Reflection on Ideologies and My Language Biography

By Jamie(Xuan)

It might be a bit late to mention about language biography now, but today’s class really inspired me on the concept of ideologies and how they are related to my own language learning/use in real life experience.

As a Chinese, Mandarin as my native language have made up most of my life so far, and as I’ve been exploring more parts in China, the change of locations really contributes to my understandings of ideologies (which I was not even aware of at that time). Here I will share some of my experience and my thoughts.

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My accent is obviously not British or Australian!

Hi, my name is Samuel Marticotte.

I grew up in on the north-shore of Quebec, speaking French in an area where it is spoken by over 90% of the population. As I grew up, I picked up some English in school, in video games, on the internet, but only really learned it later when I started working in the navy in Halifax, N-S and Victoria, B-C. After a year of software engineering, I stopped my studies to go to Japan, where I became somewhat fluent in Japanese over the course of nine months; travelling, working in a restaurant and helping an elderly woman with her farm work. When I came back to university, I changed program for one in which I could study two modern languages. I decided to keep studying Japanese and chose Russian as a second language. On my second year, I did a nine-month exchange program in Russia where I had the occasion to improve my reading and listening abilities. Upon my return I was not perfectly fluent orally, but I could read novels and translate literature from French or English. Upon completion of my B.A and certificate in Russian Studies, I was chosen to participate in the JET program. I left for Japan and taught in an elementary school for two years. In Japan, I worked in Japanese, every week explaining to my coworkers lesson plans, and engaged with friends and the local community, sometimes in the local dialect (Kansai-ben), sometimes in standard “Tokyo” Japanese, a more polite variety of the language. When I returned to Canada, I moved to Montreal and started the M.A. in second language education I’m actually in. Being at McGill is an interesting experience, because it is my first long-term experience in an “English community” in Canada.

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Native vs non-native teachers: Accents and culture

Simon Desmarais – Blog post 1

Over the course of my life, I have devoted a lot of time to learn languages. I come from a small town in Québec, so my first language is French, but since about 2009 I have been living my life mainly in English (as a result of frequent traveling and studying at McGill). I have also spent some time learning Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Even though by linguistic definition I am a L2 speaker of English, I am now at a point where I consider myself even more than near-native: I have a slight accent, but I possess the same language intuition as native speakers.

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