Open Sesame: The power of accent (by Dr.Mela Sarkar)

“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

“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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What’s your story? (by Emmanouela Tisizi)

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.

You can get in touch with her via email or visit her LinkedIn page!  Continue reading

Girl (by Kathleen Green)

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

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