Thursday, January 30, 2014

Language repertoire of a teacher training class in Vancouver

A list of what languages were represented in our classroom. The question was simply "which languages do you have in your repertoire?" The question of what constitutes a repertoire came up. I defined it as "whether you feel the language is a part of your life in some way."

One member of the class was absent when we did this and she would've added some more, so the totals would have been:

English - 17
Mandarin - 7
Cantonese - 4
French - 4
Korean - 3
Japanese  - 2
Spanish - 2
Indonesian - 1
Punjabi - 1
Hindi - 1
Latin - 1

So, some questions.

Is there anything surprising about this?

How does this list affirm (or not affirm) beliefs about what languages are important/common in Vancouver, or BC, or Canada, or North America?

How many of these are "native" vs "non-native" languages? Does that matter?

What would happen if we conducted class in a language other than English?

What language families or regions of the world are not represented? Why?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sociolinguistics and language teaching: 20 years ago and today

I'm currently teaching one of my favorite courses at UBC, which is the second half of a sequence of classes on applied linguistics for current or future language teachers. This course focuses on applications of sociolinguistics to language teaching, a subject I really enjoy teaching (and learning) about.

We use the 2010 book Sociolinguistics and Language Education by Hornberger & McKay. What I find interesting is that this book is basically an update of a very similar volume they edited about 20 years ago, and by comparing the contents of the books you can see what's changed since then.

Right away, you can see that the 1996 book is more focused on 'traditional' areas of sociolinguistics: variation, sociology of language, interactional sociolinguistics. The 2010 book adds three sections that have hugely grown in importance (and some might say "trendiness"): language (and) ideology, language and identity, and a whole section for language and literacy where it's just a chapter in the first book.

As I've said before, applied linguists tend to use the term "sociolinguistics" loosely, and 2010 book shows that we've placed some things under that umbrella that may not have been there before: new literacy studies and multiliteracies, identity stuff, and studies of ideology/power. 

I think I'll have more to say this when the course is over, but for now, here are the two tables of contents for comparison.

McKay, S. & Hornberger, N. (1996). Sociolinguistics and language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Chapter 1 Language attitudes, motivation, and standards 3 Mary McGroarty
Chapter 2 Societal multilingualism 47 Kamal K. Sridhar
Chapter 3 World Englishes 71 Braj B. Kachru and Cecil L. Nelson
Chapter 4 Language planning and policy 103 Terrence G. Wiley


Chapter  5 Regional and social variation 151 John R. Rickford
Chapter 6 Pidgins and Creoles 195 Patricia C. Nichols
Chapter 7 Language and gender 218 Rebecca Freeman and Bonnie McElhinnyvi

Chapter 8 Ethnographic microanalysis 283 Frederick Erickson
Chapter 9 Interactional sociolinguistics 307 Deborah Schiffrin
Chapter 10 Intercultural communication 329 J. Keith Chick

Chapter 11 The ethnography of communication 351 Muriel Saville-Troike
Chapter 12 Speech acts 383 Andrew D. Cohen
Chapter 13 Literacy and literacies 421 Sandra Lee McKay


Chapter 14 Language and education 449 Nancy H. Hornberger


Hornberger, N. & McKay, S. (eds.) (2010). Sociolinguistics and language education. Bristol: Multilingual Matters

Part 1: Language and Ideology
1 Language and Ideologies Mary E. McGroarty
2 Language, Power and Pedagogies Hilary Janks
3 Nationalism, Identity and Popular Culture Alastair Pennycook

Part 2: Language and Society
4 English as an International Language Sandra Lee Mckay 
5 Multilingualism and Codeswitching in Education Nkonko M. Kamwangamalu
6 Language Policy and Planning Joseph Lo Bianco

Part 3: Language and Variation
7 Style and Styling J├╝rgen Jaspers
8 Critical Language Awareness H. Samy Alim
9 Pidgins and Creoles Jeff Siegel

Part 4: Language and Literacy
10 Cross-cultural Perspectives on Writing: Contrastive Rhetoric Ryuko Kubota
11 Sociolinguistics, Language Teaching and New Literacy Studies Brian Street and Constant Leung
12 Multimodal Literacy in Language Classrooms Viniti Vaish and Phillip A. Towndrow

Part 5: Language and Identity
13 Language and Identity Bonny Norton
14 Gender Identities in Language Education Christina Higgins
15 Language and Ethnicity Angela Reyes
16 Language Socialization Patricia A. Duff

Part 6: Language and Interaction
17 Language and Culture Gabriele Kasper and Makoto Omori
18 Conversation Analysis Jack Sidnell
19 Classroom Discourse Analysis: A Focus on Communicative Repertoires  Betsy Rymes

Part 7: Language and Education
20 Language and Education: A Limpopo Lens Nancy H. Hornberger