“What accent sells the most cars?” asked Michaela in a post last November. She was wondering about the supposed marketing effect of juxtaposing accents (French and English Canadian, in English) in radio advertising, considering our local context of Montreal. Recently I was reminded forcibly of the very real effect of my own English Canadian accent in a distinctly non-local context. It was in Kolkata, the teeming city where I was born but did not grow up (that honour belongs to Toronto). Continue reading
“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”.
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.
Emmanouela is a PhD student in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Her academic journey entails studies in Modern Languages (MSt) and Language Education (MSc) and she is passionate about studying the ways in which languages and people evolve over time and through social interaction.
While this post isn’t exactly a response to Dr. Heller’s post from two weeks ago, I feel like her post sets the stage for this one. I suggest that you read hers first, if you haven’t already.
For a long time now, I have found comfort in scholarly argumentation about power imbalances and struggles. A big part of this is about finding a way to articulate, in a rational, logical, structured way, things to which I initially react on an emotional, or a gut level. Continue reading
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 at 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
Now more than ever, we need art to inspire hope and change in the world. The arts—poetry, music, literature, visual works, film and other forms—enable us to feel emotion, gain the perspective of another, challenge assumptions, and provoke new ways of thinking and understanding. Continue reading
Daniel Mo is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Second Language Education program at McGill University. His research mainly focuses on second language assessment. He is now working on his thesis investigating the effectiveness of formative assessment at the tertiary level.
I got my first tattoo on August 16th, 2016 to celebrate my one-year anniversary living in Montreal. I chose the pattern twenty-four in Roman numerals since it was also my twenty-fourth birthday just a couple of weeks ago. It has been such an amazingly delightful year that I felt I needed something personal and permanent to remember the good time. The graduate courses at McGill are absolutely enlightening; the friends I have met, mostly teacher-turned scholars, are both intelligent and inspiring; the multicultural social events happening every day are fascinating; the friendly neighbourhood makes it so easy to settle down and build a new nest for myself. This year, I live as an international student pursuing a master degree, which has been the core of my life; however, equally significantly, I live as an Asian gay man in a bilingual city. Continue reading
Cristina Baz graduated from McGill University with a B.Ed. and M.A. in Second Language Education. She currently works in translation, language teaching and administration, sometimes escaping with her co-author to work on their new books.
I am the Other. Being the Other is always done to you. It comes as a result of racializing discourses that form part of the West’s colonial legacy, sorting “some people, things, places, and practices into social categories marked as inherently dangerous and Other” (Dick and Wirtz, 2011, p. E2). As such, being an immigrant, especially a visible minority, in a Eurocentric world means that you will always be seen through racialized lenses. In reality, there was nothing fishy about the period and place of my birth or the schools I attended, but the mix and match of random circumstances have yielded quite an interesting “identity crisis starter pack”. Continue reading
After the chaos of a summer filled with travelling, working, family visits and July 1st “déménagement”, I was grateful to barbecue with good friends in my new backyard. We
reconnected over food, stories and laughter, updating each other on our summer adventures. The stories were told in a variety of languages too, showing off the multilingual competencies of my friends. English seemed to be the common language, but at a few different moments throughout the evening, some groups formed to share and laugh in Arabic or Spanish, neither of which I speak or understand. I observed these small groups admiringly…but with the distinct feeling that I was an observer, an outsider.