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.
Our guest blogger this week, Daisy Martinez, tells us: I am currently working as a French Immersion, high school science teacher in Regina Saskatchewan. I completed a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biochemistry at the University of Saskatchewan before completing a Bachelor of Education at the University of Regina. I am currently in my second year of graduate studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina. My interests include heritage languages – particularly, the experiences and perspectives of Spanish speaking parents and their efforts in maintaining the Spanish language. Outside of university, I practice yoga and really enjoy quilting, hiking, and a good game of chess. I live with my husband and our sweet dog, Apollo.
My upbringing in Regina, Saskatchewan was in a bilingual household, and I can affirm that it takes a great deal of effort to prevent heritage language loss in an English-dominant society. My parents (first-generation immigrants from El Salvador) worked tirelessly to ensure that I learned to speak Spanish. To be honest, they worked tirelessly, period. Building one’s life from the ground up, learning a new language, and raising three children is no easy task. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and fortunately, my village was composed of many Spanish-speaking families, which helped me maintain my heritage language.
This past year, I interviewed young adult heritage language learners about their experience in learning their heritage language. They shared their failures and successes in attempting to learn their heritage language. Continue reading →
Dr. Caroline Riches is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies at McGill University. She is the Director of Teacher Education Programs & Certificates and MA programs in the department. Her research interests are in teacher education & development (Collaboration in Haitian Teacher Development: Cultivating Inclusive Action Research Practices) and bilingualism (Toward Achieving Canadian Bilingualism: Investigating Pre-service ESL and FSL Teachers’ Linguistic and Professional Identities).
BILD has given me the opportunity to discover multiple points of view about socio-cultural change and identity fluidity. This safe space has also allowed me to delve into and question different aspects of linguistic change and diversity. An inherent characteristic of language is its variation. In recent months, I’ve been thinking about the dynamics of language variation: how languages move on, change, and diversify themselves from their “root”. I’ve also had similar thoughts about the speakers of these languages. With my research focus on minority language communities, specifically adult heritage language learners and mixed heritage identities, I’ve been wondering how these learners and their identities are being realised in relation to the “three waves of language variation” (Eckert, 2012) in sociolinguistics. Continue reading →
Language policy is part of the air we breathe, here in Quebec. In our BILD blog posts, most of us have taken our musings about how Quebec language policy affects our lives, and woven them into our writing.
In fact, we are presenting our collective thoughts on “Micro-level case studies of policy as lived experience” at an upcoming conference at McGill May 5, 6 and 7, called For and against models of official multiculturalism and multilingualism (here’s the program). However, we won’t have time to tell very many or very long stories. So in case there isn’t time there, I will tell mine here. Continue reading →