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.
It’s mid-summer. The end of the school year seems like so long ago, and the start of the new one is hovering nearby in the form of school supply shopping yet to come (a list of excess: 48 pencils, 15 large markers, 4 good quality white erasers, etc.). This is a summer of transition for my youngest daughter, who is about to start kindergarten, after 4 years of daycare. Daycares in Quebec, I should clarify, fall under the radar of Bill 101, meaning that they are not bound by any particular language policy. That said, there is considerable pressure from Montreal parents for daycares to provide some measure of an English-French bilingual environment, and it is common for children to attend daycare in one or more languages other than those they speak at home. As such, I suspect there are just as many creative approaches to language socialization in daycares in Montreal, as there are within families.
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
From May 5 to 7, many of us BILDers attended a conference at McGill University called “For or Against Official Models of Multiculturalism and Multilingualism.” When we submitted our abstract for the conference, we did so with the BILD Research Group as the author. We had to assure the conference organizers that even though there are 10 of us in the group, we could be treated as a single entity (especially with respect to food ordering for conference attendees). We were quite sure that our talk “Unofficial multilingualism in an intercultural province: Micro-level case studies of policy as lived experience” would bring a different perspective. We were right! We had the great pleasure of closing the conference, in a session perhaps most appropriately called “And now for something completely different.”
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