Jestine received an HBSc from the University of Toronto Scarborough where she double majored in Linguistics and Psychology. She discovered her interest in Linguistics when she took a class as an elective in Linguistics. "I had come into UTSC wanting to major in English and French. After a few courses, I discovered I didn’t have the same passion for dissecting literature and media as my classmates did and wanted something more structured/objective. I ended up enjoying the scientific aspect of Linguistics – creating hypotheses, collecting data, and ultimately getting a “peek” into how the brain works in processing and producing language. After speaking to professors, I looked into speech-language pathology and discovered how rewarding it was, and how it combined my interests and skill sets into a fulfilling career. I decided to volunteer with some SLPs in the GTA and it sort of progressed from there. " "The professors in the Centre of French and Linguistics had a big role in who I am today, because they were so supportive in a lot of ways. They provided me with encouragement and suggestions on how to succeed in my graduate school applications, and I’m extremely grateful for their advice. For example, they were happy to share their research with me, and encouraged me to think critically about the literature. They invited me to be a Research Assistant to get an understanding of the material beyond the classroom." Jestine considers her entire graduate school experience so far as her greatest accomplishment. "I worked really hard in my undergraduate so getting that acceptance letter felt like all my hard work finally paid off! Since then, I’m really proud of my growth as a student clinician, obtaining a full scholarship in my final year, and completing a clinical practicum in the Philippines to work with families and children with developmental language disorders."
In 2014, Abner graduated from University of Toronto at Scarborough in the program of CTEP also known as Concurrent Teacher and Education Program. He received two degrees: Honours Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in French specialists and another in Bachelor of Education." I was fortunate to be part of a great cohort of students in the French department who used to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through various group discussions. I also worked in the French department as a French monitor for a couple of years." "My experience at the French department was amazing, unforgettable, and rewarding. I had great opportunities to meet some of the best French professors in Canada. They were courteous, supportive, and reliable to meet all the students’ needs in the department. They also assisted me to choose the program that would fit my career ambition. One of the reasons that I enjoyed the French courses at UTSC was the class sizes. They were small enough for the professors to give the students the attention they needed to succeed." Abner is currently employed as a teacher in a French immersion school by York Region District School Board. "The knowledge and experiences that I obtained at the University have helped me to compete in this ever-changing world."
Academically, Shan earned an Honors Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto at Scarborough, where he majored in both Economics for Management Studies and Mental Health Studies, as well as a minor in French."I first became interested in law when I learned about the complex interaction between the various subfields of common law in high school and participated in a mock criminal law trial, as well as a mock International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. My desire to pursue a professional legal career solidified during the 2014 Ontario General Election campaign where I learned about the importance of efficient and effective advocacy."Shan considers his greatest accomplishments is having his policy regarding a national strategy to prevent, treat, and reduce the harmful effects of drug addiction formally adopted by the Ontario Young Liberals in a competitive process, where the policy passed at the local, regional, and finally, provincial stage."
" UTSC offers a very supportive and close-knit community, which provides the resources and environment to learn about who you are and to develop your identity. The Centre for French and Linguistics is the epitome of this, because you learn about the importance of language and culture and the critical role they play in one’s phenomenology or worldview. The CFL also offers small class sizes at the outset of your undergraduate career, and the faculty and peers are some of the most devoted and caring people I have ever met. I still connect with faculty at the CFL and some of my best friends today are those who happened to sit next to me in French class one day."
