Celebrate Multilingual SFU

Join the Centre for Educational Excellence, the Student Learning Commons, Student Services, and Fraser International College in celebrating the linguistic diversity of SFU’s community in a week-long series of events, including speakers, discussions, workshops, and more! 

View the schedule below. 

Schedule | Celebrate Multilingual SFU | February 7–11

In-person activities (all week)

  • In-person kick-off event | Monday, February 7 | 12:30 p.m. | Convocation Mall, Burnaby campus
  • Activity table: Trivia, swag, fire pits | Monday–Friday, February 7–11 | 12:30–3:00 p.m. | Convocation Mall, Burnaby campus
  • Activity table: Trivia, swag | Monday–Thursday, February 7–10 | 12:30–3:00 p.m. | Games Lounge, Surrey campus
  • Activity table: Swag giveaway | Monday–Thursday, February 7–10 | 12:30–3:00 p.m. | Main floor corridor, Vancouver campus
  • Closing celebration | Friday, February 11 | 1:00–3:00 p.m. | Halpern Centre 126, Burnaby campus

Monday, February 7

Panel Discussion: Multilingualism at SFU: Embracing Linguistic Diversity in Our Classrooms, on Our Campuses, and within Our Communities | Panellists: Dr. Mike Sjoerdsma, Dr. Isabelle Côté, Dr. Cynthia Xie (Simon Fraser University)

Monday, February 7 | 10:00–11:30 a.m. | Register here

Panellists: Dr. Mike Sjoerdsma, Dr. Isabelle Côté, Dr. Cynthia Xie (Simon Fraser University)
Moderator: Dr. Bee Brigidi (Centre for Educational Excellence)
Mode: Zoom

“We all speak a foreign language to someone.” – Judith Butler*

SFU is a rich, vibrant linguistic community where many languages are spoken. What then does it mean to be multilingual at SFU? What does teaching and learning look like at SFU through a multilingual lens, and how does it shape our institution’s collective identity? Join us for an engaging discussion, moderated by CEE’s Dr. Bee Brigidi, where SFU faculty members from diverse disciplines will share their teaching and learning experiences and explore how multilingualism enriches our community—individually, collectively, locally, and globally, within classrooms and beyond.

*Source: “We All Speak a Foreign Language to Someone”: Celebrating Multilingualism at UC Berkeley and Beyond | Townsend Center for the Humanities

About the panellists:

Dr. Michael Sjoerdsma is the Acting Director and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University, coordinator of the school’s technical communication program, former president of The Faculty Association of SFU (SFUFA). He has served as an academic advisor within the school, as a Faculty Teaching Fellow for the Faculty of Applied Sciences, and as a Faculty Associate in the Teaching and Learning Centre. Michael has taught a number of courses encompassing various aspects of technical communication and engineering and society: Form, Style and Professional Genres; Engineering, Science, and Society; Graphical Communication for Engineering; Spatial Thinking and Communicating; Project Documentation and Team Dynamics; Social Responsibility and Professional Practice; and Human Factors and Usability. His current research interests focus on students’ concepts of success as they transition to first-year engineering.

Cynthia Xie, Senior Lecturer, SFU

Cynthia Xie obtained her PhD in Curriculum Theory and Implementation from Simon Fraser University, MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and BA in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from East China Normal University.

Cynthia teaches both intensive Mandarin Chinese courses for non-heritage students and Heritage Mandarin Chinese courses at SFU. She is responsible for the Chinese language education for the SFU-ZJU (Zhejiang University) Dual Degree Program in Computing Science. Her work includes curriculum design, course development, assessment, and coordination with the Chinese university.

Cynthia’s research interests include Chinese linguistics, Chinese language pedagogy, and international education. She is an executive member at the Canadian Teaching Chinese as a Second Language Association.

Isabelle Côté, Ed. D.
Isabelle’s teaching interests and expertise is in the French pre-service and in-service teachers’ programs. She has a special interest in developing pedagogical material for teaching cultural diversity in second language courses, specifically in the Core French, French Immersion and Francophone Programs.
She is also highly interested in teachers’ representations of notions of cultural diversity, and how those notions influence the ways they teach cultural diversity in their classrooms.
Her doctoral research focuses on the integration of Indigenous perspectives in the French Immersion program (K-12) in British Columbia.

About the moderator:

Bee Brigidi, Centre for Educational Excellence

Bee is a multilingual Latinx motherscholar-organizer working as an educational developer at the Curriculum and Instruction Division at SFU located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. Her work focuses on EDI through inclusive teaching, critical pedagogy, and anti-oppression education. Bee's a daughter, a friend, and family to forests!

