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

How Will I Belong? (by Afrouz Tavakoli)

The guest blogger who opens our regular blogging for 2018-19, Afrouz Tavakoli, is a second year Educational Studies PhD student in the Department of Integrated Studies at McGill University. She completed a degree in Women’s Studies at Concordia University and has a BA in International Relations from Webster University of Geneva, Switzerland. Afrouz is interested in the process of identity formation and belonging as relational and social phenomena. Her inspiration in writing a graphic novel, excerpted here (illustrations by M. Ali Ziaie), was to deconstruct how the interplay of social and power dynamics influences the sense of self and belonging of migrants. Through the graphic novel form she has examined the additional challenges for those immigrants who are categorized as Muslim and Middle Eastern in the current Islamophobia era. In her doctoral dissertation, by drawing on critical pedagogy, Afrouz will be studying how educational institutions in Canada can facilitate self-conscious awareness raising of Middle Eastern Muslim women so that they can autonomously craft and integrate their dual identity as Canadian-Muslim women. Continue reading

Seeking enwhitenment: Reflections on a year of being a “typical Canadian” (by Stephen Davis)

My first year in Montréal, Québec, has been full of learning and adventure.  My coursework in the Master of Arts in Second Language Education program at McGill University has expanded my knowledge of the developmental stages of language acquisition, the types of corrective feedback most conducive to students’ learning, and how to think critically about the social contexts surrounding second language education today.  Beyond the classroom, I’ve prepared for my thesis research, improved my snowshoeing abilities, and have thus far evaded the clutches of death whilst navigating Montréal’s bike paths.  But perhaps the most interesting lesson this city has taught me came in the form of a self-discovery.  This year, I learned that I am a “typical Canadian.” Continue reading

“De Pays de Galles à Montréal”

The BILD Research Community is very pleased to welcome this week’s guest blogger, Sara Orwig. She is currently a PhD student at the School of Welsh in Cardiff, thanks to a scholarship from y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. Her PhD work bridges the study of literature and linguistics, and she is examining code switching in Welsh, French-Canadian and English literature. She recently visited Montreal as part of her research, thanks to a scholarship from the International Council for Canadian studies. Find out more about Sara on her LinkedIn profile or follow her on Twitter (@20fachgoch). Continue reading

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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