Invited Symposium

Through the Looking Glass: Innovative Methodologies in Applied Linguistics Research

Monday, May 29, 10:00-12:15, Heidelberg 201

Organizer: Mela Sarkar (McGill University)

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to talk of many things”. For example, what are the opportunities and challenges of using creative and innovative methodologies for applied linguistics research?  In response to the social turn in applied linguistics (e.g., Block, 2003), our research is increasingly taking us outside the classroom and the closed-door interview setting. We suggest that it is time to align social ways of thinking about language with social ways of doing research.  In this symposium, members of the BILD (Belonging, Identity, Language and Diversity) research community argue that the “how” is as important as the “what” in applied linguistics research. In other words, changing the questions we ask should also mean changing how we go about looking for answers. We call for a form of critical applied linguistics research that involves pushing boundaries and questioning power structures in our ways of doing research. A brief introduction will be followed by panel presentations about four independent research projects, focusing on the opportunities and challenges of the innovative methodological approaches used (e.g., cellphilming, flipped interviews, language portraits, walking interviews). “When one speaks, they all begin together…” (Carroll, 1865/1946).


Alison Crump (McGill University) “Put your hand down, and feel the ground”: Doing play-based research with young children

Lauren Godfrey-Smith (Royal Roads University)  “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”: Mobility & non-static approaches to applied linguistics research

Kathleen Green (McGill University) “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then”: Challenges and opportunities of planning a retrospective self-study

Casey Burkholder (McGill University) “Go on till you come to the end”: Cellphilming (cellphone + video production) to explore issues of language and power


Laurens (Larry) Vandergrift Memorial Symposium

Dr. Larry Vandergrift, Professor in the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute at the University of Ottawa, passed away in November 2015 after a struggle with cancer. Dr. Vandergrift was a much valued and respected member of the community of second language teachers and researchers in Canada. A long-time teacher of French as a second language, Dr. Vandergrift moved into research on language teaching and learning in the 1980s but maintained a firm focus on classroom contexts and pedagogical issues. In honour of Dr. Vandergrift’s important and long-standing contributions to second language research and teaching, ACLA/CAAL announced a call for papers for the Laurens Vandergrift Memorial Symposium for the 2017 ACLA/CAAL conference at Ryerson University in Toronto. Eligible proposals include empirical research with clear pedagogical implications in any of the following areas: second language listening, metacognition in language learning and teaching, second language assessment and curriculum development, French as a second language learning and teaching, the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) or Diplômes d’études en langue française (DELF) in Canada.

DAY 1:  Monday, May 29, 13:15-16:50, Heidelberg 201


Helene Knoerr (University of Ottawa) & Alysse Weinberg (University of Ottawa) Podcasts on Listening Strategies: the Legacy of Larry Vandergrift

Alexandra Tsedryk (Mount Saint Vincent University) Do I really sound like that in French, Madame? Some lexical discoveries at advanced level of learning French.

Cecile Sabatier  (Simon Fraser University), Valia Spiliotopoulos (Simon Fraser University) & David Pajot (Simon Fraser University) L’enseignement du Français langue seconde en Colombie Britannique. Où en sommes-nous ? Politiques et représentations des acteurs éducatifs

Jeremy Cross (Nagoya University) The value (or not) of captioned video for developing L2 listening skills

Kamsu Souoptetcha Amos (Université de Maroua) Sentiments linguistiques des élèves-professeurs anglophones de l’ENS de Maroua et dispositifs pour l’amélioration des compétences en FLS dans une ZEP

David Macfarlane (Independent consultant), Lyne Montsion (Independent consultant) & Fiona Stewart (New Brunswick Department of Education) Corrélation entre l’Échelle de compétence en langues secondes du Nouveau-Brunswick et le Cadre européen commun de référence pour les langues

DAY 2: Tuesday, May 30, 13:20-16:55, Eric Palin 103


Jérémie Séror (University of Ottawa) A metacognitive approach to L2 writing in digital spaces

