Language and Identity Research in Digital Times (by Dr. Bonny Norton)

The BILD research group is so thrilled to have Bonny Norton as our guest blogger for this week. Bonny Norton is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, UBC. A Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), she was the inaugural recipient of the “Senior Research Leadership Award” of AERA’s Second Language Research SIG, and 2016 co-recipient with Ron Darvin of the TESOL Distinguished Research Award. Her website is:

I am honored to be invited as a guest blogger in this exciting new initiative at McGill’s Belonging, Identity, Language, Diversity Research Group. The debates in the blog are of great interest to me, both professionally and personally, and I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the conversation.

In the spirit of promoting and utilizing the digital, I’d like to share an 8-minute interview that was recently conducted in Delhi, India, where I was a featured speaker at the British Council’s November 2015 “Language and Development Conference”. The interview summarizes some of my central ideas about language and identity, and references my current work on the African Storybook project, an innovative and important open-access digital initiative:

For those interested in children’s early literacy, I discuss this groundbreaking African initiative in an April 2014 keynote address at the “Celebrating Linguistic Diversity” conference held in honor of Jim Cummins, in Toronto. The title of the presentation is: “Literacy, identity, and social change: Back to the future with Jim Cummins.”

The BILD community has given me the opportunity to share some of my recent work, and to illustrate the way it connects with Canadian scholarship, more broadly. My warmest thanks! I look forward to an ongoing connection.


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