Editorial: Serving the Common Good during a Pandemic through Scholarly Publishing

LAUREN HALCOMB-SMITH, Royal Roads University

ALISON CRUMP, Marianopolis College and McGill University

We are writing this editorial in the time of a global pandemic. Whether working on the front lines, unexpectedly unemployed, working from home, suddenly homeschooling, or some combination of all of the above or something else, most of our lives turned on a dime in mid-March 2020. Things that we previously took for granted, like schools, playgrounds, gyms, churches, hugging friends, planes flying overhead, and professional haircuts, are, for now, no longer part of the landscape of our everyday lives. The hooks in the cycle of the year that remind us what month it is and give us a sense of stability and predictability have been loosened so that we can focus on the one thing that we, collectively, can do to help – stay home. If the last two months has shown us anything, it is that there is massive individual, societal, and governmental willingness to radically upend our everyday lives for our collective well-being and the common good. As the editors of J-BILD, we are seeing these changes through the lenses of belonging, identity, language, and diversity. In what ways can J-BILD serve and support the common good during these times of crisis? By serving the common good, we are referring to a “cooperation to promote conditions which enhance the opportunity for the human flourishing of all people within a community” (Melé, 2009, p. 227). In this editorial, we explore three key elements of the notion of the common good: the social nature of humanity, individual sacrifice, and morality.

Foundational to the concept of the common good is the notion that humans are inherently social creatures with “a natural capacity to form interpersonal relationships and build communities” (Melé, 2009, p. 233). The community is vital to the individual for several reasons; it is through our relationships with others that we define ourselves as individuals. The inherently social nature of humanity is perhaps the main reason that many of us have struggled with the need for physical distancing and isolation during the pandemic. Yet, we have submitted to these measures because, as humans, we are inherently self-interested in protecting ourselves and our loved ones; we recognize that we preserve our own well-being when we preserve the collective well-being (O’Brien, 2009). Similarly, we understand that, collectively, we support the needs that individuals cannot fulfill on their own (O’Brien, 2009); no individual among us could single-handedly build a hospital and few among us are skilled enough to operate a ventilator, but we willingly and collectively pay taxes so that hospitals and medical professionals can serve us and our community. The common good can therefore be understood as a two-way relationship; in serving the common good, the individual serves the community, but the common good served by others also serves the individual (Melé, 2009). However, it is important to recognize that the preservation of the community is about more than self-interest. Humans are, for the most part, also compassionate, and we recognize that others are essentially the same as us in wanting to protect themselves and their loved ones (O’Brien, 2009). Indeed, we have seen countless examples of selfless compassion in these months, of individuals acting purely out of love and gratitude for their communities. We have seen this in the nightly banging of pots at 7 pm to recognize essential workers, in the donation of personal protective equipment (PPE), in the singing on balconies and street art on boarded up shops; the examples are almost endless. Smith (1920) would describe these as acts of love, a love that we hold for our communities as similar to the love we hold for our children: “All men are my children; and just as I desire for my children that they may enjoy every kind of prosperity and happiness both in this world and the next, so also I desire the same for all men” (p. 319, cited by Alexander & Buckingham, 2011). Similarly to how we do good for our loved ones, individuals serve the common good out of a feeling of love for their community and group affiliation.

Another foundational concept of the common good, and the perhaps most pertinent to our present circumstances, is the idea of individual sacrifice: “in acting within a community, persons and social groups have to subordinate their own interests in all that is indispensable for the realization of the common good” (Melé, 2009, p. 237). In other words, we accept that there is sometimes the need to sacrifice our individual goods or private goals for the success of our community. There have been, and will likely continue to be, countless examples of personal sacrifices that have come from this pandemic, the most ubiquitous being the personal sacrifices associated with staying home, whatever that looks like for each individual. However, when considering the idea of individual sacrifice, we must tread carefully. Individual sacrifice for the common good does not equate to the utilitarian idea of the greatest good for the greatest number (O’Brien, 2009). An example of this idea – the most good for the greatest number of people – would be sacrificing one to save many:

While the notion of common good connotes some sacrifice on behalf of the individual for the realization of the common good for the community, true common good never threatens the good of the person, even though it may demand considerable sacrifice of a person. (Wojtyla, as cited by Melé, 2009, p. 236)

A recent example here is the repatriation of citizens and permanent residents who were stranded overseas when the pandemic was declared; while bringing them home required considerable expense and effort (i.e., sacrifice), and may have increased the risk of the pandemic spreading within our borders, leaving a few stranded to benefit many does not serve the common good.

Here we turn to morality, a third cornerstone of the common good. Morality, as it relates to the common good, can be understood as “the support of human and cultural values such as self-discipline, integrity, trust and solidarity that sustain social capital” (Alexander & Buckingham, 2011, p. 320). One reason we are invested in the values and behaviours of other community members is because it is through our association with others that we define ourselves as individuals (O’Brien, 2009). In other words, the morality of our communities offers a mirror into our own individual morality. Moreover, a society with strong morality is more likely to value human rights and freedoms, which has obvious benefits to the individual members. This is why sacrificing one to save many is not an example of the common good; it requires a breach of morality, which in turn detracts from the common good because it is good for everyone to live in a society where everyone’s human rights are valued and respected (O’Brien, 2009). Similarly, goods obtained through immoral means are not the common good. Recent examples include the hoarding and reselling of essential supplies. The strength with which societies around the world reacted to such behavior is indicative of the extent to which morality informs our behavior.