Brian North (Eurocentres Foundation), Enrica Piccardo (University of Toronto) & Christina Parry (University of Toronto) Is the CEFR implemented according to Quality Assurance principles? A comparative study of Canada and Switzerland

Catherine Elena Buchanan (University of Ottawa) The Influence of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) on the French as a Second Language (FSL) Draft Curriculum of British Columbia (2011)

Laura Hermans-Nymark (Frameworks Consulting) Improving the oral competence of FSL students: Prince Edward Island-wide CEFR initiative

Paula Kristmanson (University of New Brusnwick), Joseph Dicks (University of New Brunswick) & Karla Culligan (University of New Brunswick) The CEFR:  Theoretical and Practical Considerations in Formative Assessment

Renée Bourgoin (University of New Brunswick) & Josée Le Bouthillier (University of New Brunswick) Fostering oral communication in immersion classrooms: An investigation of small group work



Language and literacy education for refugee learners of English: Critical Reflections

Monday, May 29 13:15-16:50, Image Arts 304

Organizer: Hyunjung Shin (University of Saskatchewan)

Canada has been receiving refugees from all parts of the world for many years. In 2016, Canada plans to resettle 55,800 refugees, dramatically increased from 24,800 in 2015 (Zilio, 2016). Furthermore, recent demographic shift regarding the arrival of Syrian refugees presents new challenges as well as opportunities for Canadian schools and educators. Most of the newly arrived refugees are speakers of English as an Additional Language (EAL). While developing language-related qualities in teachers is critical to prepare teachers for linguistically and culturally responsive pedagogy (Lucas and Villegas, 2011; Chumak-Horbatsch, 2012), applied linguistics research has been scarce on examining the language specific needs and challenges of refugee learners of English. In addition, existing literature tends to represent refugee students as deficient, or victims of forced displacement, interrupted schooling, and post-traumatic stress, and fails to recognize the rich linguistic and cultural resources they bring to Canadian schools.  This symposium presentation shares emerging findings and supports a research agenda that brings the complex intersections between language, culture and identity to the center of inquiry into the education of refugee learners of English. The research is based on case studies from Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Dadaab, Kenya. Presenters explore how critical English Language Teaching (ELT)  pedagogies (Auerbach, 1995; Freire, 2000), which highlight enhanced appreciation of linguistic diversity and a comprehensive understanding of the sociopolitical dimension of language learning and teaching, might enrich educational possibilities available to refugee learners of English to ensure their successful integration into Canadian society.


Hyunjung Shin (University of Saskatchewan) Syrian refugee learners of English and critical language teacher education in Saskatoon

Clea Schimdit (University of Manitoba) & Antoinette Gagné (University of Toronto) Integrating Syrian Refugees in Canadian Schools: Recommendations from the Vanguard

Katerina Nakutnyy (Regina Catholic Schools) & Andrea Sterzuk (University of Regina) Sociocultural literacy practices of a Sudanese mother and son in Canada

Christine Massing (University of Regina) Using Bridging to Teach the Conceptual Underpinnings of Early Childhood Professional Language to Refugee College Students

HaEun Kim (York University) Language Proficiency and Literacy in Forced Migration: Examining the Linguistic Journey of Female Refugees in Kenya

Brian Morgan (York University) Working with Refugee EAL Learners: Issues for Language Teacher Education

Discussant: Julie Kerekes (University of Toronto)



Invited Joint Symposium with Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada (LLRC)

Sociolinguistic Approaches in Education Research

Tuesday, May 30, 15:15-16:55, Heidelberg 201

Organizers: Christine Kampen Robinson (University of Waterloo) and Lyndsay Moffatt (University of Prince Edward Island)

