My Academic year by the numbers

Most of the Western world celebrates “New Year” on January 1st, as does WordPress. In the academic world, however, our rhythms are different. July signals for me the end of the year, and a time for reflecting on the past academic year and the upcoming year. So I’m going to have my own little celebration here, to mark the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, and give me food for thought about my plans and priorities for the 2017-2018 academic year. So here is my year, by the numbers:

42: Number of flights I have taken this year for work purposes, to

14 countries, on

3 continents, to visit

31 schools, for training, meetings, school audits, parent sessions, and give

9 conference and symposium presentations.

45,000 words written for my upcoming co-authored book “Linguistic and Cultural Innovation in Schools: The Language Challenge” – published by Palgrave Macmillan, due to hit the shelves November 2017

27,751 visits to my blog, from

158 countries, to read

18 blog posts

19 “Raising Bilingual Children: 6 building blocks for success” seminars delivered

22 new textbooks/research books purchased and read

3 heroes met and conversed with: Jim Cummins, Fred Genesee, Stephen Krashen (you can read my article about it here)

244 tweets from my first year using Twitter (@4bilingualism)

So that is pretty much my 2016-2017 academic year, summed through the beauty of a list of numbers. Now to ponder which numbers I want to work on for the next academic year – what you do think I should be doing?

Talking about Bilingualism in Bangor

The annual Bilingualism Summer School held at the University of Bangor is probably one of the best places to talk about bilingualism. It’s two weeks of researchers, academics and students, all gathered for the same thing – to talk about various aspects of bilingualism. This year, I have the good fortune to be attending for one week (thanks to my wonderful husband, even though he thinks I know enough about bilingualism… and our fantastic babysitter, Susy). So, why am I here? In part, to keep up on what is new in bilingualism – Wales is one of the key areas for bilingualism research. The centre hosting the summer school is renowned, as is it’s most prominent researcher, Colin Baker (from my last post). And in part, to meet other people who do what I do, and see what they are doing the same or differently.
This week I am taking four courses. I’m going to try and blog one interesting thing from each course, every day, to share what is new in the world of bilingualism. So these are the four courses I am taking:

1. Issues in Bilingualism (Eirini Sanoudaki, Bangor University)
This is an overview course of the field, from linguistic, cognitive and social perspectives. I’ve taken a few course like this in the past, but I’m interested to find out what is new in the field.

2. Bilingual/Multilingual Education: Classrooms, Challenges, Research ((Jessica Clapham, Anwei Feng, Bryn Jones, Gwyn Lewis, Enlli Thomas, Bangor University)
With an obvious focus on bilingualism in education, I chose this course due to the work I do with schools/teachers. While the schools I work with do not use bilingual models, they do deal with language learning in an immersion setting. Also might get the chance to talk about Canada… one of the success stories for bilingual education.

3. Dynamic Bilingual Education for the 21st Century (Ofelia Garcia, City University of New York)
This course has a political bent, designed to promote discussion about the “policies, programs and practices” of bilingual education for immigrant and minority communities. Garcia is a prolific author on the topic, and expects us to be prolific readers… this course has two textbooks and 18 research articles as required reading this week… watch this space to see how this goes!

4. Code-switching (Margaret Deuchar, Bangor University)
This course is exactly what it says on the label… a whole course about code-switching! Although this is a topic that every bilingual knows something about, this course is designed to prepare for research into code-switching, and using bilingual corpora and transcription tools etc.

So, if you are interested, stay with me over the week, as I blog from Bangor.