¡Bienvenidos a los participantes del seminario IDEA!
Aquí pueden descargar recursos adicionales relacionados con la presentación: un traducción del marco Competencia Docente Intercultural de Dmitrov y Haque , y también los artículos completos en inglés a los que me referí durante la conferencia.
Nuestros alumnos viven una realidad académica y profesional globalizada. Sabemos que incorporar una dimensión internacional o intercultural a nuestra práctica docente puede incrementar su aprendizaje y mejor prepararlos para el mundo. Pero ¿dónde empezar para internacionalizar el aula? Exploraremos estrategias y herramientas prácticas para aplicar la competencia docente intercultural en la instrucción y el diseño curricular.
La internacionalización del currículum es uno de los pillares de la UDD, y el cuerpo docente demuestra un compromiso impresionante con el proceso de incorporar elementos globales, internacionales o interculturales a su práctica docente. Siempre es un placer intercambiar ideas y aprender junto a ellos.
2020 was a wild one, wasn’t it? As I dealt with a tumultuous unpredictability both professionally and personally from March onward, I found myself withdrawing a bit from the digital world: tweeting less, blogging less. But after a bit of distance, now I’m getting back into my online life (though still trying to keep the doomscrolling in check).
Despite everything I was really busy last year with a lot of new projects. In these first months of 2021, I’ve been reflecting on the last year, and realizing that I learned so much! Here are five important takeaways for me.
Being an editor doesn’t necessarily involve much editing. Carole MacDiarmid and I are (first-time) co-editors of an academic volume entitled Pedagogies in English for Academic Purposes: Teaching and Learning in International Contexts (on shelves in August 2021!). With the proposal for the book accepted and the contributors lined up in 2019, in 2020 chapters were submitted to us, and we went through rounds of review and revision before submitting the full manuscript in December. Although the title “editor” for me had previously conjured up images of making a paper bleed with red ink, there was very little work directly on authors’ writing or texts involved! I would describe the role as being a project manager with lots of subject knowledge and expertise. I had of course worked with editors before as an author, but it was great to learn this first-hand.
The dark side of ELT is alive and well. I had a blast teaching a Master’s course called International Issues in English Language Teaching at Saint Mary’s University to a group of language teachers from different contexts around the world. We discussed critical issues in ELT—native speakerism, colonialism, racism, neoliberalism, etc.—and how these influence methods, materials, assessment, policies and instruction. And lest anyone think that these issues are not a big deal anymore (Canagarjah’s Resisting Linguistic Imperialism in English Language Teaching came out in 1999, that problem must now be solved, right????), my students would tell you differently. These nefarious forces are being battled every day, in ways big and small, in educators’ teaching practice the world over.
The need to move from a monolingual to a multilingual “default” student in teacher education. I taught a Master’s course on MSVU’s TESOL Program this summer (Technology in Language Education) where I had a group of keen and engaged teachers, most of whom were working in primary and secondary contexts here in Canada or abroad. The majority of the teachers weren’t language teachers–they taught various other subjects but were enrolled in the TESOL program and/or the course out of a desire to be able to better serve the multilingual students in their classes. Nowhere in their previous teacher training were they taught how to deal with linguistic diversity in their classes, be it with newcomers or EAL students in their classes in an Anglo Canadian context, or students in an immersion or CLIL setting here or elsewhere. As these teachers shared with me, and as discussed in this recent ACLA/CAAL talk, there is an urgent need to stop training teachers around the idea of the “default” student in their classes being a monolingual Anglophone, with multilingual students being some sort of anomaly. We should acknowledge the multilingual nature of our schools and communities across Canada (it’s not just in large cities!) and center multilingual students and multilingualism and, importantly, provide all teachers with the tools to support multilingual students.
Teaching in an additional language is hard. I mean, duh, I knew this long before 2020. But I led an online professional development course in the internationalization of teaching and learning for faculty in Latin America in Spanish called Innovación pedagógica en contextos de internacionalización. I designed, developed and taught the course alongside two colleagues. I’d done talks and presentations before in my additional languages, but never a whole course. It was great fun and I learned A TON (like the word for the little gear icon, or how to talk about outcomes and scaffolding and Universal Design in Spanish!). Most of all, it gave me tons of additional insight into teaching in an additional language that I’ll bring to Dalhousie’s Professional Development Certificate in English-Medium Instruction as we prepare to expand its offerings.
