Educational Sociolinguistics, class of 2016

Talking points

I taught the course Educational Sociolinguistics in the Faculty of Education at McGill in 2015 and again in Fall 2016. The course explores the social, cultural, and political dimensions of second language education. The 2016 cohort had a mix of Master’s and PhD students. It was the largest graduate class I have ever had, with 37 students. Most of the students had language teaching experience, in formal and non-formal learning contexts around the world. Many of the students were in their first term of graduate studies at McGill and more than two thirds were international students (primarily from Asian countries) or from out of province, so new to Montreal. When planning the course, I knew that I would not have a teaching assistant and that I would need to find ways to make spaces for the students’ diverse perspectives and experiences as language teachers and learners. I knew that it would be a challenge for everyone in the class to contribute to group work and class discussions. 

So, I created a blog. I wanted students to gain confidence and experience interacting online in collaborative, safe, supervised, and moderated ways.


2 thoughts on “Educational Sociolinguistics, class of 2016

  1. I think using a collaborative platform where respect and choice of words is a much needed platform for everyone who participates on any type of social media platform. More often than not, we are exposed to rash sharing and sharp tongues across the web…maybe blogging can help make netiquettes more known by the general public?

    1. Hi Elizabeth, this is a good question! I’m not sure that blogging on its own will address netiquette issues. BUT, teachers! With the blogging assignment my students did, they got to experience interacting in professional and respectful in social spaces. This is not always true, as you pointed out, in social media experiences. I wonder how much is due to the platform itself and how much is due to the intention that is set for learners in using a particular platform. Great food for thought!

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