Active Members



Alison Crump completed her PhD in Educational Studies in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University in 2014.  Her research interests include sociolinguistics, language policy, multilingualism, identity theory, critical race theory, language socialization, and qualitative inquiry.  She did her doctoral research with multilingual Japanese-Canadian preschoolers in Montreal, focusing on their understandings and experiences of growing up multilingual.  She developed a theoretical framework, LangCrit (Critical Language and Race Theory), to explore intersections of linguistic and racial identity and how children negotiate their identities and position themselves through language in different social and language policy contexts.  She also articulated a methodology for generating data with young children.  Her work has been published in Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, LEARNing Landscapes, Journal of Language Teaching and Learning, and Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Her publications can be found here: She is currently the Senior Managing Editor of J-BILD, the Journal of Belonging, Identity, Language, and Diversity.

Read the archive of Alison’s BILD musings here!



April_Passi_PhotoForBild.jpgApril Passi is PhD student in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. She completed her MA in Second Language Education in the same department in 2015 and has worked as a research assistant for two different projects related to Indigenous language revitalization. She also teaches English as a second/subsequent language at a variety of institutions and occasionally works as a substitute teacher in Montreal’s public schools. Teaching gives her plenty of opportunities to observe the interaction between language and identity, and is also a driving force in her doctoral research. April’s doctoral work will explore Indigenous language revitalization and language policy in Canada, language teacher training, and interactions between Eurocentric and Indigenous knowledges and methodologies.  Her research interests include multicultural education, Indigenous methodologies, language ideology, language teaching, and teacher training.

You can read April’s posts for BILD here!



Catherine Levasseur est titulaire d’une maîtrise en anthropologie de l’Université Laval (2002) et d’un doctorat en Sciences humaines appliquées à l’Université de Montréal (2017).

Ses travaux de recherche s’inscrivent à la croisée des champs de la sociolinguistique et de l’éducation. Ils traitent du rapport entre les langues et l’identification en contexte linguistique minoritaire. Sa recherche ethnographique porte plus particulièrement sur les représentations, les discours et les pratiques langagières d’enfants plurilingues issus des programmes de francisation d’une école francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. Les résultats de recherche montrent comment le positionnement de ces élèves par rapport à la communauté imaginée des francophones met en lumière des enjeux plus larges d’inclusion et d’exclusion à l’école.

Catherine Levasseur a aussi comme intérêts de recherche les concepts et théories qui traitent des idéologies langagières, des New Speakers et de la socialisation langagière. Ses recherches qualitatives s’inscrivent dans une démarche critique et appliquée. Elle espère que sa recherche contribuera à l’inclusion des locuteurs plurilingues en contexte scolaire francophone et à leur reconnaissance en tant que membres à part entière de la communauté.

Ses publications sont disponibles ici :



Emmanouela Tisizi is a PhD student in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE) at McGill University. She was born and raised in Greece’s capital, Athens and has always been inspired by Greek language, art and literature. Her academic journey entails studies in the fields of Greek Philology (BA), Modern Languages (MSt) and Education Language (MSc). She was very fortunate, as she had the opportunity to delve into these fields while being admitted in three great universities, namely the University of Athens (Greece), the University of Oxford (UK) and the University of Edinburgh (UK). Each of these institutions and of course the people she met in them affected her research interests, her understandings about research and, largely, her own worldview. She is passionate about studying the ways in which languages and people evolve over time and through social interaction. She has worked as a Greek Literature and an ESL teacher, and is currently working as a research assistant in a study about English-speakers’ identity and representation in Montreal. Her research interests include cultural contexts and learning, intercultural studies and identity theory. Her doctoral work will explore young Greek-Quebeckers’ identities and their rapport to Greek culture and language. Besides teaching, studying and writing, Emmanouela loves traveling, skiing and going to good concerts!



AppleKathleen (Apple) Green is a PhD candidate in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, where her research will focus on the long-term effects of Mandarin language exchange programs. Kathleen began studying Mandarin on an academic exchange to Wenzhou, China in 2005 and has been interested in Mandarin second language education ever since. In 2012, she received a master’s degree in linguistics from Fu Jen University in Xinzhuang, Taiwan. Her master’s thesis focused on the use of pragmatic markers in non-native speech in Mandarin. Kathleen has several years of language teaching experience, including an introductory Mandarin Chinese course at a weekend school established by the Chinese Cultural Association of New Brunswick.

You can read Apple’s posts for BILD here!



Mehdi Babaei is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. His research interests include language and identity, multilingualism, critical sociolinguistics, and TESOL teacher education. He has been actively involved in three areas of teaching, research, and translation over the past few years.  In his doctoral research, Mehdi is interested in exploring how multilingual immigrants with higher education qualifications perceive their language learning experiences in intercultural Québec, how they are invested in learning French and English as an additional language, what barriers they perceive, and how their new identities are constructed and negotiated through their use of multiple languages.



