Seeing in colour (by Kahawíhson Horne)

This week’s guest blogger is Kahawíhson Horne. She is Kanien’kehá:ka from Kahnawà:ke who is currently enrolled in the Ratihwennahní:rat’s Adult Immersion Program. She is a recent graduate of Concordia University with a BA in First People’s Studies as well as a background in media, food sovereignty, and language revitalization. She is an avid gardener who enjoys sushi and a good bottle of wine.

Speaking Kanien’kéha is like watching television in colour,” is an oft repeated anecdote passed down from my grandmother by way of an unknown elder. “English,” she continued “is television in black and white.”

Iroquois cradle board
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The Fine Lines in the Concrete (by Douglas Mungin)

This week’s guest blogger is Douglas Mungin, a Professor at Solano Community College where he has been the Director of Forensics since 2016. Douglas received his M.A and Ph.D. in Performance Studies at Louisiana State University and completed his undergraduate studies at San Francisco State University. Douglas’ research explores the performance of space and identity, ranging from the creation of abject spaces, community displacement, gentrification, and homelessness. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to communication studies, Douglas employs critical race theory and theories of mobility to explore how we understand and engage cultural differences across aesthetic practices. His work is featured in the Netflix documentary “Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” and has been published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Texas Speech Communication Journal, and Oral History Review. He is currently working on a book that traces the impacts of socio-economic neoliberalism on the performance and political movements of homeless communities in the United States.

The story of Los Angeles is one told through concrete. The freeways are called the arteries of the city. Paul Haddad in his work Freewaytopia (2021) explores the history of Los Angeles told through the story of its freeways. Haddad articulates on this use of concrete and argues “Just like the hammer to which everything is a nail, to these builders, virtually every traffic problem could be solved by building another freeway.”

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Teacher and Learner Identities: Scaling the Walls of Protection (by Martyna Kozlowska and Jaime Demperio)

This week’s guest bloggers are Martyna Kozlowska and Jaime Demperio. Martyna Kozlowska is an English language instructor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). She obtained a PhD in linguistics from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in the domain of generative approaches to L2 acquisition. She teaches primarily grammar, syntax, and critical reading, though her recent teaching and research interests center on issues of language and identity. Jaime Demperio is an English language instructor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). They obtained an MA in linguistics from Syracuse University in New York, and TESOL certification from LeMoyne College, also in New York. They teach reading, writing, interpersonal communication skills, media literacy, and courses concerning the interplay of language and culture. Their research interests concern identity and language learning.

“Each irritant is a grain of sand in the oyster of the imagination. Sometimes what accretes around an irritant or wound may produce a pearl of great insight, a theory.” – Gloria Anzaldua

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The art of Landguaging across borders: Land-sensitive curriculum for imperial language teachers (by Rhonda Chung) 

Since 1492, any European-based language thriving outside of its territory of origin is likely the consequence of some form of imperialism. How long linguistic occupation lasts outside that mother colony depends on how willing those settlers are to continue to toe the imperial line. When will enough be enough?

In the settler colonial territory currently named Canada, French began its long-term linguistic occupation of Turtle Island (North America) in 1608, making its way downwards into the islands of the Antilles, all the way to Abya Yala (South America).

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Reconciling what you believe in and what you have to do: English-only policies in language schools (by Grace Labreche)

This week’s guest blogger is Grace Labreche, a PhD Student at McGill University. She is interested in accent bias towards second language speakers, specifically in shifting the focus off of accent reduction practices and towards addressing accent bias among native speakers. In her research, Grace asks: How can we mitigate the bias in listeners instead of asking speakers to reduce their accent? How does a listener’s language attitudes and ideologies impact their listening bias? As an applied sociolinguist, she hopes to use her research to inform educational policy in language learning institutions. When she is not working or in school, Grace loves to paint and cross stitch. She also enjoys gardening while listening to horror podcasts, much to the dismay of her neighbours.

It is a little over a year today that I began the exciting new chapter in my life as a language school administrator in a private language school. This language school, like many others in Montreal, is a boutique language school, whose main clientele are wealthy international students and tourists looking to take some language courses while visiting abroad. The courses are costly compared to government funded language programs and the school’s main source of student recruitment is international language tourism agencies and advisors. 

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