Our linguistic and cultural journeys (by Yecid Ortega with Claudio Jaramillo)

Today’s guest blogger, Yecid Ortega, brings us the first episode of his new podcast series, Chasing Encounters. Click on the link below to hear Yecid’s conversation with fellow OISE/UT (University of Toronto) PhD candidate Claudio Jaramillo. Yecid has also provided an abstract and a listening guide.

Chasing Encounters: Episode 1 — Our linguistic and cultural journeys

This conversation between Yecid and Claudio explores their own visions on ideology, capitalism, identity and language in today’s world. As a point of entry, we deploy our ideas based in the concept of investment (Norton, 2013; Peirce, 1995) as a form of identity navigation in our lived experiences as language educators and researchers in different contexts. We identified some key elements of what makes a good educator in today’s post-truth times. First, how tolerating the other is not enough but accepting and understanding is key to human development. Second, we posit that being an expert is not enough because we as teachers need to acknowledge the complexity and intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991) of our classrooms. And finally, we need the pedagogical, political and disciplinary knowledge in order to address contemporary issues inspired by plurilingual instruction (Galante, 2018). We conclude by hoping society will move from individualistic to more collective ideologies that would support our communities and our future generations.

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Language maintenance: how I keep the languages in my plurilingual repertoire active (by Mehdi Babaei)

 That “language is a systematic means of communication” is probably the most precise and unambiguous definition of “language” that our ears have heard. Language, however, is more than a means of communication and a cultural behaviour. To me, it is an active, living, animated, emotional, dynamic, and breathing entity, which characterizes us and is a “character” itself. What made me ponder over the latter (i.e. seeing language as a lively character) is the way I invest in maintaining the languages in my plurilingual repertoire. Continue reading

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

Le retour de la flâneuse (par Caroline Dault)

L’intérêt de Caroline (nouvelle membre de BILD/LIDA) pour la sociolinguistique est né lors d’une année passée comme assistante de langue en Angleterre où elle était, après une vingtaine d’années passées en contexte monolingue, non seulement immergée dans une nouvelle langue, mais également confrontée à la perception d’autres francophones de sa propre langue. De retour au Québec, devenue enseignante de français langue seconde, elle a obtenu sa maitrise en linguistique appliquée à l’Université Concordia. Questionnant la vision unilingue qui prévaut encore dans certains milieux d’enseignement où l’on exige que les apprenants laissent leur langue maternelle à la porte de la classe, elle a exploré l’utilisation d’une approche de comparaisons interlangagières en enseignement du français langue seconde auprès d’adultes immigrants. Continue reading