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Mela Sarkar

Associate Professor

Mela Sarkar mela [dot] sarkar [at] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail)    Web Site
Phone: 514-398-2756

Coach House, Rm. 218


Areas of interest

  • Second language acquisition
  • Mother tongue maintenance
  • Language planning and policy
  • Multilingualism
  • Sociolinguistics


Description of research/teaching activities
The wider context for my research is the linguistic integration of immigrants and the juxtaposition of majority and minority languages against a backdrop of migration and displacement. Current projects in which I am involved all focus on the way recent arrivals in Quebec interact with the learning and use of French and with policies around Quebec’s official language—in schools, in communities, and through poetry and art.

Selected publications/presentations

Low, B., & M. Sarkar. (2012). Le plurilinguisme dans les cultures populaires, un terrain inexploré? L’étude du langage mixte du rap montréalais en guise d’exemple. Kinéphanos, 3/1, 20-47.

Sarkar, M, & B. Low. (2012). Multilingualism and popular culture. M. Martin-­Jones, A. Blackledge & A. Creese (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism (pp. 403-­418). London: Routledge.

Sarkar, M., J. Metallic, M.A. Metallic. & J. Vicaire (2011). « Listugujg nemitueg tli’suti napui’gnigtug »: Apprendre le mi’gmaq à l’âge adulte à Listuguj. In L. Drapeau (Ed.), Les langues autochtones du Québec: un patrimoine en danger (pp. 87-106). Montréal: Les presses de l’Université du Québec.

Sarkar, M. (2010). [Review of Bilingual: Life and reality by François Grosjean]. Montreal Gazette, 3 June.

Low, B., M. Sarkar, & L. Winer. (2009). “Chus mon propre Bescherelle”: Challenges from the Hip-­‐Hop nation to the Quebec nation. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 13/1, 59-­82.

Sarkar, M. (2009). Getting into med school or becoming a healer? Western medical education and Indigenous knowledges. In J. Langdon (Ed.), Indigenous knowledges, development and education (pp. 109-­133). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Sarkar, M. (2009). “Still reppin’ por mi gente”: the transformative power of language mixing in Quebec Hip-­Hop. In H.S. Alim, A. Ibrahim & A. Pennycook (Eds.), Global linguistic flows: Hip Hop cultures, youth identities, and the politics of language (pp. 139-­157). New York, NY: Routledge.

Sarkar, M. (2009). [Review of Bilingualism: An advanced resource book, ed. N.B. Chin and G. Wigglesworth.] Canadian Modern Language Review, 65(4).

Sarkar, M., & M.A. Metallic. (2009). Indigenizing the structural syllabus: The challenge of revitalizing Mi’gmaq in Listuguj. Canadian Modern Language Review, 66(1), 49-71.

Bouffard, L. A., & M. Sarkar. (2008). Training 8-­year­‐old French immersion students in metalinguistic analysis: an innovation in form-­focused pedagogy. Language Awareness, 17(1), 3-‐24.

Sarkar, M. (2008). “Ousqu’on chill à soir?”: Pratiques multilingues comme stratégies identitaires dans la communauté hip-­hop montréalaise. Diversité Urbaine (Numéro thématique : Plurilinguisme et identités au Canada), 27‐44.

Park, S.M., & M. Sarkar. (2007). Parents’ attitudes toward heritage language maintenance for their children and their efforts to help their children maintain the heritage language: A case study of Korean-­Canadian immigrants. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 20(3), 223-­235.

Sarkar, M., & D. Allen. (2007). Identity in Quebec Hip‐Hop: Language, territory and ethnicity in the mix. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 6(2), 117‐130.

Sarkar, M., Low, B., & Winer, L. (2007). Pour connecter avec le Peeps: Québéquicité and the Québec Hip-Hop community. In M. Mantero (Ed.), Identity and second language learning: Culture, inquiry and dialogic activity in educational contexts. Greenwich, CT: Information Age.

Sarkar, M. (2006). « La vraie langue française [n’]existe plus » : Français parlé et pratiques multilingues comme stratégies identitaires dans le rap montréalais. Grenzgänge, 13(25), 30-­51.

Sarkar, M., & Winer, L. (2006). Multilingual code-switching in Quebec rap: Poetry, pragmatics and performativity. International Journal of Multilingualism, 3(3). 173-192.

Sarkar, M. (2005). À l’école on parle français: second language acquisition and the creation of community in a multiethnic Montreal kindergarten. In F. Salili & R. Hoosain (Eds.), Language in multicultural education (Research in Multicultural Education and International Perspectives series). 310-342. Greenwich, CT: Information Age.

Sarkar, M. (2005). Language of education policy in Quebec: Access to which majority language and for whom? In May, S., Franken, M., & Barnard, R. (Eds.). LED2003: Refereed Conference Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Language, Education and Diversity. Hamilton, NZ: Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, University of Waikato.

Sarkar, M. (2002). Saute ça/"Jump this!": The acquisition of the faire faire causative by first and second language learners of French. Annual Review of Language Acquisition, 2, 157-201.

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