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Linguistics and Language Education

‘Most people in the world are multilingual, and everybody could be; no one is rigorously excluded from another’s language community except through lack of time and effort. Different languages protect and nourish the growth of different cultures, where different pathways of human knowledge can be discovered. They certainly make life richer for those who know more than one of them.’
—  Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World, by Nicholas Ostler.

Focus and Mandate of the Group: Interdisciplinary Research Cluster of Linguistics and Language Education

The Interdisciplinary Research Cluster of Linguistics and Language Education, under leadership of Dr. Joanna Merkel (Modern Languages) and Dr. Xinxin Fang (International Office, Centre for Chinese Studies) is a group of passionate language educators from Chinese, French, German, Spanish and other languages program as well as scholars and students who are interested in exploring the empire of languages.

The limits of my language are the limits of my universe.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein (the founder of linguistic philosophy)


1) to promote the advancement of language research and teaching

2) to disseminate research in language teaching pedagogy

3) to conduct linguistic and language education related research projects

4) to conduct professional development for language educators

5) to facilitate exchanges and collaboration among language educators and researchers

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.
If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

–Nelson Mandela

Group Members

  • Joanna Merkel – Assistant Professor, Arts, CUE
  • Xinxin Fang – Director, Centre for Chinese Studies, CUE
  • Conrad van Dyk – Associate Professor, Arts, CUE
  • Hannuo Wu – Student, Education, CUE
  • Billie Wu –Simon Fraser University
  • Mianmian Xie –Confucius Institute in Edmonton
  • Wei Liu –University of Alberta International
  • Liang Tian –Beijing Language and Culture University
  • Mai Hussein – Instructor, Arts, CUE
  • Juan Hernandez – Instructor, Arts, CUE
  • Xavier Gutiérrez – Assistant Professor,  University of Alberta

Upcoming Events

We are glad to invite you to our 2017 fall presentations:

Who is IISLE?  conducted by Norman Sieweke on Wednesday September 27, 2017 from noon – 1 pm in HA206

Learners’ Perceptions about Task-based Language Teaching conducted by Xavier Gutiérrez on Wednesday October 25, 2017 from noon – 1 pm in HA206

Teaching French in the West Bank: My Experience Being an International Volunteer with the Palestinian NGO Project Hope presented by Dr. Joanna Merkel on Wednesday November 29, 2017 from noon – 1 pm in HA 206