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

Exploring thoughts while Riding the Waves of Variation (by Sumanthra Govender)

 

Waves.jpeg

BILD has given me the opportunity to discover multiple points of view about socio-cultural change and identity fluidity. This safe space has also allowed me to delve into and question different aspects of linguistic change and diversity. An inherent characteristic of language is its variation. In recent months, I’ve been thinking about the dynamics of language variation: how languages move on, change, and diversify themselves from their “root”. I’ve also had similar thoughts about the speakers of these languages. With my research focus on minority language communities, specifically adult heritage language learners and mixed heritage identities, I’ve been wondering how these learners and their identities are being realised in relation to the “three waves of language variation” (Eckert, 2012) in sociolinguistics. Continue reading

‘Native-like’: What or Who does it represent? (by Sumanthra Govender)

Photo_Blog.jpg

“The concept of “native-like” proficiency is a moving target, which isn’t fighting fair. What is a native speaker, really? It’s becoming more and more difficult to define. The fact is, people speak the language(s) they know lots of different ways. The ways that people speak the language(s) they know relates to more than just the order they learned them in, for example, their education, experiences, and more. And, as my BILD colleague, Sumanthra, pointed out to me when we were talking about this topic, there are so many different groups around the world who use English, begging the question, which group has “ownership” of native-like proficiency? In other words, whose “native-like” proficiency should be considered the model? It’s simply not possible to define or answer these questions.” (Godfrey-Smith, 2016)

The excerpt above was written by my BILD colleague Lauren in her most recent post about the desired ‘native-speaker proficiency’ end goal many students aim for in their language studies. Her post is the springboard for this piece, where my purpose is to explore the effect of the “native-speaker” narrative on not only students but educators as well.  Continue reading