“Racism in Canada is subtle; implicit. That is racism is usually hidden…At the same time these views exist beside public beliefs which underlie assumptions that racism does not exist in Canada” (Madibbo, 2006, p. 142). Racism involves discrimination, segregation, exclusion and power imbalances and a complex mix of race, gender, religion, culture, and language. It is rooted in history and creates the other in society reinforcing our differences and causing fear. Racism is a social construct that is easy to define but not always easy to see.
Newcomers come to Canada expecting their new country to be multicultural with acceptance of diverse cultures, religions, languages, and experience. For many newcomers, this may not be the case. Continue Reading →
Since 1980, the number of university-bound students has more than doubled. The expectations that parents and youth have around attaining post-secondary credentials has become a taken-for-granted reality. No doubt that you have heard that “a university degree is the new high school diploma.” Extensive university and college expansions have occurred in all areas across the country to accommodate this growing desire. The 2016 Federal Census revealed that Canada has the highest proportion of university and college graduates in all of the OECD countries, with more than half of adult citizens between the ages of 25 and 64 having such a credential (Statistics Canada, 2017).
There is widespread perception that it is only possible to get a good job by attaining post-secondary education. Continue Reading →
What racial identity do you need in order to be considered a competent English language teacher? This question may seem absurd because race seemingly has nothing to do with one’s ability in English language teaching (ELT). However, in a small study examining the experiences of 10 teachers of colour looking for work in various private language schools in Toronto, Canada (see Ramjattan, 2015), I found that these teachers came to understand from employers that being white meant that one was better qualified to teach English. Therefore, the opposite message was that people of colour lacked the competence to teach the language.
These employer sentiments do not exist in a vacuum. Rather, they should be seen as ongoing manifestations of racist, Continue Reading →