Ed-Esther moved from Montreal to Oshawa when she was seventeen to pursue her education. She considers that as her greatest accomplishment because since then, she has managed to accomplish various feats in her personal, educational and professional life. Ed-Esther earned a Ministerial Diploma from World Harvest Bible College and an Honours Bachelors of Arts from the University of Toronto. Following that, she obtained a Bachelors of Education from OISE. Ed-Esther is currently working on completing her Masters of Education at OISE (Aug 2016). During high school, she realized how fun and rewarding it was to help out other students with grasping concepts of the French language and decided to pursue a career in teaching. "The trajectory I took at and from UTSC greatly helped me to be where (and who) I am today. In terms of career path, I feel that having studied in the French Department at UTSC opened my eyes to the Francophone Culture in ways I had not been aware as a high school student. The French Specialist as well as Drama Major enabled me to prepare for my BEd and gave me the connections I needed. An example of this is that in the FREB11 course, I had to find a few high schools to do observations of how French was taught at the Core, Extended and Mother Tongue levels. During my observations at a local Francophone school, I was able to interview and be hired as a pre-accredited supply teacher. Here I gained five years of experience with students all across Toronto and Durham regions from K – Gr. 12. This experience (as well as my BEd and some key other things) helped me to land a full-time position at an incredible IB school in Toronto." Ed-Esther is really interested in Bilingual Education as well as the education of African-Canadian youth.
Born in Montreal, Connie attended Francophone schools until grade 10. She finished her high school in the French Immersion program in Toronto. Following that, she graduated from University of Toronto, with an H.Ba in the Education of Teachers in French. After that, she completed her M.A. at UofT in French Literature. Later on, she continued her studies at OISE/UT and obtained a Bachelor of Education degree. "I started tutoring my mom friend’s son at a very young age. That was my first teaching experience. I tutored French at many tutoring schools during my undergraduate years, and with all of that I became interested in teaching French. I enjoy working with my students and getting to know them. I enjoy seeing progress in their learning and hearing that they like French. I enjoy hearing from my previous students and knowing that they are still learning French in high school." "Many professors at UTSC are not only expert in their field of teaching but they are also very caring. They are available for extra help and they make sure students understand the course content. Prof. Beauquis and Prof. McCrindle are examples of those excellent instructors. They gave clear lessons and expectations and they are also very caring.As a teacher right now, I try to deliver interesting lessons with clear expectations and encourage my students in pursuing their objectives." Connie stresses that learning a language is not always easy. " Seek help, practice it whenever you can. There is a lot of support at UTSC."
Talar received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Neuroscience and French as well as a minor in Psychology from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) in 2016 and is currently completing her Masters of Health Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology (S-LP) at the University of Toronto. “Having been brought up in a multilingual environment and speaking English, French, Arabic, and Armenian, I have always had a passion for languages. Coming into UTSC as a first year student, I was planning on completing a science degree, but upon taking some French courses simply as electives, I loved them and considered making French one of my majors. The relatively smaller class sizes and the warm, friendly, and devoted professors in the department of French and Linguistics greatly impacted my decision to major in French as well. Professors Maud Pillet and Snéjina Sonina are some examples of those excellent instructors I was privileged enough to have taught me. When third year came around, I was still not quite sure what field I wanted to work in after graduation. I was considering medical school, pharmacy or even teaching as possible options, yet none of those options seemed quite right. At the end of third year, I approached Professor Sonina to discuss about career options. Having taught me six courses in both Linguistics and French, she had gotten to know me a little more than the extent to which professors normally are familiar with their students. She immediately suggested Speech-Language Pathology. I researched opportunities and started volunteering right away.
Throughout my volunteer roles, I had the privilege to work with adults with aphasia, Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders in the Aphasia and Communication Disabilities Program at March of Dimes Canada, and also with children with various language delays and autism spectrum disorder at the Speech and Stuttering Institute. As a communication facilitator for aphasia clients, I learned how to adapt my communication strategies to suit clients’ individual needs, thus enhancing my critical thinking skills. Aside from working on the clients’ communication goals, I made use of my multilingualism and communicated in French with an aphasic client, thereby elevating her mood and improving her speech. These various volunteer experiences were very enriching and rewarding for me, and I knew then that I had found my calling in Speech-Language Pathology. I am forever grateful and indebted to the faculty at UTSC for guiding and supporting me along the way and for helping me realize where my true passion lies and especially for suggesting a career that combines my love for languages, linguistics, and science.” Talar considers her acceptance into the Speech-Language Pathology program as one of her greatest accomplishments in addition to her graduate experience so far. She is excited to begin her first clinical internship in the spring 2017, where she will be able to apply her theoretical knowledge to practice and attempt to the best of her abilities to ease the struggle of communication and acceptance for children with diverse communication difficulties for the first time as a student clinician.
