The UBC Graduate Students’ Society Present: International Celebration Night

Taken directly from the GSS website.
The Facebook event link can be found here

Date: Thursday, January 29, 2015
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: GSS Thea’s Lounge (6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver)
Tickets: $5 UBC grads, $10 UBC non-grads
or in-person at the GSS front desk

It’s a world of diversity! Join your GSS for a night of globe-trotting through the senses:

  • Savour ethnic cuisines from around the world
  • Watch videos that showcase cultures from across the globe
  • Challenge yourself with trivia questions and win a prize
  • Mingle with fellow students and celebrate diversity
  • Know a video that highlights your homeland? Email us links to videos from your home country that showcases the cultural aspects of it or portray its natural beauty.

 

Linguistic diversity at UBC – A Ubyssey Article

We all make assumptions about those that speak differently. Researchers refer to this phenomenon as linguistic profiling, or the identification of a person’s social characteristics, such as level of intelligence, based on aspects of their speech.

 

Taken directly from the Ubyssey (link here).

Letter: “I can’t understand my prof”: Linguistic diversity at UBC

By: Victoria Surtees

Around this time last semester, I stumbled upon a Ubyssey article listing reasons to drop a course. One reason in particular, “I can’t understand my prof,” evoked the many challenges of linguistic diversity at UBC. As a student here, I have heard many hurtful comments about the way instructors, profs and TAs speak, particularly about those who were not born in Canada. With the drop deadline approaching, I decided to see what the research said about why people sometimes react negatively to different ways of speaking. What I found was both interesting and practical. I share a condensed version of the findings here in the hope that students will take a step back and think next time they can’t understand a prof.

We all make assumptions about those that speak differently. Researchers refer to this phenomenon as linguistic profiling, or the identification of a person’s social characteristics, such as level of intelligence, based on aspects of their speech. In the university context, linguistic profiling often surfaces in the form of negative attitudes towards instructors who speak non-standard varieties of English (think Texan English or Chinese English). Raisler (1976), for example, found that 730 students rated lectures delivered by a prof with noticeable accents as less convincing than the same lecture delivered by a standard speaker. In a similar study, students rated exactly the same science lecture as more difficult to understand when played beside a photograph of an Asian man as opposed to a white man (Kang & Rubin, 2009). What this tells us is that when we don’t understand, it’s not always about the prof — our unconscious expectations and attitudes about what “good language” sounds like and who normally speaks it also play a role.

Recently, Kang, Rubin, Lindemann (2014) found that students’ ability to understand different accents was improved through critical discussion and exposure. With that in mind, here are a couple of practical tips to take away with you as you consider which courses to keep this semester.

Put your assumptions on hold: when you first saw your instructor, what did you expect? When they spoke, what did you think? Now put your ideas aside for a moment. Give you and your instructor the benefit of the doubt: they work at UBC because they are leaders in their field. You attend UBC because you’re an amazing student.

Remind yourself that it’s useful to understand other ways of speaking: learning to communicate effectively with a variety of English speakers is one way to tap into a vast transnational network. Viewed this way, linguistic diversity is not a burden, it is an additional opportunity that UBC provides. Take advantage!

InterculturalU: Call for Art Submissions

Are you passionate about ending discrimination and celebrating diversity using your art?

Join us! We are looking forward to all kinds of artwork : song, dance, drumming, photography, painting, sculpture, slam poetry, improv, stand-up comedy….

The UBC Equity Ambassadors will hold the third annual Intercultural U on March 21st in celebration of the International Day to End Racial Discrimination. We hope to promote intercultural understanding and connections between the rich variety of cultures on campus through an evening of art showcase.

Submit your form online by  January 19th, 2015! https://forms.students.ubc.ca/access/icu-artist-submissions

If you would like more information, check out http://blogs.ubc.ca/access/2015/01/05/intercultural-understanding-through-art/ or contact us at equity.ambassadors@ubc.ca