Affiliate Members



CaseyCasey Burkholder became invested in the notion of citizenship and belonging from an early age, growing up in Canada’s North. Because her family moved frequently (from Edmonton to Red Deer to St. Albert to Fort Smith to Calgary to Winnipeg), and because as an adult she has lived in Wolfville, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Calgary, Charlottetown and Montreal, she has often struggled to answer the question, “Where are you from?” At Casey’s first teaching job at a public school in Hong Kong, she taught ‘non-Chinese’ ethnic minority youth. During her two years as a classroom teacher, she saw her students systematically excluded from school activities and language instruction, and watched as many students were pushed out of the school. She wondered about the difference between the Hong Kong government’s policy to include ethnic minority youth in schools, and their lived experiences. This question served as the foundation for Casey’s Master of Arts work, which she completed in Educational Studies at Concordia University. In her doctoral work at McGill University’s Department of Integrated Studies in Education, Casey undertook a study that included an analysis of the representations of ethnic minorities’ histories and cultures in Social Studies textbooks, and an action-oriented project of creating youth-led responses to these representations with cellphone videos (cellphilms). In her teaching practice at the post-secondary level at Concordia, McGill and the University of PEI, Casey infuses her teaching practices with the need to include, explore and represent multiple perspectives of history, belonging, and  citizenship.



Catherine Levasseur est titulaire d’une maîtrise en anthropologie de l’Université Laval (2002) et d’un doctorat en Sciences humaines appliquées à l’Université de Montréal (2018). Elle mène ses recherches en tant que professeure adjointe au sein de l’ILOB, à l’Université d’Ottawa.

Ses travaux de recherche s’inscrivent à la croisée des champs de la sociolinguistique et de l’éducation. Ils traitent du rapport entre les langues et l’identification en contexte linguistique minoritaire. Sa recherche doctorale porte plus particulièrement sur les représentations, les discours et les pratiques langagières d’enfants plurilingues issus des programmes de francisation d’une école francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. Les résultats de recherche montrent comment le positionnement de ces élèves par rapport à la communauté imaginée des francophones met en lumière des enjeux plus larges d’inclusion et d’exclusion à l’école.

Catherine Levasseur a aussi comme intérêts de recherche les concepts et théories qui traitent des idéologies langagières, de la socialisation langagière, de la littératie universitaire et de l’enseignement des langues secondes. Ses recherches qualitatives et ethnographiques s’inscrivent dans une démarche critique et appliquée. 

Ses publications sont disponibles ici :



HeatherHeather Phipps obtained her PhD from the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Heather’s research interests in early childhood literacy and curriculum studies have emerged from her prior experiences as a French immersion Kindergarten teacher in Alberta and an ESL elementary teacher in Québec. Heather has taught and supervised pre-service teachers at the University of Regina, where she is currently on faculty, as well as in the Bachelor of Education program and First Nations and Inuit Education at McGill. While pursuing graduate studies, she also worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Teresa Strong-Wilson on two SSRHC funded projects investigating Canadian children’s literature and social justice with pre-service and in-service teachers. As an educator, avid reader and emerging researcher, Heather is inspired by the writer Ursula Nordstrom’s words, “I am a former child, and I haven’t forgotten a thing.” Drawing on research in Childhood studies and early literacies, Heather is interested in the multiple ways that young children engage with the words and images in diverse picture books. In her dissertation research, she studied young children’s responses to diverse Canadian picture books in the context of a culturally and linguistically diverse public elementary school in Montreal. Through ethnographic and qualitative methodologies, Heather is interested in listening to and respecting children’s voices, particularly in relation to the rights of the child.



Jacqueline 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.

Jacqueline’s research interests include empathy, ethnic identity. intercultural communication, narrative analysis and discourse analysis.



