Ensuring Full Literacy team publishes report with the RSC: Impact of COVID-19 on Language and Literacy


Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives and well-being of individuals and communities all over the world. Members of the Ensuring Full Literacy in a Multicultural and Digital World team have contributed to the Royal Society of Canada’s (RSC) Task Force on COVID-19, chaired by Dr. Tom Marrie, FRSC. The aim of the Task Force is to equip Canadians with accurate information about our response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Janet F. Werker, Canada Research Chair and professor of psychology at UBC, chaired the Working Group on Language and Literacy, who authored 17 Op-Ed pieces published in the Globe and Mail. The group has now produced the RSC Report Impact of COVID-19 on Language and Literacy in Canada.

“Celebrating bilingualism, multilingualism, and the Indigenous languages around us generates pride and ensures better learning. All these actions help to ensure optimal language and literacy development—even during a pandemic—at a time when daycare and schooling have been profoundly disrupted for so many, and inequitably so.”

Dr Janet F. Werker

The report, published in English and French, explores the impact of the pandemic on various aspects of language and literacy development. Recommendations for supporting the language and literacy development of our population—aimed at caregivers and communities, educators, researchers and community organizations and policy makers—are given throughout the report.

The report covers a wide variety of issues including language and literacy development, multilingualism, challenges to language and literacy brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and language use during the pandemic. 

Read the full report on the RSC website.