My name is Olivier Elzingre. I am currently enrolled in a PhD program here at Monash, looking at high school students’ motivation to learn French. For the past year or two, I have been writing articles and blog entries for two different platforms. The first is an online magazine entitled “Parrot Time” (www.parrottime.com), for which I also edit contributions by a group of regular authors, and the second is a blog named “Le Mot Juste en Anglais” (www.le-mot-juste-en-anglais.com), aimed at speakers of French who are interested in English language. Articles in the online magazine are written in English, and in French in the blog.
Recently I submitted a blog entry to “Le Mot Juste” in which I compared my upbringing in a bilingual family (French dominant, English) with my experience as a father in one such family (English dominant, French). Perhaps the main reason I wrote this entry was that I have been able to observe my 5-year-old son’s language development, wondering what impact my speaking French to him would have on his linguistic identity. His codeswitching reminds me strongly of my own childhood codeswitching and my father’s annoyance towards it! My son and I have in common that we both developed as passive bilinguals.
I am aware that passive bilingualism is the poor cousin of the full, bright and active multilingualism. I reason however that my own linguistic trajectory took me to a good level of English proficiency, something my son can achieve in the future in French as well. Another reason I don’t worry is that my son is curious about French, asking me for translations and constantly singing French Christmas Carols (Petit Papa Noel is his favourite). A more active bilingualism would have been great of course, but it is also clear that my French doesn’t offend his linguistic identity. This highlights further his positive attitude towards the language.
Jonathan, who manages the blog, emailed my piece to one of my academic heroes, Jean-Marc Dewaele from Birkbeck, University of London (a friend of mine at Monash calls them “academic crushes”, but I simply can’t bring myself to think of them like that). Dewaele was kind enough to add a supportive statement to my entry, which was quite an exciting moment for me!
Currently I am writing a couple of other small pieces: one for a friend who has an exhibition in Switzerland about the imitation of language. I am also working on a short article titled “sloppy relatives”. This is more a fun article in which I argue that the everyday ungrammatical usage of relatives in English illustrates why linguistic relativism is the rule.
I find writing small pieces quite satisfying. Writing light and ludic pieces allows me to engage with both academics and non-academics on questions of (applied) linguistics and test my own assumptions. While I continue to develop as a researcher and writer, contributing to these two platforms provides me with opportunities to put my name out in the wild before I eventually graduate to the more sophisticated academic journal publications.
Happiness is ….
PhD student in linguistics Gede Primahadi Wijaya Rajeg was interviewed by SBS Radio last week. … Continue reading Happiness is ….
The global opportunities with Arts at Monash
Chinese, Japanese & French languages graduate Sarah Holloway co-founded Matcha Maiden, a global e-commerce organic matcha powder supplier, and about a year ago started the physical venue Matcha Mylkbar in Melbourne, soon opening in Sydney. Sarah shares her experience making the most of Monash’s global exchange opportunities with her language studies and how this advantaged her in both her law career and current business. She says, ‘languages have really propelled my career and personal life. I can’t even describe the tangible benefits. It helps you in everything you do.’
Part II: Raising the political stakes with Jeanne d’Arc and Dr Ali Alizadeh
This interview is a continuation of Part I: Raising the political stakes with Jeanne d’Arc and Dr Ali Alizadeh. In Part II, we discuss political writing, the phenomena and ideology of real revolution, the question of war, and the revolutionary potential of Jeanne d’Arc in contemporary discourse, politics and concepts of universalism.
Part I: Raising the political stakes with Jeanne d’Arc and Dr Ali Alizadeh
Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc)’s controversial life and death are being depicted in a comprehensive new literary work by Dr Ali Alizadeh titled The Last Days of Jeanne D’Arc due out this year. We sat down with Dr Alizadeh to explore his decades-long research into the character of Jeanne d’Arc that brought up questions about political writing, the phenomena and ideology of real revolution, the question of war, and the revolutionary potential of Jeanne d’Arc in contemporary discourse, politics and concepts of universalism.
LLCL School Seminar – Plagiarism: West and East
Today saw the first LLCL School Seminar of the year. Colleagues, visiting guests of the school, … Continue reading LLCL School Seminar – Plagiarism: West and East
Japan, Australia and the global context: Connections across languages and societies
A Symposium in honour of Helen Marriott.
Presented by the Japanese Studies Centre and the Language and Society Centre
15th March, 2014
11:00 a.m. – 5:30pm
Marcus shares his experience at Chin Communications
Marcus Xiaokang Liu a recent graduate in the Masters of Interpreting and Translation Studies is … Continue reading Marcus shares his experience at Chin Communications
AsiaBound 2013 – success for Chinese and Japanese programs
Dr Jeremy Breaden and Dr Robert Irving have been successful in grant submissions for AsiaBound … Continue reading AsiaBound 2013 – success for Chinese and Japanese programs
Student success in the Japanese speech contest
The Japanese speech contest was held at Swinburne yesterday with 12 Monash students participating. Congratulations to the … Continue reading Student success in the Japanese speech contest
Monash student is world champion in Chinese Bridge for Foreign University Students Competition
Our student, Alistair Bayley, currently in Advanced Chinese 4 and Chinese Translation 2, won both … Continue reading Monash student is world champion in Chinese Bridge for Foreign University Students Competition