The new fall semester is starting up for me today. Classes don’t begin until next week but I have some formal faculty activities today so it feels like it’s the start. It’s also the start of the new school year for the 4th year students in the Faculty of Education where I work. They will be spending the next four months interning in elementary and secondary schools as part of their degree requirements. To orient the students and their cooperating teachers to this experience, the Professional Development & Field Experiences Office in my faculty offers several internship seminars. Last week, I gave a talk on the topic of fostering effective and socially-just classroom communication in future teachers at the first internship seminar. I’ve created a series of Youtube clips from my presentation that you can view on my channel here.
One more month as Acting Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Programs in Education and then I’m back to my faculty role as of August 1. This transition is good timing because I’ve just become president of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics. We’ve just confirmed our keynote speakers for ACLA 2017: Eve Haque and Carole Fleuret. Oh and please check out our new YouTube channel!)
I have a few conferences coming up soon: CINSA 2016 at First Nations University of Canada this week; one at the Universidad de Guanajuato next week on the topic of qualitative research methods in applied linguistics and then I’ll be at the annual Multidisciplinary Approaches in Language Policy and Planning conference at the University of Calgary in early September.
Congress starts on May 28 and the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics starts in ten days. I’ve been thinking about these papers and program since November so I’m particularly excited to see the papers and symposia being presented this year. We also have really great plenaries from Dr Rahat Naqvi and Dr. Ryuko Kubota; a plenary by Dr. David Block jointly organized with the Canadian Association of University teachers of German; a joint symposium on assessment in support of learning in the language classroom with the Canadian Association of Language Assessment and also a joint panel session on the evening of Monday, May 20 with the Canadian Linguistic Association (CLA) and SSHRC on the language-related Calls to Action in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The purpose of the session is to consider how applied linguists, linguists, Indigenous colleagues, SSHRC, and Canada’s post-secondary institutions can work together to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s language-related calls to action.I’m attaching the program for that joint session below.
I’m taking on a temporary administrative role for 2015/2016. I’ll be the Acting Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education’s Office of Research and Graduate Programs while my colleague Ken Montgomery is away on sabbatical. The position involves less teaching (one class instead of my typical five) and more time spent in meetings. It’s an opportunity to learn more about university practices and policies as well as service to my faculty. Here’s a picture of me in my office on my first day of the job.
I like to use videos in my undergraduate and graduate teaching. I’m often on the hunt for short clips related to course themes that extend the readings that I assign. For example, David Crystal is a researcher with a particularly strong Youtube presence. I really appreciate his videos because he presents complex ideas in straightforward ways. Here’s an example of one that I like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_q9b9YqGRY
But not all researchers have the same sorts of online videos. For example, I’ve seen Suresh Canagarajah speak in person on a number of occasions. He’s a fantastic presenter and I’d love to be able to share his talks with my students. I’ve looked extensively for videos featuring his keynote presentations but haven’t found any. He is just one example out of many. So, I’ve decided I’m going to start (trying to) film scholars and add them to my own Youtube channel. I’m not sure what the end result will be but, at the very least, I’ll have videos that are useful for my own teaching. And hopefully others will find them to helpful too.
In February 2015, Dr. Brian Morgan from Glendon College (York University) gave a guest lecture to my University of Regina graduate course in second language theory and research. I filmed his talk and am now getting around to uploading this presentation to my Youtube channel as a series of short clips. I hope I’ll have other videos to add over the next few years: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeJE0qP4cAinsg3CoIruTmw
The 2015 joint conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) and the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics (ACLA/CAAL) starts this Saturday in Toronto. I’ll be co-presenting two papers with graduate students (Honni Lizée and Cindy Nelson) and attending ACLA/CAAL executive meetings and the general meeting. I’m looking forward to some interesting sessions and catching up with colleagues and friends.
I spent last week in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico giving presentations and workshops to students and professors at the Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco. I talked about a range of topics but most were connected to the sociopolitics of English language teaching and global changes. It was a great week. I’m posting the PowerPoint presentations here so the workshop participants can have access to the materials.
Tomorrow is the first day of classes for Fall 2014. It’s also my first semester back to a regular load after sabbatical. I did teach an intensive course in July 2014 but it was in Saskatoon and somehow didn’t quite feel like being back to school. I’m teaching two sections of an undergraduate course on the topic of linguistic diversity in schools.
A few bits of news in my world. I’m now the vice president of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics/ L’Association canadienne de linguistique appliquée (CAAL/ACLA). ACLA and the American Association for Applied Linguistics are holding a joint 2015 conference in Toronto from March 21-24. I’ve been involved this summer with conference planning. I’m learning a lot already and am enjoying the experience.
And I’m off to Calgary on Thursday for the Language Policy and Planning conference at the U of C. I’ll be giving a paper with one of my PhD students, Cindy Nelson.
In March, I was in Portland for AAAL 2014 to give a paper. I saw a number of talks that I really enjoyed. In particular, I saw a paper from Maris Thompson on citizenship and German Americans that I really loved. I saw a really great paper from Brianne Nelson and Greta Vollmer that used discourse analysis to examine 911 calls from Spanish-speakers. That made me think of incidents like this that pop up in the newspaper every so often. How does accent/language affect response time? I also really enjoyed a presentation by Sebastian Muth on the commodification of Russian in Lithuania. Aneta Pavlenko and Monica Heller were both present at that session and the discussion was very interesting.
After I returned to Regina, I left again to spend a few days at the University of Lethbridge. I met with members of the Language Development, Identity, Assessment Group and gave a lecture on the topic of pathologizing language difference in settler schools. I was fortunate enough to be presenting along with Sharla Peltier who talked about her work in “facilitating language and literacy learning for students with Aboriginal English dialects.” I really enjoyed this experience. I’m posting a few pictures from the lecture and of the group.
My sabbatical has been going well. I’ve been working on a few things and slowly making progress on my writing. I’ll start back to teaching with a summer graduate institute where I’ll be teaching language acquisition theory in French to our Maîtrise cohort based in Saskatoon. I have a few more projects planned between now and summer.