We return now to the question we posed at the start of this editorial: in what ways can J-BILD serve and support the common good during these times of crisis? First, we can continue to provide a forum for individuals to find a sense of community and shared purpose. Academic journals are linked to institutions of learning. This is particularly true for J-BILD, as we find our roots in the field of education and our editorial board is made up of educators specializing in education. Spaces of education and learning are important to the themes of belonging, identity, language, and diversity because schools are the pivot point around which most individuals’ social and community lives spin at one point or another. Schools are also key spaces where we negotiate issues relating to belonging, identity, language, and diversity. From the preschooler to the graduate student, the closing of schools and the rapid shift from on-campus to online learning and homeschooling has become a lonely but necessary means of serving the common good. Yet, in serving the common good, we must remember our indelible human need for connection, community, and belonging. During this time of physical distancing, our concern for our students, our faculty, and ourselves centres on the question “How do we create a sense of community for the students when they have to be in isolation?” (Rancic, 2020). While means of social connection and interaction have quickly taken on new forms in many arenas of our lives, what has become so clear is that J-BILD continues to be a project that fosters connection and community amongst people, most of whom have never met in person, many of whom live in different time zones. J-BILD has become, for many – us includes – a community that fosters a sense of belonging.

A second way that J-BILD can serve the common good is by continuing to provide a touchpoint of normality for our community. As an online and digitally mediated journal, J-BILD is one part of our lives that has not needed to be re-thought in any way during the Covid crisis to continue to thrive. J-BILD is a stable space during this time when just about everything else we understand to be normal in our world has changed. This provides a small glimmer of hope for the future of scholarly publishing; online and open access have become a necessity in most primary, secondary, and higher education institutions. In higher education in particular, we have observed (and applauded) examples of publishers who are opening up access to digital versions of their course packs and textbooks, letting paywalls go by the wayside. It is hard to imagine how they will ever close up again after this.

Finally, J-BILD will serve the common good by providing a forum for essential dialogue about issues that have the potential to divide us. This pandemic has shone a spotlight on how much we need each other, as well as on our capacity to pull together as a local and global community to serve the common good. We are seeing that the human need for connection is prevailing – communities are coming together; we hear about (and take part in) acts of kindness, sharing, and care every day. We cannot let exclusion, intolerance, inequity, and divisiveness weaken us as a global culture. We are going to need to be at our strongest to address the great and looming existential crisis of global warming. We need to learn from this experience, learn how much we need each other for our collective survival. J-BILD will continue to be a space that emphasizes the need for open debate and dialogue on issues related to belonging, identity, language and diversity. We need these conversations so we can come together and face the future, in all its uncertainty, together and unified.

On that note, we are pleased to share with you five articles that address and explore issues of belonging, identity, language, and diversity in different contexts. While none of these articles relate specifically to Covid-19, their contribution to the discourse on issues of belonging, identity, language, and diversity are powerful, nonetheless. This issue includes a critical literature review, a research proposal, and three research studies.

“Semiotics of Belonging: Authentication and denaturalization in youth language” is a critical literature review by Catherine Tebaldi, who asks what youth scholarship can teach us about young people’s understanding of identity, belonging, and power. Drawing from literature published between 1989 and 2019, Tebaldi critically considers the current state of understanding and debate surrounding the interplay between youth linguistic practice and dominate racial hierarchies. Based on her interpretation of the literature, Tebaldi considers our current political moment and how racial hierarchies and white identities are played out in social media.

Ether Bettney’s article “Research Proposal: Exploring Heteroglossic Approaches Through A Comparative Case Study of Spanish-English Bilingual Schools” describes her proposed research study, a comparative case study of three Spanish-English bilingual schools, one each in Canada, Columbia, and the United States. Through the study, Bettney seeks to explore how such schools can negotiate the shift from a monoglossic to heteroglossic approaches towards language learning. As argued by Bettney, the proposed research has the potential to inform our understanding of the impact of heteroglossic approaches on learner outcomes and identities, as well as potentially informing policy and practices in schools as they move away from monoglossic approaches to supporting language learning.

Venus Darius is the author of “Persévérance scolaire de jeunes et jeunes adultes nouveaux arrivants haïtiens face aux besoins d’encadrement institutionnel à Montréal”, a research study that reports on recent the impact of institutional leadership on young adults. Specifically, the author seeks to explore the impact of institutional leadership on Haitian-Montrealers who have dropped out of high school. The author analyses and discusses data drawn from semi-structured interviews, with finding suggesting the need for school supervision and sociopolitical support in support young Haitian-Montrealers. The article concludes with recommendations for research and policy.

Marinka Swift is the author of ‘“First they Americanize you and then they throw you out’: A LangCrit analysis of language and citizen identity,” a research study exploring themes of belonging, identity, language, and diversity as they intersect with the experiences repatriated 1.5 generation Mexican-Americans. Swift explores how individuals who have experienced deportation after living in the United States negotiate their sense of belonging and citizenship identity. Using a LangCrit theoretical framework, Swift analyses digital narrative data from the Humanizing Deportation project to reveal how gen1.5 adults negotiate their identities through language and navigate the language ideologies surrounding the deportation experience. The article concludes with recommendations for further research and work.

“Digital Autobiographical Identity Texts as Critical Plurilingual Pedagogy” is a research study co-authored by Christina Tjandra, James Corcoran, Maria Gennuso, and Allison Yeldon. In their multiethnographic study, the authors explore the impact of digital autobiographical identity texts (D-AITs) for language teacher candidates and the extent to which D-AITs have the potential to be identity affirming and transformational tools for language teacher education. The authors analyze a polyvocal data set of dialogic exchanges among themselves, in which they consider and reflect on the D-AITs as pedagogical tools to support language teacher identity development and affirmation. Key themes from the data analysis are shared and discussed. Findings suggest that D-AITs represent a unique pedagogical tool for supporting language teacher candidates’ identity whilst also supporting critical language awareness and academic literacies.

Take good care, J-BILD readers.


Alexander, J. M., & Buckingham, J. (2011). Common good leadership in business management: an ethical model from the Indian tradition. Business Ethics: A European Review, 20(4), 317-327. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8608.2011.01632.x

Felber, C. (2015). What if the common good was the goal of the economy? TEDx. 22:47 min.