Multilingual Trivia Hour: Join and win some prizes!

Monday, February 7 | 1:00–2:00 p.m. | Register here

Mode: Zoom

Do you know how many different countries FIC students are from? How many of the undergraduate students at SFU are international students? What some advantages of being bilingual are? Join us on Monday, February 7, from 1-2 pm on Zoom to find out the answers to these questions, play some trivia games to celebrate multilingualism, have some fun & win some prizes!

Tuesday, February 8

Claiming Your Voice as an Academic Writer

Tuesday, February 8 | 12:30–1:20 p.m. | Register here

Presenters: Dr. Julia Lane and Mohsen Hosseinpour Moghaddam
Mode: Zoom

This workshop begins by recognizing that students are often encouraged to find their own “voice” in their writing, but that it is much rarer to get a clear explanation of what “voice” in writing is or how a writer might go about trying to find theirs. Multilingual and international students may experience additional layers of challenge in this “quest for voice.” These challenges can be related to being raised with different socio-cultural expectations about who can “use their voices” and what it means to do so. They can also be related to having multiple writerly voices and styles—in different stages of development—connected to speaking and thinking in multiple languages. Finally, students may even be unfamiliar with the concept of voice and with ways of bringing their own voice into academic writing. 

This workshop will focus on demystifying the concept of voice in writing and providing students with several writing techniques they can use to develop their own writerly voices. It will focus, in particular, on the challenges that Standardized Academic English can present for multilingual students looking to bring their own voices into their academic writing and will suggest opportunities for addressing those challenges. 

The central aim of this workshop is to support students to better understand “voice” in writing and to empower them to make informed linguistic decisions as writers. 

Educational goals:

  • Develop your understanding of “voice” in writing
  • Gain an understanding of Standardized Academic English and how it operates in some assignment guidelines and rubrics
  • Learn ways to frame your writing for your audience, without giving up your voice
  • Learn techniques for structuring your writing that can support you to bring your own voice into your academic papers

Wednesday, February 9

Interactive Workshop: Embracing Multicultural Classrooms

Wednesday, February 9 | 12:30–2:00 p.m. | Register here

Presenter: Dr. Emanuela (Emma) Mileva (Simon Fraser University)
Mode: Zoom

Fraser International College, SFU’s international college, hosts international students from dozens of countries around the world, and, according to the 2021 SFU Fall International Student Report*, international students represent 20.7 per cent of the total undergraduate population and 34 per cent of the total graduate population at SFU. This results in culturally diverse classrooms with students coming from different cultural and academic backgrounds. In this session, we will focus on some of the common concerns and challenges associated with multicultural classrooms and discuss how to address them. We will examine some case studies (e.g., on group work, participation, language challenges, power distance and respect) in order to further explore the kinds of issues you may encounter as an instructor and will identify possible solutions. The session will include discussions in small groups followed by sharing ideas by participants and presenters. By the end of this session, participants will be able to recognize some of the underlying reasons for students’ practices and become more familiar with strategies that embrace diverse cultural backgrounds in the classroom.

*Source: https://www.sfu.ca/content/dam/sfu/irp/students/documents/visa.rpt.1217.pdf

Food for Thinking People: Languages and Literatures

Wednesday, February 9 | 6:00–7:00 p.m. | Register here

Presenter: Department of World Languages and Literatures
Mode: Zoom

How can you take your language learning outside the classroom? Now is your chance to find out! Join the Department of World Languages and Literatures for a fireside chat with WLL students as they discuss their multilingual experiences and involvement in the World Languages and Literatures Student Union, The Lyre literary journal, and the Tandem Language Exchange program.

Linguicism: Accent, Power, and Inequality

Wednesday, February 9 | 7:30–8:20 p.m. | Register here

Presenters: Dr. Timothy Mossman and Hermine Chen (Student Learning Commons (SLC))
Mode: Zoom

Linguistic bigotry, linguistic prejudice, or linguicism—has been defined by Tove Skutnabb-Kangas (2000) as “ideologies and structures that are used to legitimate, effectuate and reproduce an unequal division of power and resources between groups, which are defined on the basis of language.” In this workshop, SLC coordinators Tim Mossman and Hermine Chan delve into the lived experiences of overt, covert, and systemic linguicism in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, and in academia. The live session may be recorded for later use.

