Stickiness of language and culture: Identity in the making (by Sunny Man Chu Lau)

Sunny Man Chu Lau is Associate Professor in the School of Education at Bishop’s University in Quebec, Canada. Her interest in and advocacy for critical approaches to second language (L2) learning can be traced back to her English language experience both as a learner and as an educator in Hong Kong. Born and raised in this former British colony, since very young, she came to know and experience the hegemonic power of ESL, “English as a superior language” (Pennycook, 1998), in everyday life and how it impacted learners’ relationship with the language as well as with their life chances. For more about Sunny see our Active Members page.

Affect is an impingement or extrusion of a momentary or sometimes more sustained state of relation as well as the passage (and the duration of passage) of forces or intensities. That is, affect is found in those intensities that pass from body to body (human, nonhuman, part-body, and otherwise), in those resonances that circulate about, between, and sometimes stick to bodies and worlds, and in the very passages or variations between these intensities and resonances themselves. (Seigworth & Gregg, 2010, p. 1).

Seigworth and Gregg (2010) describe how affect is fundamentally visceral and material, circulating between bodies and environment, shaping and shaped by different political, economic, and cultural forces. This material and social view of emotions prompts to ask how one is affected, by one’s experience with language, into action or non-action regarding language learning. Our emotional attachment, the “stickiness” (Ahmed, 2004) of certain language and cultural practices is a “product of history and society” (Busch, 2015). My language portrait attempts to show the bricolage of my experiences, past, present and projective, and how they get attached onto my body:

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Translanguaging for communication and identity (re)building: The story of a 74-year old Brazilian woman in Montreal (by Angelica Galante)

Angelica was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and has both Italian and Spanish heritage. Growing up, she would flexibly use Italian, Spanish and Portuguese in conversations and mixing languages has always been something natural for her. She attended Universidade de São Paulo, Brock University, and completed a PhD in language education at OISE/University of Toronto. Angelica moved to Montreal in 2018, when she accepted a position as assistant professor in Applied Linguistics at Concordia University and became a BILD member . For more about Angelica see our Active Members page.

After decades of research, the field of applied linguistics has finally recognized that languages in fact constantly and actively interact with one another, making it difficult to completely switch off one language while keeping another turned on. Continue reading

Haiti—Where Theory Meets Reality (by Caroline Riches)

Haiti, it seems, is not a common destination, as people express an element of surprise and curiosity when I share that I have visited there. I have the privilege of being part of a project that involves research and professional development work with in-service English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers in Haiti. The story of how I got to be involved with this work in Haiti will have to be told another time, but suffice it to say that it has exposed me to a completely other world. Continue reading

Visiting playgrounds: blurring the boundary between private and public language practices (by Catherine Levasseur)

For a year now, my main weekend outing has been visiting playgrounds – in my Montreal neighborhood, mostly, but also in Toronto, England and Wales. What I find most interesting in playgrounds, aside from the smile it puts on my daughter’s face, are the complex family language choices and practices at play.

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