Melé, D. (2009). Integrating personalism into virtue-based ethics: The personalist and the common good based principles. Journal of Business Ethics, 88(1), 227-244.

O’Brien, T. (2009). Reconsidering the Common Good in a Business Context. Journal of Business Ethics, 85(S1), 25-37. doi:10.1007/s10551-008-9942-6

Rancic, M. (2020, March 31). York study examines link between mattering and depression in students. University Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.universityaffairs.ca/news/news-article/york-study-examines-link-between-mattering-and-depression-in-students/

Editorial 3(1): Behind the Scenes at J-BILD

ALISON CRUMP, Marianopolis College and McGill University


MELA SARKAR, McGill University

The publication of this issue marks J-BILD’s third year in press and our fourth issue. Over the last several years we have been working out how to run a journal. What is our vision for the journal? Where do we fit within the landscape of scholarly publishing? Is it where we want to fit? How do we create our own space while staying true to the values and ideals of scholarship as “making knowledge together” (Paré, 2016)? What kind of work do editors, authors, peer mentors, copy-editors, and readers have to do together to make that space?

We have touched on these questions in previous editorials; in Volume 1(1), we focused on J-BILD’s guiding principles as an open-source, collaborative peer-mentoring journal, inclusive of all stages of the publication cycle. In Volume 2(1), we went further in describing our approach to open scholarship and collaborative peer review. In Volume 2(2), we made a case for publishing as an act of hope and defiance against intolerance. It is evident from our past editorials, as well as our published articles, that J-BILD is a journal that invites members of the scholarly community to revisit assumptions, both about the field of inquiry and about the nature of scholarly publishing. 

J-BILD represents a new model of academic publishing, in contrast to the traditional publishing house of yore. Picture academics (white men, mostly), hunched over oak desks, clouds of cigar smoke hanging in the air, the clink of ice cubes in a freshly poured tumbler of whisky. There are piles of papers precariously balanced everywhere. Young women rush back and forth with proofs needing editorial approval (by men— “Miss, take this and type it up for 4pm, would you?”) And the sound of the typewriter. Click clack. Click clack. Click. Ding! Busy women, averaging 90 words per minute. 

Professional women in 2019 are no less busy than their foremothers. But it’s a different kind of busy. The accident of history that has meant that J-BILD’s editorial team is made up of women has had the effect of making us reflect on ways in which academia may be changing. Women are no longer relegated to minor secretarial or other essentially menial functions in the world of intellectual work. Mothers who are professionals and scholars are no longer swimming against the current. 

For the three of us, our development in these domains—the personal, professional, and academic–has happened concurrently. Our graduate work coincided with the birth of our children, and so our scholarly work has always been interwoven with the dailiness of our lives. Ding! Another email comes in. Waah! The baby’s woken up. Reach for the (baby) bottle. We have perfected the art of nursing whilst editing articles, annotating bibliographies, and debunking outmoded theories. Since launching J-BILD in 2017, our senior editorial team has welcomed two babies and a fifth grandbaby, two career changes, one cross-country move, a wedding, and more. Rather than seek to keep these parts of our identities separate and siloed, we draw strength and inspiration from our family lives for our professional and scholarly work, and vice versa. There have been many J-BILD meetings that have taken place over Skype while one of us breastfeeds an infant or plays with a toddler or knits something special for a cherished grandchild. We fit in emails to our authors during lunch breaks at our day jobs, write editorials while babies nap, and review manuscripts while the dishwasher runs in the background after bedtime. 

If scholarship is making knowledge together, then the kind of knowledge we create together depends on the kinds of relationships we bring to and create through our scholarly work. J-BILD is built on a supportive, community-based model where members are not excluded from publishing based on certain norms of merit (title, academic experience, research output, etc.). J-BILD authors actively take part in a collaborative review process with a peer mentor—the process is transparent and includes authors in every phase of the publication process. The relationships that are built throughout this process are no less important than the product, i.e., the journal issue. We are encouraged that this model seems to be resonating with our authors and mentors. As one of our authors wrote to us recently: “[My peer mentor] has been an amazing support throughout this process. I keep telling my fellow graduate students that it is possible to have a positive review experience and am encouraging them to look into J-BILD! I sincerely hope this collaborative approach can be taken up by other journals, as it has been so helpful to me as a junior scholar.” 

This issue is perhaps the most representative of our lives behind the scenes of J-BILD. In January 2019, we received 11 submissions for this current issue. With our hands full of babies and older children, juggling mothering and careers and families, we found ourselves rushing to keep up with our own self-imposed tight timelines for the journal (i.e., moving from submission to publication in less than half a year). And by acting in haste, we found we were losing the sense of connection, the relationships with our authors, with our peer mentors, and even with each other. To foster the community-building that is at the heart of J-BILD, we needed to allow more time to mull, to ponder, to read, to write, to reflect, and to connect. In our opening paragraph above, we asked, how do we create our own space while staying true to the values and ideals of scholarship as “making knowledge together” (Paré, 2016)? The answer is: by slowing down and managing expectations—our own and others’. 

We have a number of manuscripts in process and look forward to publishing them in due time. For this issue, we are very pleased to present two articles that we judged were valuable contributions to perspectives on diversity in education in contemporary Canadian contexts. Each is from a different stage of the research cycle, namely, a critical literature review and a research study. 

Isabelle Côté is the author of “Regard croisé sur l’intégration des perspectives autochtones dans les recherches menées en français au Canada”, a critical literature review of research related to the integration of Indigenous perspectives into teacher education and K-12 programs in British Columbia. Through her discussion and interpretation of Canadian-based research, Côté reveals a number of challenges and successes found in integrating the perspectives of Indigenous people. 

