A couple years ago, it was brought to my attention that I frequently translanguage when telling stories. I continue to find myself filling my stories with the words of others in the language in which they were originally uttered. For example, if I am relating what a Spanish instructor said in class, I will reproduce […]more→
Language & identity
On Friday I had the pleasure of joining many friends and colleagues at UC Berkeley for the first and last sessions of a one-day colloquium organized by Claire Kramsch and Lihua Zhang, entitled “The legitimacy gap: Multilingual native language teachers in monolingual foreign language departments”. Inspired by the colloquium’s […]more→
In a seminar on multilingualism, we discussed Nancy Huston’s Losing North: Musings on Land, Tongue, and Self (Nord Perdu). In this collection of essays, Huston reflects on her identity as a Canadian transplant living in France and on her changing relationship to her mother tongue, English, and to her acquired language, French. While […]more→
I said kaddish for the first time this past Saturday. It was to mourn a dear aunt who recently passed away. Growing up, my parents and siblings would stay at her place when we visited Israel, and we experienced her kindness and generosity in countless ways. My aunt spoke little or no English. We used […]more→
What I find interesting is how different companies use different methods to make themselves appealing to consumers. The same company can even market its products differently simply because of a different neighborhood having a different type of people. Something that is interesting is how clothing brands market their products differently to people based on location. […]more→
The inspiration for our project was our mutual love for food and our propensity to dine out almost all the time. We decided to take our love of restaurants and show how there are multiple factors that contribute to the reputation that a restaurant develops in the minds of its patrons.
Our choice of restaurant to […]more→
My father recently recounted an anecdote from his post-graduate years at the University of Moscow in the mid-1960s. He and his friend-we’ll call him Dr. Ramanna-were chatting amongst themselves on a cold, wintry day, surrounded by a slew of Russian colleagues. One Russian gentleman seated nearby inquired: What languages were […]more→
During data collection earlier this year for my dissertation, exploring language and literacy socialization among a group of young boys at an orphanage in the suburbs of New Delhi, India, I headed over to National Council Of Educational Research And Training, or, as it is widely known, the N.C.E.R.T. I grew up […]more→
It’s rare, but every now and then I’ll be confronted by how many mistakes I learned through my mother.
Last week at a party, I discovered what a pomelo was. This green-peeled citrus fruit is something I am familiar with, having eaten it throughout my childhood. I always recognized the pomelo as a grapefruit, because they […]more→
For a long time, I’ve had a thing against the way that Safeway has its cashiers personalize customers’ encounters at check-out time. Or, maybe I shouldn’t just call them “customers”, because, after all, we are card-carrying members, only able to get the real price on dozens of items if we sign over our names and […]more→
Recently, exchanging pleasantries with a doctor in a suburb of Delhi, I responded, upon being asked where I was from, “I am from Delhi only” (feeling no little pride at my flawless command of Indian English). She shook her head and said, “No, your accent? You are not from here…” I sheepishly sputtered, “I live […]more→
I was so frightened to go to Oakland because I was afraid of the Black man. I knew there were Black men in Oakland, so I’m scared, but I went anyway.”more→
Is FIT a “subject in process”? Is this true for all multi-user blogs? Or even all blogs generally?
I’ve been reading Claire Kramsch‘s new book, The multilingual subject: What foreign language learners say about their experience and why it matters, and she argues that the learner of a second or foreign language is, or […]more→
I was born in the bustling city of Bombay (now Mumbai; ah! language and politics.) in a middle class Indian family. Due to my father’s transferable job we moved from one place to another quite often. I learnt seven languages in the process and I must say it was quite a learning.
Bhojpuri in Bihar, Punjabi […]more→
Yesterday I was in Target shopping for a baby shower card with two friends that I’ve know since grade school. My friend Tasha wondered aloud why there were no cards that represented black babies in the general baby shower gift card section. All of the cards had pictures of little white children, or animal figures. […]more→
There is something sexy about the term: “international student.” It’s an integral part of my identity, writ into my scholarly badge…For the past six years in California, I have rarely introduced myself simply as a graduate student; I’m importantly an “international student-from India.” And yet, I understand this term but little. It now feels as […]more→
The shivering saxophonist played an unrecognizable tune, the melody in competition with the out-of-sync car horns blaring ever so often at the intersection of Center and Shattuck in Downtown Berkeley. I heard snippets of this language and that, foreign to my ears, and then the familiar “American English” sounds-which to me still does not seem […]more→
Few years ago, when I was an undergraduate student learning Korean, one of my professors started his methodology class about Korean studies with these two questions: Where is “Korea”? What do you call “Korea”?
Back then, everyone was quite sure about the answer and was wondering why a professor would ask that kind of question to […]more→
I had my children watch the Rosa Park’s story. I asked my daughter “What did Rosa Park’s say?” She said “Rosa Parks said that her grandfather taught her that all people were equal. And as long as you had dignity, no matter what race you were no one could take that away from you.”more→