MelaMela Sarkar was born in Calcutta, India, to a transplanted Ukrainian-Canadian farm girl and a Bangladeshi Brahmin who had met as grad students at the University of Manitoba in 1953. They wound up settling in Toronto, where she grew up. Issues of heritage versus dominant languages, plurilingualism/pluriculturalism, and hybrid identities were therefore inevitably woven into the fabric of everyday normal for her. She has never gotten over the frustration of not being able to understand when her parents spoke Ukrainian and Bengali to their friends and relations, and has been trying to one-up them linguistically ever since. Moving to Montreal and raising two French-English bilingual children in a relationship with a pure laine Québécois de souche was one way of trying to deal with that frustration, on a personal level. Professionally, she wandered around, living in Montreal, Paris, Nanjing and Toronto as a student, while on the way to collecting degrees from McGill (B.A. East Asian Studies, 1982) and Concordia (M.A. 1993, Ph.D. 2000). Her training in second language acquisition at Concordia under Patsy Lightbown not only gave her a solid grounding in quantitative methodology (which after her doctoral dissertation she never used again) but also provided a model of unparalleled doctoral supervision that she will be striving to live up to for the rest of her career. Since taking up her current position at McGill’s Department of Integrated Studies in Education in 2001, she has branched out from SLA into sociolinguistic inquiry, with a focus on empowering minority-language speakers through diversification of their communicative repertoires. Mela has researched and published on Bangladeshi and other allophone preschoolers learning French at Maternelle, intercultural policy in Montreal schools (with Shaheen Shariff and Michelle Hartmann), the language of multilingual Montreal Hip-Hop (with Bronwen Low and Lise Winer, on a FQRSC/SSHRC-funded project) and Mi’gmaq teaching at Listuguj First Nation (where her main research partners are McGill Ph.D. student / Listuguj band member Janine Metallic, community-based teacher-researchers Mary Ann Metallic and Janice Vicaire, and Listuguj Director of Education Gail Metallic, as well as four academic co-applicants on a SSHRC Insight grant). Her work has appeared in the Annual Review of Language Acquisition, the Canadian Journal of Native Education, the Canadian Modern Language Review, Diversité Urbaine, Grenzgänge: Beiträge zu einer modernen Romanistik, the International Journal of Multilingualism, the Journal of Language, Identity and Education, the Journal of Sociolinguistics, Kinéphanos, Language Awareness, Language, Culture and Curriculum, and Québec Français, as well as in over a dozen edited volumes or proceedings. Since 1989 she has taught thirty courses at every level from first-year undergrad to advanced doctoral seminars, presented at over fifty conferences and applied for far more grants than she has gotten. She has also worked with 65 M.A. or Ph.D. students in a supervisory or advisory committee capacity and has been immeasurably enriched thereby. In her spare time, when not volunteering on the board of Montreal’s South Asian Women’s Community Centre, she knits for her grandchildren (three at last count). They will be multi- and plurilingual, or she will know the reason why.




Melissa J. Enns is an outdoorsy, travel-loving Saskatchewanaise who is fascinated by all aspects of language, language acquisition, and language teaching. Her interest in language and social contexts was born out of her undergraduate studies in linguistics, Spanish, and several courses in anthropology, although her love of language learning itself was discovered much earlier, precipitated by a three month trip to Mexico.

Melissa’s experience as an undergraduate Spanish tutor and T.A. and later a full time ESL instructor at an academic prep school in Saskatchewan have deepened her interest in applied linguistics and education. In June of 2017, sociolinguistics and applied linguistics came together as she had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop on translanguaging at the TESL Canada national conference in Niagara Falls.

Currently, Melissa is working on her master’s thesis in McGill’s Second Language Education Program. Her research centers on bridging the gap between research and practice through her language education blog, Ramblings of a Linguaphile, where she and her contributors attempt to present theoretical work in second language education in accessible chunks that are (hopefully) of practical value to language teachers in the classroom.
Melissa’s other loves include running, collecting plants, and being artsy.





Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, I moved to Montreal in 2006 in a bid to learn our country’s other official language: French. What started out as linguistic curiosity soon became a journey into understanding second language acquisition.

On the strength of my BA in English literature and a TESL certificate that I had obtained, I started teaching English as a second language in Montreal. I decided that if teaching ESL was going to be my thing, I should, at the very least, try to understand the language background of the majority of my students. I enrolled in a French language certificate at Concordia.

As this certificate was coming to a close, I decided to continue my education and do a TESL graduate diploma to hone my teaching skills. And that’s when it happened.

My proficiency in French had now grown substantially. I understood the many hows and whys of error production among my Francophone students.
In tandem, my skills as an English teacher were growing along with my knowledge of English grammar. I started to understand the reasoning behind my own errors in French production.

The languages, you see, were interacting in my head and the conversations they were having mesmerized me into completing my MA in Applied Linguistics.

I found myself digging deeper and asking more questions about second language acquisition and, in particular, perception–how did the sound of those languages get into my head? And I became drawn to understanding how learners perceive the native and not-so native phones of their target language. I focused this curiosity on what effect this might have on word recognition and grammar for L2 learners.

Now a PhD student in Education, still at Concordia, I am continuing my research in phonology and focusing on how learners perceive and process different dialects and accents of L2 French, in particular those novel to them.

Beyond language, I am a huge fan of punk rock, garage rock, and soul music–if it’s loud and melodic, I’ll scream along! I am also an aspiring horticulturist who likes to write short fiction and prose, and relax in the evenings with a nice, foreign horror film or two.

As I am now belle et bien franglophone, I greatly enjoy hot cuppas with croissants, but not more than the warm hugs from my son and my husband.

Read more on my website:



Sumanthra BILDLIDA photoSumanthra Govender is a PhD candidate in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Her research interests are in identity formation, ethnic affiliation, heritage language education and maintenance, minority language rights and policies, sociolinguistics, and multiculturalism/multilingualism. Sumanthra has a Higher Diploma in Theoretical Linguistics from University College Dublin. Her dissertation focused on the duration of disyllabic words in Tamil. In 2002, Sumanthra graduated from Concordia University with a Master’s of Arts in Applied Linguistics. Her master’s thesis focused on assessing the depth of word knowledge among ESL/EFL learners through multiple word association responses. Sumanthra has been primarily teaching ESL (academic writing) and/or TESL at several universities and colleges in Montreal since 2002. She has also taught in Edmonton, Prague, and Toulouse. In addition, she is also an acting language specialist for the Standards Councils of Canada – ISO working group TC232 – focusing on language learning services in non-formal education and training environments.

Explore Sumanthra’s posts on BILD over here!