“‘How am I supposed to teach them French when they can’t even speak English?’: Unpacking the myth of English proficiency as a prerequisite for French immersion” is a recent research study by Stephen Davis. In this article, Davis explores the beliefs of French immersion teachers about Allophones in French immersion in Saskatoon. He frames his study within the sociolinguistic landscape of Canada and Saskatchewan, highlighting the problematic nature of the Anglophone-Francophone binary within conversations around language and education, which essentially exclude citizens who speak a first language other than French or English. Davis presents and interprets the data generated through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with French immersion teachers to reveal how French immersion teachers perceive the suitability of French immersion for Allophone students in Saskatoon, as well as how these teachers perceive English proficiency as a determinant of success. Davis concludes with practical recommendations for school boards and a call for further research about Allophone learners in French immersion programs. 


Paré, A. (2016, April 17). Making knowledge together: Voice, identity, agency, and communal effort [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://bild-lida.ca/blog/uncategorized/making-knowledge-together-voice-identity-agency-and-communal-effort-by-dr-anthony-pare

Editorial 2(2): BILDing Optimism in Uncertain Times

Volume 2(2): 2018

ALISON CRUMP (Senior Managing Editor), Marianopolis College

LAUREN HALCOMB-SMITH (Managing Editor), Royal Roads University

MELA SARKAR (Senior Advisory), McGill University


This issue, our third since we launched the journal, marks an important milestone: J-BILD has now had a first birthday. Even the longest-running and most highly-respected journals had once to make it past their first year. In Canada, applied linguists can reflect with pride on the continuing success of the Canadian Modern Language Review / Revue Canadienne des langues vivantes, which will celebrate its 75th year in 2019. The CMLR/RCLV began as a modest publication of the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association in 1944, a year in which the fields of applied linguistics and sociolinguistics had yet to be mapped out; a year in which the fields most in the minds of our forebears were the battlefields of Europe and East Asia. In a similar vein, many readers will know that the Modern Language Journal, another top-ranked periodical for those of us interested in language learning/use, passed its centenary in 2016. We need not remind readers of the conflagration that was raging in 1916.

Launching a new scholarly journal several years into a terrible international conflict, the end or outcome of which could not with any certainty be foreseen, must have seemed dangerously optimistic to the point of foolhardiness in 1916 or 1944. Yet a few courageous scholars dared to do it. Now, as J-BILD moves into its second year, climate change is probably the gravest looming threat to the continued happiness and safety of not only our own species, but of all our co-inhabitants of the planet whether animal or vegetable. Right-wing governments dedicated, among other things, to the denial of this huge potential for global disaster are coming into power in one place after another.

Americans are emerging from midterm elections in the Trump presidency, an era in North American and global politics that, if we and the planet get past it, will be remembered as significant. A majority of Brazil’s 200-million-plus people recently made an extreme rightist their president. And in Quebec, where J-BILD got its start a year ago, a right-of-centre and relative newcomer to politics swept a new political party to power a few weeks ago. One of the planks in the new party’s platform was a promise to reduce immigration. A deep fear of the “Other” seems to be one of the main drivers of mainstream politics across national boundaries, and at the same time, more and more people are being forced to flee their homelands and cross those boundaries in search of a safe haven.

So, while the team of determined volunteers who launched J-BILD a year ago are blessedly spared the tribulations experienced by citizens of warring nations, we still, with our readers, confront serious challenges to our collective well-being. Not the least of them is the current backlash against diversity (the “D” of BILD), as insidious and in its own way as dangerous as the climate changes that are sweeping the world. A new journal that builds on the bedrock of diversity as an inherent value is, we think, worth supporting and persevering with as never before. Even supposedly innocuous Canadian pro-multiculturalist preaching, though on the surface opposed to the right-wing ideal of a safe homogeneity, conceals an inner denial of the everyday reality of diversity. At the federal level, people who identify as members of communities other than White Anglophone or White Francophone are lumped into cultural groups whose languages are not recognized, yet who are celebrated for the “diversity” they bring to the Canadian cultural mosaic—an intolerance-masking language of which scholars like Sara Ahmed (2007) are heavily critical. This kind of discourse locates diversity in the bodies of Others and insulates the invisible majority against any real engagement with difference. In her critique of institutional policies on diversity and equity, Ahmed argued, “you end up doing the document rather than doing the doing” needed for meaningful change.

Language, the “L” of BILD, is no less important; like critical sociolinguist Monica Heller (2007), we see language/s as socially distributed through historical, political, and economic processes that inform what resources are assigned what value, by whom, and with what consequences. The value thus assigned goes far beyond the purely linguistic. In our era, language is one of the most ubiquitous scapegoats for ancient enmities that have more to do with scarce resources among feuding families than with speech. Language is rooted in, while also helping to define, identity, the “I” of BILD. As Norton (2000) has pointed out, identity references the desire for recognition, affiliation, and security—all of them necessary for physical and psychological well-being. Affiliation, appartenance, belonging—the “B” of BILD—bring us back around to where we began, with the defense of diversity and an insistence upon inclusion. The “Other” is by definition the person who does not belong.

But we are all the Other. We can only belong by virtue of renouncing simplistic notions of belonging. The identity we may thus win through to transcends, while encompassing, the individual. We take our stand with Hugo of St-Victor, the 12th-century monk Edward Said was fond of quoting: “The man who finds his homeland sweet is still a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign land” (Said, 2000, p. 185). Finding a contemporary idiom for truths that go back to medieval times and forward into an uncertain, but certainly diverse, future—there in a nutshell is one of the main leitmotifs of J-BILD.

In This Issue

We are thrilled to be able to share six research articles, four in English and two in French, which in different, but interrelated ways, examine intersections of the four pillars of J-BILD, and thus contribute important voices to BILDing optimism in these uncertain times.

Marie-Pier Bastien, author of “Pratiques de littératie familiales d’élèves hispanophone,” presents the results of a qualitative study exploring the family language practices of ten students enrolled in French schools in the Outaouais region for whom Spanish is the family language. Beginning with an exploration of the unique sociolinguistic context of the Outaouais region, Bastien presents and discusses the data generated through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Her analysis paints a rich picture of the family language practices of her participants and highlights the unique ways in which family language practices manifest among young people in multilingual environments. Bastien concludes with recommendations for supporting such students in their development as multilingual individuals.

