Contact details:
Affiliation: Portland State University
ERLA key words; culture, equity, power, identity, multilingualism
ERLA key problems: How do we compose our language(s)? How do we experience our language(s)? How do we develop our language(s)? How do we treat our language(s)?

Forever drawn to the ways language and culture intertwine and inform one another, the ERL Association provides a context in which to explore these ideas with other curious and committed educators, each bringing a unique cultural and historical perspective. Buoyed by the opportunity to learn in community with others so remarkably focused on the educational roles of language, I relish the chance to learn with, from, and through others interested in this kind of inquiry. To this end, I appreciate the regular opportunities to connect with others, through hearing or reading about their insights or wonderings, and through sharing my own, in hopes of gaining new and deeper understandings as well.

Much like an ouroboros, or an infinity symbol, I believe that language shapes education, just as education shapes language, in an unending churn, passing old ideas forward while introducing new ideas into the ongoing swirl. I believe that as educators, we hold a unique responsibility in informing the ways language is used by our students, which in turn, influences the ways language is used in the broader, non-school-based community. I take this responsibility with tremendous gravity, in recognition of the ways language has historically been (and continues to be) used in ways that may purposefully privilege some, while marginalizing (or even erasing) others.

Because language is so tremendously integral in the ways education occurs, and the ways that power is defined, defended, influenced, and enforced, I would love to continue to explore ways we, as educators, may continue to contend with this. While I realize this is not the primary (non even secondary nor tertiary) interest of all scholars, I would at minimum wish for a rudimentary level of awareness around these ideas to be common knowledge. Further, I would like to continue to deepen my own understandings and knowledge in this area, as well.

    As we proceed, I would love to see further examples of cross-cultural comparisons of the ways power is expressed in language, and how this is made manifest in educational settings. Given the broad, geographic diversity of the ERL membership, multiple opportunities for this exist, across multiple planes, evident in any content area, with all age groups, as well.