LINGUIST List 30.1546

Mon Apr 08 2019

Support: Applied Linguistics: MA / MSc, University of Ottawa

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Date: 05-Apr-2019
From: Nikolay Slavkov <>
Subject: Applied Linguistics: MA / MSc, University of Ottawa, Canada
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Department: Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute
Level: MA / MSc

Institution/Organization: University of Ottawa

Duties: Project Work

Specialty Areas: Applied Linguistics


Research Assistant position for a research project supervised by Dr. Nikolay Slavkov at the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute of the University of Ottawa.

Project Title: The Linguistic Risk-Taking Initiative at the University of Ottawa

Description: This project capitalizes on the notion of linguistic risk-taking (Beebe, 1983; Cervantes, 2013) and focuses on a new pedagogical initiative at the University of Ottawa. In this institutional English-French bilingual context, we define linguistic risks as authentic communicative acts in learners’ second official language (French or English), which may be “risky” due to discomfort about making mistakes, being misunderstood, misunderstanding others, being judged, taking on a different identity, and changing previously established language choice patterns. This may cause learners to miss campus-wide opportunities for authentic and meaningful second language engagement. To encourage risk-taking, we have designed an initiative offering a Linguistic Risk-Taking Passport (26-page booklet with over 70 risks) distributed to selected French or English learners on campus. The risks represent authentic activities outside the language classroom (e.g. speak the second language at the library, approach a passer-by for directions, order food at the cafeteria, interact with a professor/administrator, attend an event, etc.). Learners autonomously check off risks in their passports, comment on difficulty levels, propose additional risks, and can submit passports for prizes.

Duties: The graduate student(s) will research both theoretical and practical/pedagogical aspects of linguistic risk-taking, participate in data collection and analysis, and offer practical assistance in the development of additional activities and implementation of the initiative, (including opportunities to be involved in the development of a risk-taking app.)

Conditions: Applicants must email a one page (single spaced) cover letter describing their background and interests and a CV to Prof. Slavkov ( Shortlisted candidates may be invited to a brief informal interview by Skype or telephone. Applicants must also be admissible to the University of Ottawa’s MA program in Bilingualism Studies and be prepared to apply for the program for Fall 2019 admission (

***Important Language Requirements:*** All applicants must have an excellent knowledge of one of the two official languages: either English or French. In addition, at least a receptive knowledge of the other language is also necessary.

For more details about the projects, please email Prof. Slavkov ( For more details about the MA Program, please visit the following website: (

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Prof. Nikolay Slavkov
        70 Laurier Ave East
        Room 130
        Ottawa Ontario K1N 6N5

Contact Information:
        Nikolay Slavkov

Page Updated: 08-Apr-2019