Alison Crump’s article, “Thinning the classroom walls: Graduate student perspectives on blogging as pedagogy,” brings to light the views and experiences of graduate students a sociolinguistics and language education course in their use of blogging as a pedagogical tool. Crump presents and discusses data generated through focus groups and surveys to show how the use of blogging supported students in their learning through the cultivation of peer support, collaboration, self-reflection, and authenticity in the experience of writing for a “real” audience. Crump argues that open pedagogies, such a blogging, thin the classroom walls and create opportunities for publicly-engaged and networked scholarship.

Eun-ji Amy Kim, S. J. Adrienna Joyce, Annie Desjardins, and Yuwen Zhang’s article, “Speaking to our minds, hearts, and hands: A cogenerative inquiry on learning through an interdisciplinary land-based course,” reflect on their settler/visitor learning/teaching experiences in a land-based, interdisciplinary Indigenous field course in Kahnawá:ke. Their article takes the form of a metalogue, a method for engaging in dialogues both with theories and self-reflexivity and draws out the diversity of the co-authors’ different learning paths. Common throughout the article, is an emphasis on building relationships based on collaboration; indeed, the authors argue, this is the real work of achieving the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Accord on Indigenous Education. Kim and company bring their metalogue to a close with a series of recommendations for universities, instructors, and students for future land-based interdisciplinary courses.

In “Reframing FSL teacher learning: Small stories of (re)professionalization and identity formation,” Mimi Masson presents the results of a case study of two French as a second language (FSL) teachers and the factors that informed their professional identity. Through the analysis and discussion of narrative data, Masson argues that participants’ successful identity-formation was closely linked to their feelings of being validated and supported by their respective communities. Masson concludes with recommendations for addressing FSL teacher attrition and retention.

Sylvie Roy and Julie Byrd-Clark’s article, “Les identités multiples des jeunes Canadiens,” reflects on the importance of examining former and current discourses on linguistic and cultural competencies in considering the future of young people’s multiple identities. The authors draw upon ethnographic and sociolinguistic data that they gathered in Francophone and French immersion schools in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Ontario. The youth in their studies do not see their identities as fixed but as continuously changing, yet they are deeply concerned with how others see them. The authors emphasize the importance of recognizing the linguistic and cultural repertoires of young people who are living in diverse contexts in order to foster greater inclusion in and belonging to Canadian communities.

In their article, “Supporting reconnecting immigrant families with English Language Learners in rural schools: An exploratory study,” co-authors Gregory Tweedie, Anja Dressler, and Cora-Leah Schmitt focus on how Filipino secondary school immigrant students in Alberta acculturate and develop a sense of belonging when language and content acquisition, social-emotional, and acculturation supports are in place. The authors present and discuss data drawn from interviews with recently reconnected Filipino families as well as written responses from the teachers of the young people in these families. Through their work, the authors conclude that it is particularly important for the young people in families that are reconnecting to have language and content acquisition, social-emotional, and acculturation support for the development of their sense of belonging and identity.

In closing, we at J-BILD hope that these articles will inspire you to reflect upon your own experiences and positions as researchers, learners, educators, fellow beings, and encourage you to continue to thoughtfully and meaningfully engage with yourselves and others.


Ahmed, S. (2007). “You end up doing the document rather than doing the doing”: Diversity, race equality and the politics of documentation. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30(4), 590–609. doi:10.1080/01419870701356015

Norton, B. (2000). Identity and language learning. New York: Pearson.

Said, E. (2000). Reflections on Exile and other essays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Editorial 2(1): Opening scholarship and rethinking peer review

Volume 2(1): 2018

ALISON CRUMP (Senior Managing Editor), McGill University
LAUREN HALCOMB-SMITH (Managing Editor), Royal Roads University

In his book, The Access Principle, Willinsky (2006) identified the year 2003 as the breakthrough for the open access (OA) movement. Fifteen years after the OA breakthrough, we can see the impact of this movement on high-level policies governing academic publishing and throughout the publishing landscape. For instance, the Canadian Tri-Agency now requires that publicly-funded research be published in open access journals (Government of Canada, 2016). We have also seen the emergence of software to help manage online and open source journals (e.g., OSJ – Open Source Journal) and seen journals transition from print-only to online-only journals. As Eve (2014) argued, however, “there is nothing in the concept of open access that means anything must be done differently except to lower price and permission barriers to research” (p. 137). This is seen, for instance, in Willinsky’s definition of the access principle, that “[a] commitment to the value and quality of research carries with it a responsibility to extend the circulation of such work as far as possible and ideally to all who are interested in it and all who might profit by it” (p. xii). In this editorial, we focus on how we can leverage technology in academic publishing to extend the principle of open access toward a principle of open scholarship. Beyond open access, our view of open scholarship is collaborative and transparent, rather than anonymous and potentially adversarial. Open scholarship, we argue, is changing how we produce and share knowledge. We focus on two aspects of J-BILD—the online platform and the collaborative peer mentoring model—that align with our vision of open scholarship.

When planning to launch the Journal of Belonging, Identity, Language, and Diversity (J-BILD), we explored several options for publishing platforms, the most obvious one being OJS (Open Journal Software). This federally-funded software provides editors, reviewers, and authors with a secure backend for managing submissions and an anonymous peer review process. We did not need this functionality for J-BILD because we do not do anonymous peer review of manuscripts. Instead, we use Google docs to allow authors and members of the editorial team to work collaboratively on developing manuscripts for publication (more on this shortly). Because we didn’t need a system to manage anonymous submissions, J-BILD is self-hosted with WordPress, a platform that gives us aesthetic flexibility as well as something most journals within our field do not offer: the ability to comment on published articles. While we have not seen comments on J-BILD articles yet, we are excited about giving readers the option to connect with authors and provide feedback on what they are reading because doing so allows conversations about research to happen more freely and openly than traditional publishing often allows. These ideas of free and open scholarly conversations tie back to our beginnings as a blog with the Belonging, Identity, Language, and Diversity (BILD) community. It is our view that open scholarship is more than open access. It involves opening lines of communication and inviting public dialogue about published research. It also means making the process of producing published research (that is, through peer review) a personal and collaborative one, rather than one masked in “blind” objectivity.

