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Developing international student identity through plurilingual pedagogy and practice (Benjamin Calman, McGill University, Canada)

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5:00 PM, Thursday 29 Apr 2021 EDT (30 minutes)
  Virtual session
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Benjamin Calman, McGill University, Canada

Title: Developing international student identity through plurilingual pedagogy and practice

Keywords: Identity; Drama; Engaged pedagogy; Higher Education; International students


In this presentation, I focus on the ways in which instructors can facilitate the development of plurilingual international student identity at an English-medium university in Montreal I call Montreal Central University (MCU).Since 2010, the number of international students in Canadian universities has increased by 185% (CBIE, 2020). Currently, international students make up over one third of full-time master’s students at MCU. International student’s plurilingual language practices are all too often perceived asnon-standardcompared to theacceptable language of the institution. Therefore, they are susceptible to linguistic discrimination, “the unfair treatment of an individual or a group of individuals on account of their language or speech features such as accent” (Ng, 2007, p. 106).Using data collected through semi-structured interviews as part of a larger study on linguistic discrimination and inclusion, I will describe how instructors are validating plurilingual identity in international students in two ways. 1) Implicitly, through their own plurilingual practice in traditionally monoglossic spaces in the institution. 2) Explicitly, by engaging in plurilingual pedagogy that validates the linguistic-cultural identities and practices of plurilingual international students. I will discuss the academic and social benefits of this pedagogy in the classroom, the laboratory, and for supervision of master’s level international students. The data presented will focus on firsthand experiences of master’s level international students.

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