Thursday, February 10

Panel Discussion: Exploring Multilingualism in Canada: Past, Present and Future Journeys | Panellists: Chief Ian Campbell (Squamish First Nation), Dr. Jérémie Séror (University of Ottawa) and Dr. Sunny Man Chu Lau (Bishops University)

Thursday, February 10 | 9:00–10:30 a.m. | Register here

Panellists: Chief Ian Campbell (Squamish First Nation), Dr. Jérémie Séror (University of Ottawa) and Dr. Sunny Man Chu Lau (Bishops University)
Moderator: Fiona Shaw (Associate Director, EAL Initiatives, Curriculum and Instruction Division, Centre for Educational Excellence)
Mode: Zoom

What are some of the challenges and affordances of the evolving nature of multilingualism in Canada, and what does it mean to be multilingual in 2022? Join us for this discussion with panellists Chief Ian Campbell, Dr. Jérémie Séror, and Dr. Sunny Man Chu Lau, as they share critical perspectives of multilingualism in Canada, drawing on their own personal and professional journeys before collectively reflecting on Canada’s multilingual future.

About the Panellists:

Chief Ian Campbell is a Heredity Chief of the Squamish Nation. He served as an Elected Councillor for the Squamish Nation from 2005-2021, as well as a lead Negotiator for the Intergovernmental Relations Department of the Squamish Nation from 1999-2021. 

He completed his MBA from Simon Fraser University in 2015 in the EMBA Indigenous Business and Leadership cohort. 

Chief Campbell serves as the Chairman of the Board for Universal Ibogaine, a publicly traded company providing detox of opioids. 

Chief Campbell is a language and cultural specialist, being groomed from a young age in the history, mythology, and ceremonies of the Squamish Nation. 

Dr. Jérémie Séror is a Full professor and Director of the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on language socialization and the social and linguistic dimensions of plurilingual students’ advanced literacy development. His current projects explore content-based language teaching, university immersion, and bi/pluriliteracy development in digital spaces.

Dr. Sunny Man Chu Lau, Associate Professor in the School of Education at Bishop’s University, Québec, is Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Integrated Plurilingual Teaching and Learning. She specializes in critical literacies, second language and plurilingual education, teaching English as a second language, participative-based research methodologies, and related teacher education.

Multilingual Snack Hour: Come for snacks & win some prizes!

Thursday, February 10 | 1:00–2:00 p.m. | Register here

Mode: In-person | Discovery 1, Room 2340, Burnaby campus

Come celebrate multilingualism at FIC & SFU, try snacks from different countries & win some prizes! Join us on Thursday, February 10, from 1-2 pm at FIC to celebrate our community’s multilingualism and meet fellow students and community members! There will be music, snacks, trivia, prizes and good times!

Friday, February 11

A Continuity of Tradition: Drawing Forward Traditional Knowledge and Applying it in a Modern Context

Friday, February 11 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. | Register here

Mode: Online and in-person | Halpern Centre 126, Burnaby campus

Join us for a talk by Chief Ian Campbell (Squamish First Nation), where he will discuss the many chapters of change and transformation experienced by Squamish people over millennia, and how language and cultural revitalization plays an important role in the quality of life for Squamish members. Light refreshments will be offered and the winner of the draw will also be announced.

Chief Ian Campbell is a Heredity Chief of the Squamish Nation. He served as an Elected Councillor for the Squamish Nation from 2005-2021, as well as a lead Negotiator for the Intergovernmental Relations Department of the Squamish Nation from 1999-2021. 

He completed his MBA from Simon Fraser University in 2015 in the EMBA Indigenous Business and Leadership cohort. 

Chief Campbell serves as the Chairman of the Board for Universal Ibogaine, a publicly traded company providing detox of opioids. 

Chief Campbell is a language and cultural specialist, being groomed from a young age in the history, mythology, and ceremonies of the Squamish Nation. 

Share your language and be entered to win a $25 gift card to the SFU Bookstore & Spirit Shop!

Share a post on social media with the hashtag #multilingualsfu and be entered to win a $25 gift card to the SFU Bookstore & Spirit Shop.

Suggested posts:

  • Tell us what languages you speak
  • Say “I love you” in a language that is not English
  • Post a picture of yourself with one of our stickers

We’re looking forward to seeing your videos and photos!

The draw will happen on Friday, February 11, at our closing event.

Welcome videos

View videos of SFU community members sharing welcome messages in different languages!

Download the English version of the poster:

Download the French version of the poster:

Download the Mandarin version of the poster:

Download the Punjabi version of the poster:

Questions?

E: ceeevent@sfu.ca
T: 778 782 7115