In founding a journal on the principles of open scholarship, we have taken inspiration from Eve (2014), who reminded us that “shifts in publication practice allow us the space to rethink peer review and other practices and to ask whether there are analogous changes, facilitated either socially or technologically, that could be worth exploring at this time of transition” (p. 137). Like Eve, we challenge the traditional model of peer review as the gold standard in academic publishing and have joined a small, but growing community of scholars who are breaking down the practice of double-blind review (e.g., CJNSE; eLife; Hybrid Pedagogy) and taking away what is sometimes an unconstructive atmosphere. We are also avoiding using the ableist language in the term blind review. We recognize that anonymized peer review “works on a series of unspoken ideological assumptions that are never wholly objective and apolitical” (Eve, 2014, p. 139). By challenging the condition of anonymity in peer review, we have developed a model for J-BILD much like the one Jesse Stommel uses for Hybrid Pedagogy, which focuses on building community through collaborative peer mentoring (Linder, 2018).

We have not, however, shirked the idea that a manuscript should be reviewed by more than one person. Each J-BILD manuscript benefits from the feedback of at least three people: peer mentors do several rounds of feedback with authors, focusing primarily on argument structure and content; copy editors do a second review and a closer edit of grammar, references, and formatting; senior copy editors do a final review and formatting check. Authors are closely involved with the editorial team during each of these feedback cycles, and everyone’s identities are known to one another. This collaborative peer mentoring is done entirely on Google docs, which allows multiple people to access and edit the same document. As managing editors, we are also involved throughout the process. For example, peer mentors or copy editors can flag us in a comment, which sends us an email notification that our attention is needed on a manuscript to resolve a question or issue. Because peer mentors and copy editors have the opportunity to work back and forth with authors, this can improve the quality of their feedback. We have heard from peer mentors that this is a more satisfying experience than doing anonymous reviews, one that encourages a greater sense of investment in the research and the final publication.

Another aspect of the collaborative peer mentoring model that contributes to open scholarship is the quick turnaround time our model allows; we are often able to publish manuscripts within six months to a year of their submission. This is entirely due to the extremely engaged and dedicated members of our editorial team, who we feel are so committed because of the interpersonal connections they make and the investment they feel in helping move an author’s work towards publication. In our view, it is extremely important to recognize the people who contribute to a single issue, which we do as an ongoing practice through our interactions with our editorial team, and through collaborative decision making and input on editorial processes and procedures. We also list their names on the same webpage as the issue they have contributed to. This, we hope, will help address the peer reviewer fatigue—that is, the difficulty in finding reviewers for submissions—that some journals experience. Because of the relatively short timeline for publishing a manuscript, authors are able to bring current research and scholarship to the community, which can allow for dialogue that is fresh enough for authors to use the ideas generated to further their research. This has the potential to enrich the quality of research, expand the reach of knowledge, and of course, build community.

We see open scholarship as grounded in the open access movement, thus it is important to acknowledge some issues with OA. First, open access does not mean universal access; there remain barriers, such as language and connectivity barriers (Suber, 2012). Open access also does not mean free. There are many costs associated with producing scholarship; however, in the world of academic publishing, many of these costs are subsumed under the umbrella of “service.” J-BILD, for example, has no fees for authors and operates on an annual budget of about $100 (fees for hosting the WordPress site and for our domain name) and a tremendous number of volunteer hours, not just ours but from the entire editorial team, including the peer mentors, copy editors, senior copy editors, and web developer.

Publishing an online journal that is also open access is changing how knowledge is produced and shared. It is also changing how people read, for instance, by encouraging more critical engagement with reading because readers can click hyperlinks and check sources and have access to more complete data sets (Willinsky, 2006). An area that has not been fully explored in the field of Applied Linguistics is the integration of digital tools, methods, and media in publications. As a field, we could draw some inspiration from work being done in the field of Digital Humanities, where this practice is far more advanced (see, for example, Vectors Journal, which explores the intersections of technology and social relations). We expect that the J-BILD model will continue to evolve over time as authors begin to embrace the affordances of new media and produce texts that are more multimodal.  We hope to continue to push the boundaries of open scholarship and to encourage new kinds of authors and new kinds of conversations in open spaces.


We received 15 submissions for our second issue. We are pleased to be publishing eight manuscripts–five recent research projects and three critical literature reviews.

Research Studies

Marie-Eve Bouchard presents the results of her study of the ideologies that surround the use of rhotics in the Santomean variety of Portuguese in her article, titled “A distinctive use of R as a marker of Santomean identity.” Bouchard presents and discusses data generated through sociolinguistic interviews to show how the distinctive use of rhotics is becoming a marker of Santomean national identity, particularly among younger Santomeans who grew up after the independence of the country and among those who expresses pride in the Santomean variety of Portuguese.

Timothy Loh, author of “‘Maybe Jesus knows Sign’: Resistance through identity formation,” presents the results of anthropological research exploring how Deaf Christians negotiate their identities as members of two distinct identity groups: Deaf and Christian. Contextualizing his research within historical events over the last 50 years, Loh presents his analysis and interpretation of data generated through ethnographic field work to argue that Deaf Christian identity formation does not necessarily include a conflict between deafness and Christianity, but rather a resistance against historically-rooted narratives in Christianity that relate to deafness as a deficit. Loh further argues and demonstrates that Deaf Christians use language and communication to index and reinforce their identity as Deaf Christians.

