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L'IMAGE project at the University of Toronto

Project title: Language, Identity, Multiculturalism and Global Empowerment (L'IMAGE) project

Principal Investigator and Project Lead: Ai Taniguchi (UTM Department of Language Studies)

Collaborators: Gilbert Lin (UTM International Education Centre), Veronica Vasquez (UTM International Education Centre)

Research Assistant: Haili Su (MA student, UTSG Linguistics, [at] 

Project description: The goal of this project is linguistic empowerment: to bring international and domestic students of UofT together to raise their intercultural competence and empathy, and to spread awareness that all forms of language are valid. To celebrate the linguistic and cultural diversity of students at UofT, we will translate UofT students’ lived experiences into comics. A group of students will be selected to share their stories about the language(s) that they speak, and what role language has in their identity and everyday life. These stories will be illustrated as comics, complemented by infographics that educate the reader about language from the expert perspective of a linguist. These comics will be disseminated via events and social media platforms run by the International Education Centre at UTM, and will be used as an intercultural competence training tool for student leaders at UofT. Comics make information dissemination accessible: they are easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to share. The impact of this project can go beyond UTM, and the comics can be used widely across the three UofT campuses. This project amplifies the voices of linguistic-diverse and culture-diverse students at UofT. The goal of the comics is to have UofT students see the shared and the different: there will be linguistic experiences that they can relate to, and others will be stories they’ve never lived through. By both finding common ground and seeing new perspectives, students’ linguistic and cultural viewpoints will be widened.

With the generous support of:

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