Navigating Languages, Literacies, and Identities

The edited volume Navigating Languages, Literacies and Identities: Religion in Young Lives has come out! Edited by Vally Lytra, Dinah Volk, and Eve Gregory, the volume showcases innovative research at the interface of religion and multilingualism, with an analytical focus on religion in children and adolescents’ everyday lives and experiences. I have a chapter on my research in northern Cameroon and Central Ohio.

Fulbright follow-up at Utrecht U

Leslie Mariette Utrecht UI am in Utrecht for 2 weeks, a follow-up to my Fulbright at Utrecht University in AY 2015-16. I will give a lecture and lead discussion groups in the course ‘Youth, Education & Society 02: Global Perspectives’, a core course in the Masters program Youth, Education & Society. My host and lead instructor of the course is Professor Mariette de Haan.

Talk at Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

Today I give a talk for the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics. The talk, ‘Moving across languages and learning traditions’, will be in 16:00 – 17:00 in Eyckhof 3/005. I will present my research on the social and cultural patterning of language learning in three multilingual African communities. In the late 1990s I was a visiting scholar in African Languages and Linguistics at Leiden University, and I am excited to see old friends and hear about the exciting work they are doing now.

Talk at International Institute for Social Studies

On Jauary 22nd, I will give a talk at the International Institute for Social Studies in The Hague (part of Erasmus University Rotterdam). In this talk, ‘Leveraging Qur’anic schooling for Western-style educational goals‘, I discuss how the role of Qur’anic schools in advancing national and international development goals for education has shifted over time, and I consider the notion of ‘leveraging’ in development work, i.e., the use of existing social structures and practices in/of the community to achieve international cooperation and aid goals.

Sirad Shirdon awarded Hancock scholarship

My advisee Sirad Shirdon has been awarded a scholarship from the Dr. Charles R. Hancock Graduate Scholarship Fund in Urban Education. She will use the scholarship for her research on Kindergarten readiness among Somali children in Central Ohio. Sirad plans to take an ethnographically informed approach to the study of parent, school, and community understandings of Kindergarten readiness and how these understandings are enacted in practice. This study will build on Sirad’s work on my longitudinal study of language and literacy socialization and development among Somali immigrant-refugee children in the early elementary grades.

AAA Panel on Language and the Immigrant Experience of Children and Youth

I just participated in a double panel, ‘Language and the Immigrant Experience of Children and Youth’ at the 2013 Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Organized by Inmaculada M. García-Sánchez (Temple University) and sponsored by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, the panel brought together language ethnographers to examine the experiences of immigrant children and youth (Somali, North African, Vietnamese, indigenous Mayans, Romanians, Turkish, Iranian, Mexican) in an integrated fashion and in a number of cross-cultural settings. My paper “Making African storybooks culturally relevant and culturally marked in a Kindergarten classroom in a Somali-centric school” examines the use in read alouds of storybooks that depict Africa and Africans in Kindergarten in a charter school that serves primarily the children of Somali refugees who have resettled in a large US midwestern city.

Language socialization and the future of Anthropology of Education

Teachers College Columbia is hosting a conference On the Future of Anthropology in Schools of Education this coming weekend, October 18 and 19. With Patricia Baquedano-López (UC Berkeley), Inmaculada García Sanchez (Temple), Kathryn Howard (California State University, San Bernardino), and Laura Sterponi (UC Berkeley), I have co-authored a paper, “Exploring the intersection of language socialization research and the anthropology of education”. Our paper is part of the session ‘Open Roads: Renewed Possibilities‘ (beginning at 0:36:40).

Keynote at OSU Mansfield Diversity Conference

On Saturday, April 13, 2013, The Ohio State University at Mansfield and the Office of Multicultural Affairs hosts its one-day conference “Empowering and Engaging Diverse Perspectives: A P-16 Approach” to encourage discussion and critical thinking on issues of diversity and inclusion in the P-16 educational pipeline. The morning keynote speaker is Dr. Bob Moses, founder of the Algebra Project. I am the afternoon keynote speaker, and my talk is ‘Expanding repertoires of practice: Educational experiences of children in the Somali Diaspora’.

Work-in-progress session at NCTEAR 2013

OSU hosts NCTEAR this year. My Second Language and Literacy Lab (SL3) group have a work-in-progress session on Saturday, February 16, 1:45-3:15 in Arps 100. In our session, ‘Multiple Perspectives on Talk around Storybook Read-alouds in a Kindergarten Classroom’, we discuss our collaborative work on 23 read alouds NCTEAR smallrecorded in a Kindergarten classroom in a charter school that serves primarily the children of Somali refugees who have resettled in Central Ohio. Sirad Shirdon, Se Jeong Yang, Tanti Sari, and Ani Pujiastuti will present their analyses, each having taken a different analytic approach to the read aloud data. We will then discuss our efforts to integrate these different insights into read alouds as key sites for constructing meaning and developing cultural/linguistic minority children’s familiarity and facility with English language and literacy practices.