Welcome to the Linguistic Risk-Taking Initiative. This passport will help you discover new and creative ways of using English. It will be an interesting resource in your language learning journey. This English as a Second Language version is a collaboration of LEARN, SPEAQ, LBPSB, SWLSB, CSSMI and CSDL. 

The Linguistic Risk-Taking Initiative and Passport were originally conceived by Prof. Nikolay Slavkov in collaboration with a team of professors, students and staff members at the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) of the University of Ottawa. For more details or for partnership information, please consult the following web page: https://ccerbal.uottawa.ca/linguistic-risk/

On behalf of the team, I hope you enjoy using English in many authentic situations.

Julie Paré
Pedagogical Consultant and Project Leader, LEARN

Linguistic Risk-Taking

A linguistic risk is an authentic, every-day communication task that some language learners may shy away from and may need special encouragement to engage in. Research has shown that some learners hesitate to take risks and do not always benefit from the extra opportunities to practice their second official language outside of the language classroom.

Real-life communication in a second language is not stress-free. It may involve “risk factors” such as making mistakes, being misunderstood, misunderstanding others, taking on a different identity, changing language use habits, and so on. That is why some learners tend to stay within the comfort zone of their preferred official language when going about their daily business and thus miss out on opportunities to “live” bilingually.

The Linguistic Risk-Taking Initiative intends to encourage you to take various risks that will boost your confidence in your second official language. 

How to Participate

It’s simple and it’s fun: Linguistic Risk-Taking Passports will be handed out in selected ESL classes. Students will undertake various linguistic risks outside of class. 

Rules of Engagement:

Get ready to take some risks! 

- Take as many risks as possible from the list in this passport.  

- Take the risks in any order you wish.

• You do not need to undertake all the risks listed;
• Most risks can be repeated up to three times.
• Each time you take on a risk, circle the corresponding letter to indicate the level of risk-taking: High (H), Medium (M), Low (L), depending on how you felt after you took the risk.

- You are free to use the white pages provided at the end of the passport to propose additional risks.

- Count the risks you have accomplished. Once you have completed at least 20 risks, including those you have taken more than once, give your passport to your teacher.


Contact Us

If you have any questions about the passport, you may get in touch with us at passeport@learnquebec.ca