This week’s blog post comes from Dr. Steve Peters, a Faculty Lecturer at McGill University with the Office of First Nations and Inuit Education and one of BILD’s newest members.
After the chaos of a summer filled with travelling, working, family visits and July 1st “déménagement”, I was grateful to barbecue with good friends in my new backyard. We
reconnected over food, stories and laughter, updating each other on our summer adventures. The stories were told in a variety of languages too, showing off the multilingual competencies of my friends. English seemed to be the common language, but at a few different moments throughout the evening, some groups formed to share and laugh in Arabic or Spanish, neither of which I speak or understand. I observed these small groups admiringly…but with the distinct feeling that I was an observer, an outsider.
Andrea Sterzuk grew up in an English-speaking home in rural Saskatchewan on Treaty 6 territory. Prior to her academic career, she worked as a public school teacher in rural Saskatchewan as well as in the Canadian arctic. She is currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, located on Treaty 4 territory. She lectures in English and French to undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of linguistic diversity in schools, second language pedagogy, and issues of power, identity, and language in education. Her current research examines the development of language beliefs in teachers.