Jennifer Burton grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan but it wasn’t until she moved to South Korea after her undergrad to teach English for one year that she experienced something transformational. One year in Korea turned into five and she returned to Canada with endless stories to share with willing listeners. She found comfort in her classroom and connected most with her students who were going through their own transitions: experiencing their first Canadian winter, coping with culture shock and homesickness, yearning to be understood in an environment that wasn’t comfortable or familiar. While her students’ experiences were different, she could relate. She spent 8 years teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to immigrants, refugees, and international students in Canada, before deciding to pursue her PhD in Language and Literacies Education with a collaboration in Language Policy at the University of Toronto (OISE). However, before beginning her PhD, she sold her belongings, condensed her life into one carry-on backpack, bought a one-way ticket, and spent 5 months solo-backpacking around the world. She learned many things, one which was of the tenacity of the human spirit. She has yet to decide her main area of research but she has many interests as they relate to teaching and learning English, including plurilingualism in higher education, language assessment, and heritage language education. She loves to travel, connect with others, and write about life experiences. Sometimes this writing takes the shape of academic papers published in journals, and other times it’s in the form of short stories, poetry or spoken word art. She is thankful for the BILD community.

Twitter: @Burton_OISE




Kathleen (Apple) Green is a PhD candidate in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, where her research will focus on the long-term effects of Mandarin language exchange programs. Kathleen began studying Mandarin on an academic exchange to Wenzhou, China in 2005 and has been interested in Mandarin second language education ever since. In 2012, she received a master’s degree in linguistics from Fu Jen University in Xinzhuang, Taiwan. Her master’s thesis focused on the use of pragmatic markers in non-native speech in Mandarin. Kathleen has several years of language teaching experience, including an introductory Mandarin Chinese course at a weekend school established by the Chinese Cultural Association of New Brunswick.




Lauren joined BILD in 2013 as a founding member. From 2013- 2016, Lauren was the group’s secretary and actively involved in blogging and other BILD projects. In 2016, Lauren transitioned to affiliate member in order to focus on her new role as the Managing Editor of J-BILD.

Lauren completed her PhD in Educational Studies at McGill University in 2017. For her doctoral research, Lauren investigated the experience of non-classroom language anxiety among French-as-an-additional-language learners in Montréal. Her study revealed significant interplay between language anxiety and individuals’ feelings of belonging and identity, particularly among learners from diverse backgrounds.

Lauren lives in Victoria, BC, where she works in educational technology and faculty support at Royal Roads University. She wrote and published under the name Lauren Godfrey-Smith prior to 2018 and now writes and publishes as Lauren Halcomb-Smith.

Explore Lauren’s BILD posts here!



Melissa J. Enns is an outdoorsy, travel-loving Saskatchewanaise who is fascinated by all aspects of language, language acquisition, and language teaching. Her interest in language and social contexts was born out of her undergraduate studies in linguistics, Spanish, and several courses in anthropology, although her love of language learning itself was discovered much earlier, precipitated by a three month trip to Mexico.

Melissa’s experience as an undergraduate Spanish tutor and T.A. and later a full time ESL instructor at an academic prep school in Saskatchewan have deepened her interest in applied linguistics and education. In June of 2017, sociolinguistics and applied linguistics came together as she had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop on translanguaging at the TESL Canada national conference in Niagara Falls.

Melissa completed her master’s thesis in McGill’s Second Language Education Program. Her research centered on bridging the gap between research and practice through her language education blog, Ramblings of a Linguaphile, where she and her contributors attempt to present theoretical work in second language education in accessible chunks that are (hopefully) of practical value to language teachers in the classroom.
Melissa’s other loves include running, collecting plants, and being artsy.




Michaela Salmon completed her Master’s research at McGill University in 2016. However, her interests in second language acquisition and the social contexts of language use extend back many years. Growing up with a language-obsessed mother in an otherwise monolingual family in Australia, she grew up feeling attached to her “mother” tongue, German, but without the heritage to back it up. So began the years of language learning: at home, overseas, at school, and at university. After studying in Austria, Michaela undertook an undergraduate Honour’s thesis, where she questioned the reasons for the reportedly lower rates of German acquisition by Turkish immigrant children in Vienna, compared to children from other backgrounds. So the seed was planted: for becoming a language teacher, and for exploring further the implications for learning languages (or not). After moving to Quebec in 2012, Michaela became involved with locally-based research within a critical sociolinguistics framework. She investigated mismatches between language policy, practice, and ideology, and how these mismatches impact certain immigrant groups. These days, Michaela can be found teaching ESL at the CÉGEP level where she encourages the next generation to consider the notions of belonging, identity, diversity, and language within their classroom context.

Browse Michaela’s posts for BILD here!




