I think that at this point in Canadian history, most of us have some awareness of the realities of language shift. Courses in many undergraduate programs discuss the loss of indigenous languages of Canada through the linguistic and cultural repression that occurred in residential schools.
When I was growing up in downtown Toronto in the 1960s, I expect our elementary-school social studies textbooks must have said something or other about the early encounters of white European settlers with Indigenous peoples in Canada, although I don’t actually remember any words or images from the textbooks we were issued at Brown Public School, Jr. Almost certainly, though, the 1967-ish Ontario social studies curriculum referred to “explorers” and “Indians” and did not use words like “invasion” or “exploitation.”
Cristina Baz graduated from McGill University with a B.Ed. and M.A. in Second Language Education. She currently works in translation, language teaching and administration, sometimes escaping with her co-author to work on their new books.
I am the Other. Being the Other is always done to you. It comes as a result of racializing discourses that form part of the West’s colonial legacy, sorting “some people, things, places, and practices into social categories marked as inherently dangerous and Other” (Dick and Wirtz, 2011, p. E2). As such, being an immigrant, especially a visible minority, in a Eurocentric world means that you will always be seen through racialized lenses. In reality, there was nothing fishy about the period and place of my birth or the schools I attended, but the mix and match of random circumstances have yielded quite an interesting “identity crisis starter pack”. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, Lauren Godfrey-Smith wrote about her experience with 3MT. As Lauren describes, getting your PhD dissertation across to a broad audience in only three minutes is no mean feat but the challenge ultimately helps to clarify the content. Distilling a complex document into a small digestible chunk is the best and most viable way to sharing it with an audience beyond our cohort of students and academics. Continue reading
Language policy is part of the air we breathe, here in Quebec. In our BILD blog posts, most of us have taken our musings about how Quebec language policy affects our lives, and woven them into our writing.
In fact, we are presenting our collective thoughts on “Micro-level case studies of policy as lived experience” at an upcoming conference at McGill May 5, 6 and 7, called For and against models of official multiculturalism and multilingualism (here’s the program). However, we won’t have time to tell very many or very long stories. So in case there isn’t time there, I will tell mine here. Continue reading