The purpose of this workshop on language and identity is to explore current debates in the field of language education that address language as a social practice. Participants will investigate the way language constructs and is constructed by a wide variety of social relationships, including those between writer and reader, teacher and student, classroom and community, test maker and test taker, researcher and researched. Participants will consider how gendered/raced/classed identities are negotiated within such social relationships. They will also explore how social relations of power can both constrain and enable the range of educational possibilities available to both learners and teachers.
Bonny Norton, Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia, Canada. Her primary research interests are identity and language learning, critical literacy, and international development. In 2010, she was the inaugural recipient of "Senior Researcher Award" by the Second Language Research SIG of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and in 2012 was inducted as an AERA Fellow. The second edition of her book "Identity and Language Learning", will be published by Multilingual Matters in October. Visit her website for more information.
Christina Higgins, Associate Professor in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is a sociolinguist who is interested in the politics of language, multilingual practices, globalization, and identity. She utilizes discourse analytic, ethnographic, and qualitative approaches to study various facets of the global spread of English and multilingual identities. Her research explores the relationship between language and identity with reference to local and global forces, resources, and affiliations. Geographically, she has focused her research mainly in two contexts: 1.) East Africa, where she has studied code switching in the workplace, the intersection of popular culture and multilingualism, and HIV/AIDS education sponsored by non-governmental organizations; and 2.) Hawai'i, where she has worked to promote critical language awareness through various collaborative projects, including two film projects with high school students and a permanent museum exhibit on Hawai'i Creole. She is the author of English as a local language: Post-colonial identities and multilingual practices (Multilingual Matters, 2009), co-editor (with Bonny Norton) of Language and HIV/AIDS (Multilingual Matters, 2010) and editor of Identity formation in globalizing contexts: Language learning in the new millennium (Mouton de Gruyter, 2011). Visit her website for more information.