This project is funded via a SSHRC standard research grant. It is directed by
Heather Lotherington
Jennifer Jenson (Faculty of education) and
Jim Cummins (OISE, CRLC Associate member) are respectively co-investigator and collaborator on the project.
The project asks and answers: “How can we teach socially responsive, immersive literacies in the contemporary multicultural, multilingual classroom?” The study dynamically reconceptualizes literacy as agentive, culturally and linguistically embedded, digitally playful, and socially and academically empowering for children in elementary school. Our pedagogical interventions draw on new possibilities for the construction of knowledge in a digitized word: blogging, remixing, social networking, podcasting, videocasting, vlogging, gaming, each a site of active multiliterate production for a potentially global audience, through which Canadians now and in the future will participate in a global “knowledge economy”.

Research in Sociolinguistic Variation and Change in the Speech of Franco-Ontarian adolescents in Hawkesbury, Cornwall, North Bay and Pembroke (April 2008-April 2011).
This SSHRC-funded research project is carried out by
Raymond Mougeon (PI) Glendon College/York University,
Terry Nadasdi (University of Alberta, Associate Member of CRLCC) and
Katherine Rehner (UTM, Associate Member of CRLCC).
This project is the continuation of a previous project focused on these same speakers of Ontario French and also funded by SSHRC. The project’s main goal is to document and examine patterns of sociolinguistic change in the speech of adolescent Franco-Ontarians, which occurred during a period of about 28 years. The project is based on two sets of corpora gathered in the above-mentioned communities, one in 1978 and the other in 2005. The fact that this project examines sociolinguistic change with real time data (as opposed to cross-sectional data) represents an original contribution to current research on variation in minority speech communities. One key issue examined in this research is the extent to which increased contact with English and restriction in the use of French among Franco-Ontarian adolescents, brought about or accelerated changes in their use of sociolinguistic variants. Another original feature of the project is that in 2005, it gathered a corpus of classroom speech in the French-medium schools attended by Franco-Ontarian adolescents in the four communities mentioned above. This corpus provides a unique database for the investigation of sociolinguistic variation in the classroom (i.e. in the speech of teachers and students), a topic that has remained very much understudied and that is likely to be of considerable interest to institutions such as the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Comparative Research on the Recent Evolution of Sociolinguistic Variation in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta French (2007-2011)
Sandrine Hallion-Bres Collège Universitaire Saint- Boniface
Raymond Mougeon, Collège universitaire Glendon
Robert Papen, UQAM, Associate Member of CRLCC
This research was initially funded by small-scale research grants from Glendon, CUSB, and the Institut français of the University of Regina. It is based on spoken French corpora gathered in the 1980s in Welland, Ontario, Saint-Boniface and Saint-Laurent, Manitoba and Bonnyville, Alberta. The Saint- Laurent corpus is especially interesting because it provides data on the variety of French spoken in what is likely the last surviving Metis French community in Canada.
One of the main goals of this research is to gauge the extent to which these different varieties of Canadian French have: i) developed distinctive features (reflecting their respective socio-political history and environment), ii) preserved features of their ancestor dialect (i.e. Quebec French) and iii) share common innovations (e.g., features reflecting intensive contact with English). These issues have not been the object of any previous systematic comparative research. The Institut français of the University of Regina, which provided a major portion of the funding for this project, looks upon this research as an example of the type of community relevant research it wants to promote, since the above-mentioned objectives are related to the larger issue of ethno-linguistic identity.

Research on the history of the 1st person plural pronouns in spoken European French (2007-2010)
Thanks to SSHRC grants awarded to Ruth King, France Martineau and Raymond Mougeon, these three researchers have carried out an extensive study of variation in the 1st person plural pronouns of European spoken French from the 17th c. to the 20th c. This study is based on a corpus of representation of speech (e.g., comedies written before the advent of taped speech and actual speech data from spoken corpora) and on the commentary of grammarians on these pronouns during the period under study. This project has resulted in a major article which was published by Language–the most prestigious linguistics journal in the world, in early September 2011,

Research on sociolinguistic variation in Acadian spoken French (April 2007-April 2010)
This SSHRC-funded research project is carried out by
Ruth King (DLLL).
It is focused on the speech of two Acadian French communities of Prince Edward Island, one in Nova Scotia and four in Newfoundland. Philip Comeau, PhD student in York’s Linguistics and Applied Linguistics graduate program, and a Member of CRLCC, is collaborating with Ruth King on this project. A noteworthy feature of the project is its focus on aspects of the morphology and syntax of spoken Acadian French that provide a window on earlier stages in the evolution of spoken French no longer observable in most varieties of contemporary spoken French (e.g., PEI French has retained vigorous usage of the Passé Simple, a tense, which is now relegated to literary written French and extinct in most varieties of current spoken French). The project’s primary goal is to arrive at a better understanding of the linguistic and extra-linguistic factors (e.g. level of institutional support for French, geographical and social origins of the first settlers) which promote or disfavour retention of the archaic features of French under study.