The Colour of Empathy (by Jacqueline Peters)

Jacqueline Peters received an Honours BA in Linguistics from Concordia University, a MA in Linguistics from the University of Toronto and is a Doctoral Candidate in Linguistics at York University. Her doctoral dissertation, “Feeling Heard”: The Discourse of Empathy in Medical Interactions, is a qualitative study on Empathy in Medical Interactions. Jacqueline’s research has been funded by a Master’s SSHRC and a Doctoral SSHRC.

Her publications are “Black English in Toronto”: A New Dialect? (Co-authored with Laura Baxter) Conference Proceedings of Methods in Dialectology 14. 201, and ““(Be)coming Jamaican”: (Re)Constructing an Ethno-Cultural Identity.” In Identity through a Language Lens. Kamila Ciepiela (ed). Lodz Studies in Language (23). Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien: Peter Lang Publishing House. 2011. Pgs.109-118.

Jacqueline has previously examined identity construction of non-European immigrants living in Montreal and young people of Caribbean descent in Toronto, and has presented her work at numerous international linguistic conferences on linguistic variation, ethnic identity, and medical interaction. Her research interests include empathy, ethnic identity. intercultural communication, narrative analysis and discourse analysis.

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Wait! Don’t close that door just yet…. (by Eowyn Crisfield)

Our guest blogger this week, Eowyn Crisfield, lives in The Hague, in the Netherlands, but is originally from northern Alberta. She found her passion for Applied Linguistics at Concordia (BA TESL 1997, MA APLI 2005). She is now an educational consultant, working specifically in the area of languages in education. Her focus is to provide a bridge between research on language acquisition and teaching and practical applications in schools, communities, and families. Her work with schools is linked to developing curricula and pedagogy that responds better to the needs of language learners in schools. She also works with families on family language planning. Eowyn is co-author of the recent book Cultural and Linguistic Innovation in Schools: The Languages Challenge (Palgrave Macmillan 2018) and can be found fighting the good fight for linguistic equality on Twitter at @4bilingualism.

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La langue des signes pour bébés : outil communicatif ou appropriation culturelle? (by Dr. Catherine Levasseur)

En tant que parent, il n’y a rien de plus satisfaisant que de pouvoir comprendre ce que veut nous communiquer notre bambin ! Dès les premiers jours de vie de nos adorables rejetons, nous tâchons de décoder cris et pleurs en nous disant : si seulement tu pouvais le dire avec des mots ! Or, les mots, ça ne vient jamais aussi vite qu’on le souhaiterait et la communication parents-bébés est parfois empreinte de frustrations partagées.

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Growing older in the ebb and flow of languages (by Dr. Mela Sarkar)

Turning sixty marks a milestone for many of us. It certainly did for me, not long ago, happening as it did in the home of a close family friend who herself turned 92 earlier this year. I am on a team of friends who are conspiring to help her stay in the home she has lived in, deep in the Ontario countryside, for over fifty years. It’s a bit complicated, but well worth the effort.

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She, He, They – Elle, Il, Iel, Ille (by Kathleen Green)

I’ve been familiar with gender-neutral pronouns in English for some time now. The most popular one – which has now gone mainstream and become recognized in dictionaries – is singular they. It was the American Dialect Society’s word of the year in 2015. “They” is not the only gender-neutral pronoun in usage in English, but it’s the one that has gained popular acceptance and I’m glad that one finally caught on.

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