Embodied Creative Multimodalities for Practicing EFL Pronunciation (by Janan Chan)

This fortnight we welcome back frequent guest blogger Janan Chan, who writes, ” I’m an incoming PhD student to the Department of Integrated Studies at McGill University. I was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Quebec, Canada, and I am currently living and teaching in Shanghai, China. From 2021-2024, I have continually modified the lesson materials provided to discuss real issues and to use language in creative, expressive and meaningful ways. My previous five BILD-LIDA blog posts explore my conflicts of identity in Shanghai; “hyper-Canadianness” in Shanghai’s Tim Hortonscyborg relations during Shanghai’s 2022 COVID-19 lockdownreal L2 use while skateboarding; and trangressive acts of writing by internet users in China.

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

A comment on my teacher evaluation haunted me. While other students praised my patience or provided simple feedback like, “He’s good”, one student wrote that I “did not have enough experience” but “has potential”. I felt like I was a teenager being scolded by well-intentioned parents. The latter comment was particularly devastating because this student noticed that I was not teaching to my full potential. And they were right.  

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A True Turkish Fairy Tale (by Beatrice Cale)

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Come gather around, children, and hear this true-to-life language-learning fairy tale.

Once upon a time, a person could pack their worldly goods in a small bag and with no more than 20 dollars in their pocket and a spirit of adventure, set out and see the world.

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French: A Lifelong Language Struggle (by Dairn Alexandre)

Kananaskis in Red (original artwork by the author)

Dairn Alexandre (a pseudonym) is a regular BILD guest blogger; for more information about Dairn, and to read his earlier posts, click here. Dairn has taught in Quebec and now works as a teacher in Alberta, where he lives with his wife, two kids, and dog.

My relationship with the French language has historically been problematic.

Even during my early years as an Anglophone kid in the English schooling system in Quebec, I had a series of seemingly ineffective and incompetent French teachers. This skewed how I perceived the subject, since I found little to no success in those formative years of learning the language. Eventually, my mother was my French teacher in grade 4, which made dinnertime conversation about our day at school awkward. By that point in time my lack of success with the subject coupled with my growing frustration with trying to catch up with the other students in my class made me resent learning a second language altogether. It was really tough to make any headway when everyone else seemed to be learning so effortlessly. 

In an attempt to not fail her youngest child – the only one of her three children that she would ever teach in her 30-year career – my mother tried to support me in my studies both at school and at home as best as she could. Except that language was something that needed to be acquired slowly over time, not intensively drilled into someone over the span of one year. And even though the professional and ethical thing to do as my teacher would have been to fail me, my mother just couldn’t bring herself to do it. This would have likely resulted in me having to repeat grade 4, since French is a required course in Quebec and failure was certainly a possibility for Quebec students in the ‘90s. Not only that, I needed a certain level of French proficiency in order to graduate high school. I realized early on that there was no way I was going to be able to do any of this. I barely eked by, getting marks that always teetered on the brink between passing and failing. I rationalized that learning French didn’t matter to me. I had decided early on that I was not going to live in Quebec, so learning French had no utility for me whatsoever. Ultimately, my goal was to survive and then move as far away from Quebec as fast as I could. 

And I almost succeeded. Until the day that I didn’t.

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Au-delà des notes : une exploration de l’évaluation alternative en enseignement des langues secondes (by Caroline Dault)

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

J’entretiens un rapport conflictuel avec l’évaluation.

J’ai choisi d’offrir à mes enfants un milieu scolaire alternatif, qui propose un mode d’évaluation appréciative, continue et tripartite (parent, enfant, enseignant)[1]. En tant que parent, je crois qu’il est avant tout essentiel d’apprendre à reconnaitre ses propres forces et défis et à identifier les stratégies à mettre en œuvre pour favoriser son apprentissage. Cependant, je suis aussi chargée de cours de français langue seconde à l’université, un milieu où l’évaluation occupe une place prépondérante et où la note accordée à une personne étudiante peut avoir des conséquences déterminantes sur son avenir. Mais dans un monde en constante évolution, peut-on toujours considérer que les méthodes conventionnelles d’évaluation répondent aux besoins des personnes apprenantes, ou même des milieux éducatifs ?

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A Recipe for Success: How Women Have Kept Their Heritage Alive through Cookbooks (by Mariana Rodríguez & Christian-Zaak Dubois)

We welcome two new guest bloggers this week. Mariana Rodríguez (she/her) is currently a Concordia graduate student in the Applied Linguistics program and a Research Assistant. She was born and raised in Mexico. Her interests are languages, music, and food. Christian-Zaak Dubois (he/him) recently graduated with a Master’s in Applied Linguistics at Concordia and alternates between working as a cook and an ESL teacher. Born and raised in Quebec of mixed Bulgarian and French-Canadian heritage, he tries to keep his endangered heritage language of Paulician Bulgarian alive by learning his great-grandmother’s recipes.

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

What is in a recipe?

Few of us dwell over this ubiquitous form of literature, yet recipes are behind almost every meal we have, and forming the foundation of our eating habits.

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