Everything takes so much longer online. Like practically everyone at every institution everywhere the “pivot to online” occupied a huge part of my year professionally. A major thing I (and many others) have learned is that every part of online education takes longer online: for teachers, it’s designing and building courses, prepping for and teaching synchronously, designing and correcting assessments and exams and delivering feedback. For students, it takes longer to get into breakout rooms for groupwork and carry out those tasks, student assignments take longer to complete online. Online education presents so many affordances—accessibility and flexibility top among them for me—but we’ve all had to adapt and adjust as we’ve come to the realization about how long things take.
I haven’t been posting on this blog as frequently over the last year as I would have liked. That’s because all my free time was being spent on my doctoral research. The good news is, I just submitted my thesis yesterday! I realized I haven’t really posted much about my research, but now’s as good a time as any to start. This will be the first in a series of posts linking my research to practice for those of us who are language workers in a higher education context.
But first, the asbtract:
Monolingualism, Neoliberalism and Language-as-Problem: Discourse Itineraries in Canadian University Language Policy
Internationalization policies to promote international student enrolment at many Canadian universities have led to increased levels of linguistic diversity in the student body. However, institutional language policy responses to this diversity may be lacking, may centre a monolingual mindset or may discursively position the issue of the English language proficiency and development of students from non-English-speaking backgrounds in a framing of deficit. This study maps changing and conflicting “discourse itineraries” (Scollon, 2008:234), the taken-for-granted ideas, constraints and allowances at play discursively in institutional language policy. This was done via a multiple case study of three Canadian universities, where critical discourse analysis (CDA) was carried out on a variety of policy documents related to language, academic literacy and internationalization at the provincial (macro) and institutional and faculty (meso) levels and stakeholders at these institutions were interviewed.
This analysis revealed, first, that much language policy at these three institutions is covert, implicit and de facto. Two prominent discourses were also found: Language-as-Problem (Ruiz, 1984) and Neoliberalism and Language, each with pervasive sub-discourses—notably the Monolingual Mindset—that shape the creation of language policy at these universities. Discursive change is underway, however, as conflicting discourses were found at all institutions. In certain cases, there is a shift away from Language-as-Problem, influenced by a neoliberal focus on the English language as economic instrument. Building on Ruiz’s (1984) orientations toward language planning, this thesis proposes a new policy analytic heuristic to further describe the extent to which institutions ignore, blame, support or embrace language at different policy levels. As well, suggestions are made for Canadian higher education (HE) language stakeholders about how to realign discourses and bring about social change via critical language awareness-raising and policy-making. The ultimate goal is to provide a more equitable academic experience within Canadian HE for students from non-English-speaking backgrounds.
Scollon, R. (2008). Discourse itineraries: Nine processes of resemiotization. In V.K. Bhatia, J. Flowerdew, & R.H. Jones (Eds.), Advances in discourse studies (pp. 233–244). London: Routledge.
Ruiz, R. (1984). Orientations in language planning. NABE Journal, 8, 15–34
I’ve been neglecting my blog, I’m afraid. It’s ready to blame it solely on my doctoral thesis, which nearing completion, but it’s not just that. My professional role has expanded to include the realm of international higher education, which has meant a bunch of missions abroad representing the university, our English language unit, and Canadian higher ed in general over the past year and a half or so. Mostly to Latin America, and usually with a consortium or co-op such as the CALDO Consortium, Languages Canada or EduNova, these missions have been not only extremely interesting, but have given me some new insight into the the role of language in the internationalization of higher education.
For example, the growth of international education has gone hand-in-hand with the rise of English language as a medium for teaching, learning and research. As a result, English-medium instruction, language training for students and academics, and language capacity-building play an important role in many international partnerships. As well, policies and practices such as language proficiency requirements for admission, and standardized language testing continue to be points of discussion. However, the potentially important role language in international education is often underestimated. How innovative approaches to language can contribute to sustainable and successful initiatives is not adequately discussed.
I see this lack of attention paid to the role and potential of language in international higher ed as especially glaring when it is done by Anglo-Canadian institutions. Going into meetings with institutions from places where English is not the dominant language, language proficiency, training, assessment and EMI are often prominent concerns, brought up right from the start in discussion of student and faculty mobility and joint research collaboration, etc. A monolingual mindset is prevalent at many Anglo-Canadian universities (more on that in my thesis!). This means that sometimes Canadian institutions don’t seem to think that these are important concerns and don’t address them as they build programs. Sometimes institutions don’t see language teaching, learning and research as “proper” scholarship, and miss opportunities for things like short-term language courses to be a first step in collaboration between two institutions while more complicated agreements get worked out for things like joint doctoral degrees or other more involved sorts of collaboration.