The Blue Hour Episode March 11, 2021

Bonny Norton - On multilingual literacy and identity

7:00pm - 8:00pm

What does it mean to be multilingual in our ever changing world ? What are the complex relationships between language, power and identity?

Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the turbulent apartheid years, Dr. Bonny Norton learnt at an early age the complex relationship between language, power, and identity. Now a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC, her passion for social justice and the role of language education in social change has fuelled her extensive body of research in North America and Africa. Her research is centrally concerned with the promotion of multilingual literacy for children, youth, and adults, and is informed by her seminal work on identity and language learning, described in her 2010 AERA award as “changing the face of second language research”. Her publications have been translated into French, Chinese, Portuguese, and German. Her current research addresses multilingual literacy for children in African and Canadian communities, and is included in the 2014 special issue she guest edited for the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development on “Multilingual literacy and social change in African communities” and her 2017 co-edited special issue of the Modern Language Journal on “Transdisciplinarity and language teacher identity”.

Audio played:

“Bridging Classroom and Community: Languages and Cultures in Action” offered in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada

UNESCO celebrates International Literacy Day every September 8th. In 2019 its focus was on ‘Literacy and multilingualism’ Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these literacy challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Zubeida Desai, Dean of Education, University of the Western Cape, interview from HIGHER EDUCATION TODAY -- Language and Education produced by the University of the District of Columbia and the University of Cape Town

"Multilingual approaches to teaching and learning," at Purnululu Independent Aboriginal Community School in Australia, teaching literacy across all levels of the school, produced by AITSL.

Track Listing:

Scatterlings of Africa
Johnny Clegg & Savuka · Third World Child
Rise Again
The Rankin Family · North Country