“Fais le give-and-go!”: Reflections on translanguaging in Parc Jarry basketball (by Stephen Davis)

Weaving through a tapestry of pedestrians, pylons, Peugeots, and police officers, I find myself contemplating Montréal’s sisyphèsque construction schedule and wondering whether Camus was properly cited in the city planning documents. Rue Jarry is a zoo at the best of times, but now we’re down to one lane and I’m praying that my rusty bike chain and the crusty driver behind me can make it through the next few minutes without snapping altogether. We approach a red light, so I catch my breath while several young families hustle and bustle into the shops and restaurants that decorate the street. Now it’s green, so on y va, and I swerve into sun-soaked Parc Jarry, the site of some of the best basketball and translanguaging Montréal has to offer. Continue reading

Languages, generations (by Dr. Mela Sarkar)

This is my first blog post of any kind, ever. It’s also the very first blog post on our new BILD/LIDA site, which feels like a big responsibility. This is a kind of public writing on language that, for me, feels very new. BILD/LIDA as a social-cum-academic group in fact feels quite familiar (I have been part of something similar connected to second language acquisition research that operates out of Concordia for about twenty years now, since I was a new PhD student there). There ought to be more groups like this – regular gatherings of academics at all career levels who care passionately about a research area and the issues involved. Even if there’s no research funding, or specific projects that would need funding launched yet. In this group, BILD/LIDA, everybody’s thesis work has been launched, and sometimes completed, but thesis work tends to happen in a person’s individual corner. We need reasons to come out of our corners and talk to each other, reasons that are not corporate-driven. Universities are corporations; research, at least the post-thesis, published kind, is now mostly about dollars, and it is difficult even to think about in non-monetary terms. Scholars — I use the word advisedly, and with affection; for me it means something different from “academics” — have been gathering in this spontaneous and unfunded way for centuries, perhaps millennia. Famous for it! But only now are they able to write, inter alia, blog posts about their consuming and mutual passions that will be read immediately, as fast as light can take the words to other screens, not only by their fellow gatherers but also, potentially, by anybody with internet access. And that is new. Terrifying, liberating, and new. Continue reading