Teachers unite! A call to reclaim ‘bilingual/multilingual’ (by Lauren Godfrey-Smith)

I was recently teaching an ESL class of intermediate-level adults when the topic of being bilingual/multilingual came up; we’d been listening to a news story about how being bilingual boosts brainpower and decreases the chance of memory problems later in life. When I asked my students if they felt bilingual, I was sorry to see only a few of the two dozen students raise their hands. And yet, when I asked them to tell me whether they used English every day for communicative tasks like doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping and parent-teacher interviews, they all said yes.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Are you in or out? Indigenous and minority languages shaping the linguistic landscape (by April Passi)

After the chaos of a summer filled with travelling, working, family visits and July 1stdéménagement”, 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.

img_6836
Multilingual BBQ space 🙂

Continue reading

“De Pays de Galles à Montréal”

The BILD Research Community is very pleased to welcome this week’s guest blogger, Sara Orwig. She is currently a PhD student at the School of Welsh in Cardiff, thanks to a scholarship from y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. Her PhD work bridges the study of literature and linguistics, and she is examining code switching in Welsh, French-Canadian and English literature. She recently visited Montreal as part of her research, thanks to a scholarship from the International Council for Canadian studies. Find out more about Sara on her LinkedIn profile or follow her on Twitter (@20fachgoch). Continue reading

Parc Jarry: Parler comme un ballophone (by Stephen Davis)

 

Dribble, dribble, dribble.

Hey, tu veux jouer?

On cherche un troisième

Qui peut bien shooter.

 

C’est nous contre eux,

Les trois gars là-bas.

On joue jusqu’à onze.

Check the ball déjà.

 

Hey, je suis libre,

Passe-le moi down low!

Vas-y vite, écoute-moi,

Run the give-and-go.

 

Reste sur tes pieds,

Don’t fall for the pump.

Tu peux pas me bloquer –

White men can’t jump.

 

Man, c’est une faute,

Tu me frappes chaque fois!

Touche-moi encore

Et je dunk sur toi.

 

 

Hey, t’as un accent,

Tu viens pas d’ici?

Ok, bienvenue,

Now get back on D.

 

Donne-moi un pick,

Check mon fadeaway.

Si tu ne m’arrêtes pas,

I’ll hit that shot all day.

 

Dribble, dribble, dribble.

C’est fini après mon score.

On change les équipes,

Or do you want some more?

13235322_10156912068845223_4925828550795801728_o.jpg

For or Against Official Models of Multilingualism – The BILD perspective (by Dr. Alison Crump)

From May 5 to 7, many of us BILDers attended a conference at McGill University called “For or Against Official Models of Multiculturalism and Multilingualism.” When we submitted our abstract for the conference, we did so with the BILD Research Group as the author. We had to assure the conference organizers that even though there are 10 of us in the group, we could be treated as a single entity (especially with respect to food ordering for conference attendees). We were quite sure that our talk “Unofficial multilingualism in an intercultural province: Micro-level case studies of policy as lived experience” would bring a different perspective. We were right! We had the great pleasure of closing the conference, in a session perhaps most appropriately called “And now for something completely different.”

Continue reading

The languages I look like (by Kathleen Green)

I’ve written on this blog before about my experiences as a speaker of French and English and how I feel myself self-categorizing, and being categorized by others, in relation to these two languages. Today, I’m going to add my third language, Mandarin, to the mix. Mandarin is a part of my daily life – these days, it’s present in the music that I listen to, it’s the subject of one of the classes that I teach, and it’s the language that I use to navigate applications on my computer and cell phone.
Continue reading