Exploring Bilingualism (BIL101)
The study of bilingualism and multilingualism is no longer considered to be an academic preoccupation; rather, it is a practical necessity in today's multilingual world. Whether in family life, social interaction or business negotiation, half the people in the world speak more than one language every day. Yet many myths persist about bilingualism and bilinguals.
This course aims to address issues surrounding many aspects of bilingualism. In particular, course participants will be able to enhance their theoretical and practical knowledge pertaining to questions such as: who are bilinguals and multilinguals; how does a child become bilingual or trilingual; what effect does the home and the neighborhood play in developing bilingualism and multilingualism; does bilingualism have a positive or negative effect on thinking; what do we know about bilingualism and the brain? In addition, this course will focus on bilingualism and cultural identity in the context of Japan. How does bilingualism affect mixed-race individuals' identity in Japan and elsewhere?
Alexandra Shaitan holds a Bachelor Degree in English Language and Pedagogy. She successfully completed her Master's Degree studies in CITE (Curriculum, Instruction and Technology in Education) at the Temple University, Japan Campus and PhD studies in Applied Linguistics at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Her research interests include academic writing at tertiary level, bilingualism, and mixed-race identity. Her recent academic publication "Haafu identity in Japan: Half, Mixed or Double", appeared as a book chapter in "Mixed Race in Asia: Past, Present and Future" (Routledge Research in Race and Ethnicity) (2017) edited by Zarine L. Rocha and Farida Fozdar. Alex has taught English at a variety of educational institutions in Japan and London, including universities, high schools and international pre-schools. She is passionate about teaching English to speakers of other languages and sharing her professional teaching acumen to individuals who are currently involved in teaching and/or aim at pursuing their career in education.
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