Patricia Houde grew up in a francophone-only community in rural Quebec. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at the Université de Sherbrooke, she moved to Banff, Alberta where she spent 17 years living in the Bow Valley. She concluded a Diplome d’enseignement and then taught French Immersion for 12 years. She went on to study Spanish in Guatemala and Mexico, and in 2001 moved to Mexico where she has been teaching at the University of Guanajuato.

In 2010, Patricia graduated with a Master’s degree from the Université de Sherbrooke. She researched language learning strategies with beginner adult learners of English as a second language in Mexico. She has taught ESL, FSL, worked in teacher training in the ICELT program, and in 2011 became a full-time professor in the B.A. TESOL and in the Licenciatura en la Enseñanza del Español at the Departamento de Lenguas for the Universidad de Guanajuato. She has also been a course lecturer at the Université de Sherbrooke since 2011.

In 2018, she completed the Ph.D. in Educational Studies in Language Acquisition at McGill, where in 2015 she joined the BILD-LIDA research group. During her two-year residency at McGill, she served as research assistant for Prof. Caroline Riches and Prof. Roy Lyster, provided ESL teacher supervision in schools in Montreal, and taught a class on French Immersion pedagogy. Patricia has the pleasure to be on the editorial team as a French copy editor for the BILD Journal.

Her research interests deal with language teaching in different contexts, for instance, French immersion, as well as English as a second language in Quebec and Mexico, language learning strategies, teacher education for English and Spanish as a second language, autonomous language learning, and professional development through collective reflective practice with language teachers. Her Ph.D. research investigated the role of reflective practice using a collaborative accompaniment model with ESL teachers who have completed a B.A. in TESOL in Guanajuato, Mexico.

You can see her research projects here:



IMG_3378.JPGStephen Davis graduated from the Master of Arts in Second Language Education program at McGill University in 2017 and teaches in a French immersion program in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Stephen was born to Canadian biologists in Canberra, Australia, who, upon moving to Saskatoon, made the auspicious decision to enrol him in French immersion kindergarten, which began his lifelong love of language learning. After completing his schooling in French immersion, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in French at the University of Saskatchewan in 2011, followed by a Baccalauréat en Éducation at the University of Regina in 2013. Additionally, he has worked with refugees in Canada; taught in an orphanage in Nepal; and participated in Global Encounter trips with Canadian Lutheran World Relief in Zambia, South Africa, Peru, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. Stephen’s thesis research explored the experiences of newcomer families in French immersion in Saskatoon, and he is also interested in the language education of refugees and critical sociolinguistics. He can often be found playing basketball with his brother, playing tenor saxophone, and petting other people’s dogs.

Take a browse through Stephen’s blog contributions here!



Sumanthra BILDLIDA photo

Sumanthra Govender completed her PhD in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Her research interests are in identity formation, ethnic affiliation, heritage language education and maintenance, minority language rights and policies, sociolinguistics, and multiculturalism/multilingualism. Sumanthra has a Higher Diploma in Theoretical Linguistics from University College Dublin. Her dissertation focused on the duration of disyllabic words in Tamil. In 2002, Sumanthra graduated from Concordia University with a Master’s of Arts in Applied Linguistics. Her master’s thesis focused on assessing the depth of word knowledge among ESL/EFL learners through multiple word association responses. Sumanthra has been primarily teaching ESL (academic writing) and/or TESL at several universities and colleges in Montreal since 2002. She has also taught in Edmonton, Prague, and Toulouse. In addition, she is also an acting language specialist for the Standards Councils of Canada – ISO working group TC232 – focusing on language learning services in non-formal education and training environments.

Explore Sumanthra’s posts on BILD over here!


Yecid Ortega is an Assistant Professor at Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK). He completed his Ph.D. in the program of Language and Literacies education, with a specialization in Comparative International and Development Education (CIDE), at OISE – University of Toronto. His general research interests are within (decolonial) critical ethnographic and case study approaches in international urban and rural areas. Yecid explores how globalization, capitalism and neoliberalism influence language policy decision-making and classroom practices. He wonders how plurilingualism juxtaposes with concepts of culture and race. His research looks at how English language teaching policy in Colombia is being understood by the school community (students, teacher, parents, principal etc.) and how it influences classroom practices and students’ lived experiences

Research project: Understanding the lived experiences of marginalized English language students in post-conflict Colombia

Research Gate:



Twitter: @ OrtegaYecid