Tag Archives: language

(Almost) Wheels up (again)!

6 May

As I prepare for the next trip, I am excited and nervous at the same time.  When I traveled to Brazil in 2012, my Portguese was not all that great (can only boast minimal improvement even now) so I couldn’t say confidently I was stepping into a country where I knew the language and the surroundings.  The same holds true for this trip to Italy.  But here’s the difference:  for Brazil, I knew I would be around people of African descent and that would be enough to diminish any fears of not knowing the language.  For Italy, not so much the case.  I not only don’t speak a lick of Italian (I am soooo hoping my Spanish, French and Portguese will allow me to tread water), but there is little chance of me seeing an Afro-Italian.

I know, when I went to Madrid last year, I was shocked to see Africans. But, I knew the LANGUAGE. So I could still catch the subtle nuances of passersby, of folks I passed by and still felt “comfortable.”

Something about this trip has me a bit more anxious.  I am leading way more students than ever (16 this time), but, although there are logistical things there of concern, it really is about this anticipation of the unfamiliar in all respects.  I am used to being somewhere and not really knowing the language well (Brazil, Senegal, South Korea, Haiti) and I am used to being in spaces where my color sticks out as the beautifully different thumb it is (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Spain, heck, the USA in some places).  But the combination of these two are rare for me.

Needless to say, some of my posts this trip may be a public negotiation of this combination.  It will also be an opportunity for me to, for a moment, sit in the places of those Black Away from Home ex-pats living in Japan, China, Russia (well kind of, there are Afro-Russians) and all those other places where language and identity are impacted simultaneously.  It will really put a lot of my research into perspective.

I am thrilled, EXCITED to be going to Italy!  For all of the reasons that anybody else would be excited to go.  But also for the reasons I list above that may read as apprehension.  It’s not.  You should know by now, I set the stage for my thought process in order to prepare myself (and you).


The Coliseum


My new book is OUT!

24 Jun

I have exciting news…………

I am pleased to announce the release of my new book, Language, Identity and Choice: Raising Bilingual Children in a Global Society with Lexington Books. It is available from all major online bookstores and from https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780739193624/Language-Identity-and-Choice-Raising-Bilingual-Children-in-a-Global-Society

From the Back Cover

Language, Identity and Choice: Raising Bilingual Children in a Global Society offers, through vibrant personal reflections and scholarly research, a valuable treatise on the promotion of second language and trans-cultural studies among African Americans. Those wishing to engender in their children and in their communities the positive benefits of bilingualism and intercultural literacy will find this text informative and entertaining.”

— James J. Davis, Howard University

Language, Identity and Choice: Raising Bilingual Children in a Global Society provides scholarly insight into how foreign language acquisition influences an individual’s understanding of identity within the African American family. Rooted in sociolinguistic, communication, and bilingual theoretical perspectives, Kami J. Anderson describes how foreign language acquisition, development, and use shape how African Americans describe and proscribe their identity and, in turn, the identity of the family. Language, Identity and Choice looks specifically at how family language choices, in particular choosing to be bilingual, affect family communication and perception of identity from people outside of the family. Anderson combines both extensive research and her personal experience of being bilingual to challenge the existing notions of what it means to be Black when personal experiences with race and ethnicity extend beyond boundaries of the native country or culture. 

I encourage all of my readers to get your copy TODAY (if possible, please:-))

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