“Where are you [really] from?”: A question to White British/French descendants-Canadians-settlers (by Eun-Ji Amy Kim)

“To examine Whiteness is to identify how race shapes the lives of both White people and people of colour [and Indigenous peoples]” (Yee and Dumbril, 2003, p. 100).

In her blog, Emmanueola (What’s your story?) urges all of us think about our story:

Each of us has a story to share, and educators must ensure that their students become confident and that all stories are heard and respected for what they are, even if they do not fall into conventional categories. What’s your story?“”

This blog post is my story, my story of an online dating experience. I share this story with you to challenge and perhaps think about the notion of “conventional categories” of being “Canadian”.

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Facts and Narratives: Teaching personal narrative to skeptical students (by April Passi)

This past week, I introduced my students to a new writing project: personal narrative. I’m replacing another teacher, and they have a “descriptive essay” on the syllabus, which to me to is another label for a personal narrative. Plus, I’ve taught personal narrative before, so I’m going with what I know to save some time and get the ball rolling for these students. The syllabus also stipulates that the essay is to explore the theme of tolerance: very timely, I thought.

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Sociolinguistics in Star Wars: Navigating accents and alienation in a galaxy far, far away … (by Stephen Davis)

The Star Wars film franchise is world-renowned for its fantastic science fiction storytelling, breathtaking special effects, and unparalleled original music. For readers in need of an outline of the episode trajectory, the original trilogy includes Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983); the prequel trilogy consists of Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005); the sequel trilogy features Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), as well as two forthcoming films; finally, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) serves to bridge the prequel and original trilogies. Indeed, Star Wars has been celebrated across generations, receiving a myriad of awards and becoming one of the highest grossing film franchises of all time. Yet, for all of the reasons to obsess over this otherworldly saga, language remains at the periphery of interest for many moviegoers.

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So what can we do? (by Dr. Monica Heller)

Monica Heller is Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Her most recent book, with L. Bell, M. Daveluy, M. McLaughlin and H. Noël, is Sustaining the Nation: the Making and Moving of Language and Nation (2015, Oxford University Press). 

A few months ago Mela Sarkar asked me to consider contributing a blog post. I told her I wasn’t sure what I had to say. Then, well, Autumn 2016 happened, and it became obvious that the least I could do was to write what I was thinking, which is that this is, once again, a time when attention to language-as-power is really, really, important. I was moved to write today, because before lunchtime I was drenched in evidence. Continue reading

Vers une prise en compte des variations intralinguistiques dans l’enseignement de la grammaire du français au Québec (by Joël Thibeault and Dr. Isabelle Gauvin)

Didacticiens des langues, Joël Thibeault et Isabelle Gauvin sont professeurs, respectivement à l’Université de Regina et à l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Ils s’intéressent, entre autres, à la prise en compte du répertoire linguistique des élèves, aussi pluriel soit-il, dans l’enseignement de la grammaire du français.  

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BILD, a three-year retrospective, 2013-2016 (by Dr. Mela Sarkar)

It began in the fall of 2013. Patricia Lamarre of the Université de Montréal, my McGill departmental colleague Bronwen Low, and I finally managed to get together one beautiful autumn afternoon DieuDuCiel!Menu.jpgat the Dieu du Ciel! microbrewery on Laurier (the beer is extraordinary) and we tossed around ideas for spreading the word about critical sociolinguistics research, specifically as it might be relevant to education, while thinking out loud about how important, difficult and fundamental it is to mentor junior scholars. They are the future. But they have to feel very supported in their explorations into different ways of doing “being scholars.” Continue reading