Congratulations! You received the OCAD University Employee Equity Award. Talk to us a bit about that award and what it means to you.
I am deeply honored to receive the 2023 Employee Equity Award for my work as an English Language Learning Specialist at OCAD University’s English for Art & Design Program and the Writing & Learning Centre. This award highlights the importance of fostering an equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning and work environment, a mission I am passionately dedicated to. My commitment lies in empowering racialized and multilingual students by providing them with an equitable pedagogical space through amplifying their unique resources and knowledges. I advocate for translingual approaches to teaching English as an Additional Language and creating more accessible curricula that cater to multilingual students’ needs to ensure their success. Continue Reading →
Categories: communication, culture, Curriculum, EAL, EAP, ESL, Interview, Journal, Language, Research, Speaking, Spotlight
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 →
Many immigrants come to Canada not understanding the long and complex history it has with its Indigenous people, colonization, residential school system, and the impact of this on Indigenous communities. As a result, many newcomers learn negative stereotypes about Indigenous people because of their representation in the media and literature. Therefore, there is a pressing need to educate ourselves and Canadian newcomers about the true Canadian history. It is important to examine it from different angles and a “need to learn to read again the exhibition of the world, to see the display of the civilized and the primitive” (Willinsky, 1998, p. 86) as history topics have only ever been taught from one point of view of the majority group. Continue Reading →
English is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is the most commonly taught, learned, and used L2 worldwide. English is sought out as a valuable commodity. Parents want their children to learn it because of potential job and personal gains, and people worldwide seek to learn it for these exact reasons. It reigns supreme within the seemingly invisible pyramid of languages. English is king. As a lingua franca, it is the dominant language of international business, science, and technology (Lüdi et al., 2010, p. 57). Whatever the context, the rule of thumb seems to be, “When in doubt or when in a communicative bind, resort to speaking English.” Tourists who visit foreign countries can rest assured that they will be understood if they have knowledge of English. Continue Reading →