As a recent immigrant to Canada, I involuntarily find myself in between-situations, driven by a set of choices that diverge me away while preserving bits and pieces of my natural habitus (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977). As a native speaker of Arabic and an ESL teacher who mainly spoke English and French back home, I never realized how liberating it is to be given the choice to use Arabic, my mother tongue, until that choice was no longer an option. When I was still in Lebanon, I barely used Arabic, except with family and friends. Despite being one of the most complex languages to learn globally (Wahba et al., 2014), speaking Arabic is considered unprestigious in Lebanon. The Lebanese context clearly distinguishes between standard and prestigious languages. Continue Reading →
Despite mounting research on the potential that cultivating self-identity affords students, it is often forgotten in most academic contexts, whether in instruction or assessment, that L2 writers have an L1 identity. In all avenues of higher education, researchers agree that multiple, complex, and simultaneous identities of students are advantageous for their advancement in academic writing (Cohen, 2011; Cummins, 2001; Leki, 2008); however, institutional practices, persisting social conventions, and student-teacher relationships (or lack thereof) place a greater pressure for L2 undergraduate students specifically. International and immigrant/generation 1.5 undergraduate students arrive in their new settings with their L1 knowledge base and are often expected to forego rhetorical strategies of their L1, as well as their linguistic and cultural repertoire, Continue Reading →
Racism in education has a long 500-year history with colonial roots that situates knowledge production as a Western prerogative. Colonizers intentionally created an educational system based on Eurocentric epistemologies that promoted White supremacy. Pieterse & Parekh (1995) argue that in the 20th century, capitalism and industrialization enabled global oppression and resurgent nationalism which undermined social justice initiatives. Over the last thirty years in Canada, despite increasingly diverse students, inclusive curricula, and equity policies from elementary schools to universities, the teacher and administrator workforce has remained racially homogenous. Learning English has become an intrinsic part of a global post-colonial legacy in which many continue to perceive the ideal educator to be White males. Currently, microaggressions among ESL teachers and exclusion in decision making reflect ongoing racism. Continue Reading →
Teaching is said to be “the profession that eats its young” (Halford, 1998, p. 34). Unfortunately, this is often the reality and norm associated with many performance-based careers today. Experienced teachers would agree that performance in the classroom begins the very moment you step in front of a classroom full of students. Those teachers, who are ill-equipped for the task or not ready to perform and respond to student needs in an efficient and satisfactory manner, will be faced with many obstacles. This article considers the needs of teachers and how they can learn to cope with the issues related to teaching, in order to better prepare for and respond to the various challenges, while building resilience and striving to enjoy long and fruitful careers in education. Continue Reading →
This paper shares findings from an investigation connected to a larger research study which sought to holistically understand multilingual international students’ socio-academic and linguistic experiences at a university in Ontario. In here, the focus is placed on the students’ identity-related experiences in light of post-structuralist theory in applied linguistics. By drawing on interviews and participant-generated photography, this study seeks to link theory and experience, and to illustrate some of the complexity, diversity, and subjectivity of identity and identity-related experiences for multilingual international students for whom English is an additional language.
Canadian universities and colleges have experienced a rapid increase in the number of international students over the last decade. International students contribute to the diversification of their host academic communities in multifaceted ways. Continue Reading →
Language learners’ (L2) knowledge about their own learning (also known as metacognitive knowledge) enhances with learners’ acquisition of metacognitive skills and successful applications of metacognitive strategies. In these contexts, L2 teachers’ knowledge about teaching is quite opposite to “abstract, decontextualized” knowledge, which results in executing “a set of discrete behaviour” (Freeman & Johnson, 1996, p. 400). Similar to the learners, as Freeman and Johnson (1996) argue, the way “teachers actually use their knowledge in classrooms is highly interpretive, socially negotiated, and continually restructured within the classrooms and schools where teachers work” (p. 400). Therefore, language teachers’ knowledge of metacognition needs to be improved and applied in their instruction and classroom environment which eventually encourages and guides learners’ metacognitive behaviors in L2 learning. Continue Reading →
The objective of this research study was to analyze B.A. students’ writers’ identity based on their narratives. The theory for this research was based on the poststructuralist perspective of identity and on theoretical concepts for personal narratives. For the methodology, the Case Study approach was taken into account. Students argued that a writer creates stories and contexts. Hence, students see themselves as apprentices that like to write, but not as writers. For the participants, there is a difference between a teacher that writes and a writer, and also none of the participants mentioned academic texts as writing. For them, writing is related to tales, poetry, and fiction.
El objetivo de este estudio fue el de analizar la identidad como escritores de estudiantes de licenciatura en idiomas con base en sus narrativas. Continue Reading →
“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie
It is well-known in the TESOL community that many students take on an English name different from one’s birth name, and it is more common in some groups of students than others. In fact, among some Asian students, the practice of taking on an English name is almost de facto and one that is practiced not only in English-speaking countries, but in many schools in Asia as well (Chien, 2012; McPherron, 2009). As such, a Haeda might also be known as Heidi, Mohammed becomes Moe, and Sun-mi goes by Alice. The instructor will use the chosen English name for the student and, Continue Reading →