Welcome, northern summer!

From all of us at the BILD blog and the J-BILD journal

Summer has been a long time coming in this part of the world—but large parts of Canada are finally green again.

Our regular bloggers at BILD/LIDA and all of us who work on our J-BILD journal will be taking some time off. We encourage our readers to do the same.

Regular posts will start again along with September and school. Please come back then!

In the meantime, check out our most recent J-BILD issue here—it’s going live as we write this.

Also, over the next three months, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.com/bildlida, as we continue to share thought-provoking posts from our archives and from various articles we discover. Jump in and comment on our content or our likeability any time.

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The problematic paradoxes of white race scholars (by Scott Stillar)

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

Scott Stillar, our guest blogger this week, is a PhD candidate in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His doctoral thesis will discuss the role of raciolingustic ideologies in the reproduction of globalized white supremacy via English language standardization in post-secondary ESL contexts. His other recent work includes analyses of the reproduction of racist ideologies within online gaming communities and the demarcation of white public space via geosemiotic discourses.

Echoing the sentiments of James Weldon Johnson (1912), there are few things I am more certain of than the fact that People of Color understand whiteness better than white people. Considering this, difficult questions arise regarding the role of whites and the performance of scholarship on race. Are white race scholars even necessary? What can they actually contribute that hasn’t already been said? As a white male whose scholarship focuses on intersections of race and language, I genuinely struggle with these questions. What I can say with a degree of certainty, however, is that race scholarship performed by whites has several inherently problematic paradoxes.

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The emotional load of multilingual parenting (by Dr Sabine Little)

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

Sabine Little, our guest blogger this week, works and researches at the University of Sheffield, UK. She can be contacted at s.little@sheffield.ac.uk, Twitter @sabinelittle.

In my research, I work with multilingual families, exploring emotional and pragmatic attachments to heritage languages (Little, 2017), and heritage language maintenance, in general. My conversations with families are often tinged with exhaustion and guilt – parents worry that they are not doing enough to maintain the heritage language, that they don’t have access to the right resources, or that they are simply doing it “wrong”. I uncovered, like other researchers before me (Okita, 2002; Czubinska, 2017), the emotional load of multilingual parenting. What intrigued me was why some parents felt compelled – despite this emotional load, despite inter-marital arguments, and ongoing fights with their children – to insist on speaking the heritage language to their children, whereas others were happy to adopt a more laid-back approach. At times, I felt a disconnect – our own son, Toby, at age 4 (having just started Reception school in the UK), declared that he would like to ‘take a year out’ of speaking German, while he was learning to read and write in English – and I agreed. I agreed, even when, after that one year, he asked to take another year out, because he didn’t feel confident in reading and writing in English yet. For two years, German all but disappeared from our lives – and I thought it would be gone forever.

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On Be(come)ing a Critical English Language Teacher Researcher: A Personal Reflection (by Jennifer Burton)

We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are” ~ Anaïs Nin

It’s 2019. I am a second-year PhD student. I walk into a graduate course in Methods and Curriculum in TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages). This time I am not the student. I stand at the front of the classroom as the instructor. I say the following:

“Your languages and life experiences are welcome in this space—they all count! You are the experts in your own contexts. I am not here to lecture to you at the front of the classroom or to tell you what you must and must not do. I will present the current research in TESOL, and we will discuss the realities of taking up these concepts in your workspace. This will be a conversation.”

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In the Language of Love, My Mother, My Ghost: One Day We Will Meet (by Andrew Garbisch)

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

Our guest blogger this week, Andrew Garbisch (Jeon, Deok Young), is a graduate student in the Teacher Education and Curriculum program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests focus on adoption, haunting, and identity formation through story-telling and spoken word. He focuses on how Cathartic Language Spaces function in identity development and how they can connect marginalized groups and attend to the silence of negative spaces. He also focuses on what he calls “Indigenous Ways of NOT Knowing” that key in on the situated knowledge adoptees develop through experiences of being too Asian to be White and too White to be Asian (Hoffman & Peña, 2013).


Haunting is the cost of subjugation. It is a constituent element of modern social life. It is neither superstition nor individual psychosis; it is a generalizable social phenomenon of great importance. To study social life one must confront the ghostly aspects of it. This confrontation produces a fundamental change in the way we create knowledge (Tuck, 2013).

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