“Spanish Language Ecosystems in New Mexico and their Impact on Spanish Language Learners,” by Sarah O’Brien, explores how U.S. students’ receptiveness to Spanish language learning is impacted by the social perceptions of the language that exist within their surrounding community. O’Brien shares the results recent research within three school districts in New Mexico, where she generated data through mixed-methods over a period of seven months. Through her interpretation and discussion of these data, O’Brien explores the stratified views held by members of the school communities, specifically related to ideologies of language related to learning and speaking Spanish, concluding with a number of language planning suggestions for improving outcomes for Spanish language learners.

“Navigating Competing Identities through Stance-Taking: Migration, Class, and Nation,” by Elizabeth Peacock, presents the results of ethnographic research on Ukrainian teenagers’ use of stance-taking on issues of migration as a means of aligning or disalinging themselves in interactions with others. Grounded in stance theory, Peacock’s paper seeks to address limitations in the existing body of research related to the ways in which individuals take up stances in everyday interactions. Through her analysis and interpretation of qualitative data generated through group discussion, Peacock makes links between stance-taking and social identities as they relate to socioeconomic class and migration in Ukraine, revealing the broader views held by Ukrainian teenagers on migration.

Gregory Tweedie and Robert Johnson, authors of “Listening instruction and patient safety: Exploring Medical English as a lingua franca (MELF) for nursing education,” present the results of a recent student exploring Medical English as a lingua franca (MELF). Specifically, the authors look at the intelligibility of interactions using MELF and its implications on patient safety. Through their analysis and discussion of mixed-methods data, the authors argue that intelligibility can have implications on patient safety, concluding their paper with recommendations related to language education of nursing professionals in sociolinguistic contexts where MELF is used.

Critical Literature Reviews

“L’enseignement du français chez les Premières Nations d’hier à aujourd’hui: Enjeux didactiques, pratiques pédagogiques et perspective interculturelle,” by Nancy Crepeau and Carole Fleuret, takes a critical stance to explore the pedagogical foundations at the origins of current French-language teaching practices in Quebec. In particular, the authors focus on the implications of current teaching practices on students from First Nations backgrounds and identify issues related to learners’ language repertoire, academic achievement, and plurilingual competence. The authors conclude their review with recommendations for the future.

In his paper, titled, “A case for policy analysis in minority language discourse: A critical literature review,” Taylor Ellis explores Indigenous language revitalization in educational contexts. Beginning with a critical review of linguistic diversity metaphors, such as language-as-resource (Ruiz, 1984) and language ecology (Hornberger, 2002), as well as specific case examples from around the world, Ellis problematizes and highlights the issues inherent to the language-as-resource model as a whole.

Hailey Iacono presents “Designing opportunities to support pre-service teachers in noticing and understanding how to position students competently: An overview of supporting literature.” Iacono frames her critical literature review within the context of recent educational reforms, specifically as they relate to the mathematics classroom, and limitations in the scope of teacher educational programs. Through her exploration of the literature, Iacono successfully highlights several guiding principles to address such limitations, ultimately making the argument that more research on teacher noticing of interactions relating to positioning students competently is needed.


 Eve, M. P. (2014). Open access and the humanities: Contexts, controversies and the future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Government of Canada (2016). Tri-agency open access policy on publications. Retrieved from, http://www.science.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_F6765465.html?OpenDocument

Hornberger, N. H. (2002). Multilingual language policies and the continua of biliteracy: An ecological approach. Language Policy, 1(1), 27–51.

Linder, K. (2018, Feb. 19). Dr. Jesse Stommel on founding a journal. Retrieved from, https://ecampus.oregonstate.edu/research/podcast/e99/

Ruíz, R. (1984). Orientations in language planning. NABE: The Journal for the National Association for Bilingual Education, 8(2), 15-34.

Suber, P. (2012). Open access. Cambridge, MA, and London, UK: The MIT Press.

Willinsky, J. (2006). The access principle: The case for open access to research and scholarship. Cambridge, MA, and London, UK: The MIT Press.


Volume 1(1): 2017

ALISON CRUMP (Senior Managing Editor), McGill University
LAUREN GODFREY-SMITH (Managing Editor), Royal Roads University


It is a wonderful sense of achievement to be writing this editorial, the first of what we hope will be many for the new Journal of Belonging, Identity, Language, and Diversity (J-BILD) / Revue de langage, d’identité, de diversité et d’appartenance (R-LIDA). As this is the inaugural issue of J-BILD, we thought we should start this editorial with our origin story—we believe it is an example of how much can be accomplished at the grassroots level within academic communities.

J-BILD is the newest branch of a wider BILD research group, which began at McGill in 2013. The BILD research group first came together as the brainchild of Dr. Mela Sarkar (now Senior Advisor to J-BILD), who noticed that several graduate students in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE) at McGill with very different research projects were similarly interested in exploring issues related to belonging, identity, language, and diversity. In 2013, Mela organized a casual lunchtime meeting for us to get to know one another and share ideas. A number of us kept meeting and talking and eventually decided to give our group a name: the Belonging, Identity, Language, and Diversity (BILD) research group. In the first year, our meetings were something like a book club—we met regularly to discuss an article related to our interests. We later presented as a group at some conferences, developed a social media presence (Twitter, Facebook), staged a few of our own symposia, and started a blog, which now has international readership. Since the fall of 2014, we have been publishing weekly blog posts written either by BILD group members, or guest bloggers. In 2016, we started the BILD Speaker Series and invite visiting scholars to present their research as BILD guests. In June, 2017, we were proud to be the invited keynote symposium at the ACLA/CAAL (Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics) conference at Ryerson University in Toronto where four BILD members presented on the topic of innovative methodologies in Applied Linguistics. In 2016, three years after that first lunchtime meeting, we started planning our newest and most ambitious project: the launch of a scholarly journal, J-BILD. Although J-BILD is new, because of its roots in the BILD research group, we are confident that we already have international reach. This is reflected in the composition of our editorial team, which includes members from across Canada, as well as Iran, Ireland, South Africa, Tasmania, and the United States. We look forward to seeing how this team will grow with each subsequent issue.

