid includes exploratory questions designed to promote reflection, initiate constructive conversations, and provide encouragement on the journey towards linguistic resilience.

What is it?

Linguistic resilience is the ability to adapt to stressful situations involving the use of a second language and bouncing back afterwards.

This ability contributes to self-confidence and risk taking. Everyone can strengthen their linguistic resilience.

Why is it important?

Linguistic insecurity manifests itself as a feeling of uneasiness, anxiety or fear and can hamper or even block the use of a language.

Linguistic resilience gives you the ability to overcome this insecurity by viewing errors as learning opportunities.

How does it work?

The pillars of linguistic resilience:

  • self-awareness
  • ability to be vulnerable
  • optimism
  • self-regulation
  • strength of character

Reflecting on your own experiences with the help of the exploratory questions gives you an opportunity to learn and develop these pillars.

Developing linguistic resilience by changing perspectives

Am l experiencing linguistic insecurity?


lf you ever experience any of the situations listed below, this tool is for you.

  1. l experience linguistic insecurity when...
    • l don't dare take risks because l don't know how to express myself properly.
    • l don't dare speak because l feel judged.
    • I am convinced I will never become fully proficient in my second official language.
    • My perfectionist nature and anxiety don't allow me to make mistakes.
    • l am more concerned with proving rather than improving my linguistic performance.
    • Anything else?
  2. Faced with the challenge of expressing myself in my second official language, l adopt a resilient attitude when...
    • l name my linguistic challenge and say that l'm still perfecting my second official language.
    • l demonstrate leadership by daring to be vulnerable.
    • l am patient with myself and give myself time.
    • l trust myself: by taking risks, l am progressing to a level of comfort.
    • l try to ignore my inner negative language by overcoming my linguistic insecurity.
    • Anything else?

Exploratory Questions – Points to ponder and discuss


  • What linguistic insecurity challenges have you faced?
  • What have you learned from your best failures?
  • To what extent do you see the positive in your failures?
  • How comfortable are you with the unknown?
  • What have your experiences taught you about your level of linguistic resilience?


  • Why talk about linguistic resilience?
  • What steps do you take to calm yourself when you are stressed?
  • What support mechanisms do you use to encourage others to take risks?
  • To what extent are you willing to be vulnerable when you are experiencing linguistic insecurity?
  • How do you help create linguistic security?


  • What new daily habit could help you strengthen your linguistic resilience?
  • On what challenge would you like to focus your efforts starting today? What approach could help you?
  • How will you radiate your linguistic resilience on a day-to-day basis?
  • What can you do to promote a culture of linguistic resilience in your team?
  • How can you celebrate your successes and those of your organization?

Proposed Model

Strengthening and maintaining linguistic resilience is an ongoing process that stems from a personal choice. Individuals who are mindful of both individual and collective linguistic resilience will see a positive impact on wellness, engagement and culture with respect to linguistic duality in the organization.

  1. Self-Awareness
    Objectively observe your physiological behaviour and pay attention to your thoughts and emotions.
  2. Vulnerability
    Be open to risks, emotions, and uncertainty.
  3. Optimism
    See the positive side of things.
  4. Self-Regulation
    Shape your thoughts, emotions and behaviours according to the results you want to achieve.
  5. Strength of Character
    Make a commitment to being authentic, living according to your values, and overcoming challenges using your strengths and resources.
  6. What else would you add?

This job aid was developed by the Canada School of Public Service in partnership with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

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