What accent sells the most cars? (by Michaela Salmon)

When we first started the blog, the BILD group discussed the types of topics and ideas that we wanted to discuss here. Alison spoke about the concept of “sociolinguistic noticing”; here we have a platform to share the little instances of language use that we notice around us in the day-to-day, from our perspective as critical sociolinguists (for example, see Lauren’s post from Australia last year, where she a business was promoting “accent training”, or a collection of Alison’s sociolinguistic noticings here). I would like to contribute something I recently noticed myself, and encourage all of you to consider your own response to this instance.   Continue reading


If you can’t be bothered to read my thesis, read this instead (by Michaela Salmon)

A few weeks ago, Lauren Godfrey-Smith wrote about her experience with 3MT. As Lauren describes, getting your PhD dissertation across to a broad audience in only three minutes is no mean feat but the challenge ultimately helps to clarify the content. Distilling a complex document into a small digestible chunk is the best and most viable way to sharing it with an audience beyond our cohort of students and academics. Continue reading

On a scale of student to teacher, I give myself a 6.5. (by Michaela Salmon)

My MA seems to be finishing not with a bang, but a whimper.

I have been a student for many years now, and I always envisaged the final day; a moment where all exams would be passed, all grades would be given, and I’d leave campus for the last time marching onwards to begin my brilliant career. Instead, as my final months, weeks, and days of being a student draw to a close, I am beginning to realise how for many graduate students the delineation of work and school is far from clear. Instead of one following the other, they blend into each other making it hard to distinguish what we do for money, for the love of it, for knowledge, for interest or for simply attaining a qualification. Continue reading

Five steps to success: how to write a thesis when all you want is a beer in the park (by Michaela Salmon)

While most days I wish I could be driving out to spend the day at a lake, or having picnics in parks and reading novels, I’m actually spending all of the summer working on my thesis. As somebody who has rarely had a full time job, and when I have it has been mostly tied to semester dates (thereby keeping my summers relatively free), this is incredibly difficult for me. Worse still, nobody is actually paying me a living wage to, you know… achieve higher education. Apparently it’s all about the self-motivation. Working on a thesis is rewarding, challenging, mind-opening, lonely, and worthwhile. But it’s not easy.

As a result of my struggles, I have compiled my five top tips for surviving thesis writing during the summer:
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A weekend of not learning language (by Michaela Salmon)

Bike rackI drove down to New York City with four friends last weekend to bike the 5 Boro Bike Tour. When we crossed into the United States, the border official asked us where we were all from. Without hesitation we unanimously replied “Montreal”, but our origins are a bit more disparate than that. Packed tightly into my little blue sedan were: a West-Coast Canadian, a Franco-Ontarian, an Ohioan with a mixed-up-anything-but-Midwest accent, a Spaniard, and me, an Australian.New York Bike expo
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BILDing networks at the EGSS Conference 2015 (by Michaela Salmon)

The last week and a half have been an exciting time for us; we presented ourselves publically as a group at McGill’s Education Graduate Students’ Society (EGSS) annual conference, as well as hosting and developing a workshop that explored exciting new research methodologies, particularly those applicable to sociolinguistics (see tweet below).

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