J-BILD is founded on several defining principles:

• J-BILD is an open source and open access journal.

Part of the ethos of the BILD research group since its beginnings in 2013 has been to foster a growing community of scholars, researchers, and teachers, who similarly explore issues related to belonging, identity, language, and diversity. As such, J-BILD is an exclusively online, open source and open access journal, which allows us to make publications immediately and permanently free for everyone to read, download and share. J-BILD contributes to a movement in the world of scholarly publishing that increases access to knowledge, facilitates collaboration, raises researcher visibility, and builds community. As an online journal, we have can include multiple modes of scholarly work in our publications. Over time, we hope to leverage the potential of online publishing and we invite submissions that move beyond the written mode.

• J-BILD is a non-anonymized peer mentoring journal.

We firmly believe that the anonymity in the traditional publishing model does not guarantee scholarly rigour. We have been inspired by the Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education (CJNSE), which has been operating as a mentoring journal for over a decade. Rather than relying on an anonymous peer review process, J-BILD relies on the gracious contributions and commitments of peer mentors who work directly with authors through the revision process. J-BILD’s non-anonymized peer mentoring not only provides authors with respectful and constructive feedback on their work, it also develops a sense of collegiality among J-BILD mentors and authors, once again, contributing to the goal of building community. For this issue, we have worn several hats, as editors and authors/ mentees, and have certainly found the open peer review process to be a very positive and constructive one.

• J-BILD is committed to recognizing and valuing all stages of the research process.

This means that we welcome submissions from emerging and more experienced scholars. For this first issue, we were happy to have received a variety of types of submissions that reflect the range of stages of the research process—research proposals; critical literature reviews; and research studies. We received ten submissions, six of which have progressed to the publication stage and appear in this issue.

The articles in this issue show us that there are many ways to examine the intersections of issues of belonging, identity, language, and diversity.

Research Studies

“Unofficial multilingualism in an intercultural province: Polyvocal responses to policy as lived experience,” by Casey Burkholder, Alison Crump, Lauren Godfrey-Smith, and Mela Sarkar is a co-authored and collaborative piece of writing, with multiple voices and multiple research projects of the BILD community represented and woven throughout in a polyvocal conversation. In this paper, these polyvocal voices critically reflect on official models of multiculturalism and bilingualism as frameworks for understanding how individuals in cities like Montréal use language in their everyday lives. The authors conclude their conversation with suggestions of ways to rethink official models of multiculturalism and bilingualism.

Karen Pennesi, author of “Universal design for belonging: Living and working with diverse personal names,” presents the results of extensive interview and literature research to show how institutional agents manage name diversity. Pennesi argues that concerns with saving face and being polite can involve micro-aggressions, which can have implications to do with exclusion, belonging, and other disadvantage for people with certain kinds of names. Pennesi’s recommendations for normalizing name diversity in work and social life make a significant contribution to making multilingual and multi-ethnic societies more welcoming to immigrants and other with diverse names

In their article, “Les représentations sociales sur les langues d’élèves de la fin de l’élémentaire en contexte francophone minoritaire,” Joël Thibeault and Carole Fleuret share the results of a multiple case study of eight elementary school students studying in French. Thibeault and Fleuret bring to light their participants’ social representation of language as well as the potential connections between these representations and participants’ subject-verb agreement. J-BILD readers may be particularly interested in the themes of plurilingualism that emerged from the study and the authors’ discussion of the importance of taking into account learners’ plurilingualism in their teaching practice.

Critical Literature Reviews

Chris Gosling, author of “Identity as a research lens in science and physics education,” begins his critical literature review by problematizing how gender in Physics Education Research (PER) has traditionally focused on gender as a differentiator between how female and male students learn or engage with physics. Gosling goes on to present an insightful review of the relevant literature related to PER and the complex and intersectional nature of student learning as gendered identity formation within the culture of school science. Gosling investigates and sheds light on how identity is employed by researchers of PER and how its use can help move gender research in physics beyond a binary perspective of gender.

“Understanding the connections between second language teacher identity, efficacy and attrition: a critical review of recent literature,” by Philippa Parks, explores the issue of teacher attrition among additional language teachers. Parks seeks to address the question of what it is about additional language teachers that makes them particularly prone to leaving the profession. Parks considers the role of self-efficacy and identity in teacher attribution, with a view to informing how additional language education can address the issue of attrition.

Research Proposal

Milagros b. Calderón Moya’s research proposal, “Issues related to interprovincial migration in Quebec: A Latin American perspective,” seeks to examine the perspectives of skilled Latin American immigrants towards interprovincial migration in Quebec and bring to light how the lack of adequate awareness of diversity in public school philosophies has resulted in the othering of minority groups in Quebec, making their departure to other provinces more likely. The potential contribution of the proposed research is clearly articulated by Calderón Moya when she says, “This research will provide immigration authorities and education specialists with tools that can provide fair educational and employment opportunities that truly resemble Quebec’s democratic values to Quebec’s current and future newcomers.”

Closing Thoughts

As a new journal, we recognize that there are many ways in which we can grow. In the short term, we hope to develop the resources to have a fully bilingual (English and French) journal site and also to leverage the potential of online publishing more widely.

We would like to close by expressing our deep appreciation of the authors for trusting their work with us, as well as the peer mentors who have worked closely with authors, often with several rounds of revisions, and on a very tight timeline (tight in the world of publishing). It is due to the dedication, collaboration, and commitment of the mentors and authors that we have been able to move from the inaugural call for papers in May to this first issue in November. We hope that you enjoy reading the issue as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.