The purpose of this multi-paper session is to demonstrate the contributions that ethnomethodological and discourse analytical approaches to data analysis can make to language and literacy education research. In particular, this session will help illustrate how tools such as interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, membership categorization analysis, and linguistic ethnography may enable researchers to move beyond traditional content analyses of spoken data and shed light on questions related to identity, language and literacy learning from a variety of perspectives. Moving beyond content analyses to an examination of discourse that sees talk as social interaction has proven fruitful in many other areas of research (De Fina & Georgakopoulou, 2012). Ethnomethodological and interactional analyses have helped illuminate the cultural production of different identities and phenomena in a wide variety of settings, drawing researchers’ attention to how these things are accomplished interactionally, in moment to moment ways. This panel includes papers on different populations (from children, to parents, to teachers from a variety of cultural backgrounds) who encounter substantially different issues related to language and literacy learning in their day to day lives, and how these issues impact the identity work of the participants. Data sources include questionnaires, individual interviews, focus group discussions, recorded conversations, journal accounts, email correspondence, and relevant textual documents from students. What unites these papers and makes them an important contribution to the landscape of language and literacy education research are the methodological approaches employed.


Zain Esseghaier (University of Prince Edward Island) Doing French/Doing Teacher: French Teachers in Canadian French Linguistic Minority Schools

Christine Kampen Robinson (University of Waterloo) On not laughing at school: Low German, laughter and language attitudes in a cross-cultural context

Jérémie Séror (University of Ottawa) & Alysse Weinberg (University of Ottawa) “I was good at French in high school”: The experience of transitioning to university-level French immersion programs (Jérémie Séror & Alysse Weinberg, University of Ottawa)

Meike Wernicke (University of British Columbia) From “emerging theme” to “discursive resource”: An alternative investigation of FSL teachers study abroad experiences

Discussant: Steven Talmy (University of British Columbia)



Plurilingualism, the Action-Oriented Approach and Indigenous Epistemologies: The LINCDIRE Project

Wednesday, May 31, 9:30-11:45, Interior Design 318

Organizer: Enrica Piccardo (University of Toronto)

Linguistic and cultural diversity is inherent in North America, where both Canada and the U.S. are homes to multiple languages, including heritage, Aboriginal and official languages. This reality requires language teaching approaches that better reflect and enhance such diversity, and instill in teachers and learners a reenvisioned attitude towards language and cultural plurality (Cummins, 2007; Dyck & Kumar, 2012). This colloquium builds upon a large SSHRC-funded international research partnership which is developing a technology-enhanced, action-oriented approach that promotes plurilingualism (Piccardo, 2013) and examines its potential. With researchers and educators from Canadian, U.S., and French institutions, this project introduces a unique pedagogical model that includes plurilingualism and Indigenous pedagogies to actively draw on language learners’ existing “funds of knowledge” (Gonzalez, Moll & Amanti, 2006) in the development of strategic plurilingual competencies, fostering lifelong language and pluricultural learning.  The first paper introduces the project’s scope and developmental stages, theoretical framework and contributing epistemologies, and the results of the piloting phrase. The second paper details the collaborative process of developing a unique pluricultural pedagogical framework that fuses Western and Indigenous approaches in education, embracing a “multiple cultures” model (Henderson, 1996; 2007) so minority languages and cultures are both considered and integrated in the learning environment (Germain-Rutherford, 2008). The third paper discusses the CEFR-inspired (Council of Europe, 2001) development of plurilingual/pluricultural action-oriented tasks and their pedagogical implications. The fourth paper presents the project’s online environment, including its medicine wheel informed e-portfolio tool and the LMS which integrates action-oriented, plurilingual tasks.


Enrica Piccardo (University of Toronto) Promoting plurilingualism in North America through a CEFR-inspired pedagogical online platform: LINCDIRE and LITE

Aline Germain-Rutherford (University of Ottawa) & Alan Corbiere (Lakeview School, M’Chigeeng First Nation) The development of a pedagogical framework fusing Western and Indigenous approaches for plurilingual and pluricultural learning environments

Sara Potkonjak (York University) Developing plurilingual, action-oriented tasks: Implications for pedagogy and teacher and student beliefs

Geoff Lawrence (York University) & Kris Johnson (Ryerson University) Exploring the potential of technology to promote linguistic and cultural diversity: A plurilingual e-portfolio approach