Teachers unite! A call to reclaim ‘bilingual/multilingual’ (by Lauren Godfrey-Smith)

I was recently teaching an ESL class of intermediate-level adults when the topic of being bilingual/multilingual came up; we’d been listening to a news story about how being bilingual boosts brainpower and decreases the chance of memory problems later in life. When I asked my students if they felt bilingual, I was sorry to see only a few of the two dozen students raise their hands. And yet, when I asked them to tell me whether they used English every day for communicative tasks like doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping and parent-teacher interviews, they all said yes.

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Vive l’Acadie! Sociolinguistic reflections of a « tête carrée » (by Stephen Davis)

We are thrilled to have our first guest blogger, Stephen Davis. He is a student in the Master of Arts in Second Language Education program at McGill University. He has taught in a French immersion program in Saskatoon, SK, and volunteers with non-profit organizations in Canada and internationally. His research interests include multilingual education, French immersion, and language education for newcomers to Canada.
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On (re)claiming my bilingualism (by Lauren Godfrey-Smith)

I’m writing this from my brother’s house in Melbourne, Australia, where outside the window in front of me are the same (or similar) Monet-esque winter skies, red 11421620_10153245919386355_1107122113_ntiled rooves, and native birdsongs that I remember from growing up in Tasmania. When I was a teenager, I left Canada and moved to Australia, and by the time I was in my early twenties, I had a stronger sense of Australian citizenship and identity than I’d ever had about being Canadian. Yet, my persistent Canadian accent and the almost daily question, “Where are you really from?” caused a kind of ‘identity dissonance’: In my heart, I was an Australian with a long family history and strong cultural heritage, but I was marked as a Canadian by the way that I spoke English.
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