“Who am I?”: My Finding Amy Project (by Eun-Ji Amy Kim)

Our guest blogger this week is Eun-Ji Amy Kim, a PhD candidate in DISE at McGill University. Her current research interests include Indigenous science education and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics education). In her free time, she likes to bake cookies and hang out with friends at parks. She is interested in how languages and cultures of a place influence her identities. She is in the process of conducting her personal life-long project, Finding Amy.
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Montréal: A Mélange of Peoples, Selves, and “–Phones” (by Mehdi Babaei)

Educator and well-known author Stephen R. Covey once said, “strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” As a newcomer, my life in Montréal has been full of experiences of learning about differences. These experiences ranged from learning about Montréal’s ethnic and cultural communities (peoples), to the issues related to their identities (selves) and their languages (-phones). I was intrigued by all these experiences as an Allophone – a term often used in Québec to describe someone whose mother tongue is neither English nor French (a linguistic category not even mentioned in the Anglophone/Francophone dominant conversations in the previous posts!). My experiences have made it clear to me that “Anglophone” and “Francophone” are not what Montréal is all about, as the terms may seem to erase all other languages by not naming them and lumping them all in with “Allophone.” Montréal is an exemplar of peaceful symbiosis of richly varied communities, having multiple layers of languages, ethnicities, and religions (with more than 120 cultural communities and 150 different languages spoken). Therefore, diversity and multiculturalism may no longer be the best terms to describe the ever-changing nature of the city. This is, notably, of vital importance to policy makers, who still consider these communities through their own traditional lens. Continue reading