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
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
Jacqueline Peters received an Honours BA in Linguistics from Concordia University, a MA in Linguistics from the University of Toronto and is a Doctoral Candidate in Linguistics at York University. Her doctoral dissertation, “Feeling Heard”: The Discourse of Empathy in Medical Interactions, is a qualitative study on Empathy in Medical Interactions. Jacqueline’s research has been funded by a Master’s SSHRC and a Doctoral SSHRC.
Her publications are “Black English in Toronto”: A New Dialect? (Co-authored with Laura Baxter) Conference Proceedings of Methods in Dialectology 14. 201, and ““(Be)coming Jamaican”: (Re)Constructing an Ethno-Cultural Identity.” In Identity through a Language Lens. Kamila Ciepiela (ed). Lodz Studies in Language (23). Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien: Peter Lang Publishing House. 2011. Pgs.109-118.
Jacqueline has previously examined identity construction of non-European immigrants living in Montreal and young people of Caribbean descent in Toronto, and has presented her work at numerous international linguistic conferences on linguistic variation, ethnic identity, and medical interaction. Her research interests include empathy, ethnic identity. intercultural communication, narrative analysis and discourse analysis.
Over the past two weeks, I found myself in four big airports. Though I did not have a chance to actually visit the cities in which these airports are located (I was merely there to catch connecting flights), I did have the chance to observe how people communicate when they find themselves in settings where there are thousands of people from different ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. It is in such instances that people realize the power of language, which can either help them communicate or become a barrier and stall them from achieving an immediate and practical goal. Whether they need to find their gate, communicate with an officer or ask information about delayed or cancelled flights, language becomes vital.
It is time to bid this semester, and this year, adieu and also to take stock of some of its highlights.
L’automne est une période de transition et le LIDA n’a pas fait exception à cette règle.