Melissa has an Honors Bachelors of Science degree with a double major in Linguistics and Psychology from the University of Toronto and is currently completing her Masters of Health Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto as well. "During my first year, I vividly remember sitting in my LINA01 Introduction to Linguistics course fascinated about how complex communication was. It was intriguing to learn about the importance of communication in our everyday lives as social beings- as it impacts our identity and social relationships. At the end of my first year, I approached my Linguistics Professor (Monica Irmia) and my TA (Trelani Milburn) to discuss about career options and they suggested Speech-Language Pathologist. I researched opportunities, started volunteering, working with Professors and everything started to fall in place." Melissa considers her greatest accomplishments are her acceptance to the Speech-Language Pathology Masters program, achieving a full-year scholarship for my first year in the SLP program, inspiring undergrads to pursue Linguistics-related careers as a TA at UTSC, and helping patients reach their communicative potential during my international placement at Mbingo Hospital and Integrated School for the Deaf in Cameroon. "I’d like to emphasize that the Centre for French and Linguistics program and the Professors have greatly prepared me for the Speech-Language Pathology program. My strong academic speech science foundation has definitely set me apart from most of my classmates in my current program. As an SLP graduate student, I’m able to apply my theoretical knowledge that I’ve learned at UTSC into clinical practice. I enjoy the fact that I’m able to make a real-world difference to the patients I see during my clinical internships. "
Darshani received her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, Scarborough (UTSC) in 2016, specializing in Psycholinguistics. She will be starting her Master of Health Science degree at the University of Toronto, Department of Speech-Language Pathology in the Fall of 2017. “Going into my first year at UTSC, I knew I wanted to take introductory courses in both linguistics and psychology, as I wanted to know whether a career in speech-language pathology was one I wanted to pursue. I was hesitant at first to take linguistics, as it was a subject I had never heard of before. However, after taking introductory courses, I immediately developed a passion for it. I can honestly say linguistics is a subject I would recommend to future students, as it allowed me to experience a more in depth study of language and opened my eyes to the importance of language in general. Shortly after starting my undergraduate studies, I began volunteering with different populations and taking part in research with Professor Rena Helms-Park and Professor Yoonjung Kang, in the Centre for French & Linguistics. I would not have had the opportunity to work with such distinguished individuals had I not taken that first linguistics course. I am currently pursuing graduate studies and hope to accomplish my goal of becoming a speech-language pathologist in the near future.
Overall, my time at UTSC allowed me to discover my passion, and if it were not for the wonderful faculty in the Linguistics department, that allowed me to grow as a student and as an individual, I would not be where I am today. UTSC will always be near and dear to my heart, as will the teachings of my professors as I venture into graduate school. If there were any advice I could give, it would be to try new courses in first year. You never know what you may like or where it may take you. Who knows, you might find your passion right here in the Linguistics department!"
Iris received an Honours BSc specializing in Neuroscience, with a double minor in Psychology and English/Chinese Translation from UTSC in 2017.
She will be pursuing her MA in Translation at York University, Glendon Campus, in the fall of 2018. “I still remember that day in my third year when I caught four big and bold Chinese characters 中英翻译 (Chinese/English Translation) on the UTSC home page. I was so excited that there was a new ECT minor program, and I was so eager to apply for the program. ECT provided a great opportunity for me to obtain the fundamental theoretical knowledge and practical English/Chinese translation skills. Throughout my high school years, I had been interpreting for new immigrants at The Cross-Cultural Community Services Association, which is a non-profit organization that assists new immigrants. Therefore, I understand that orally translating from English to Chinese, or vice versa, is a challenging task despite the fact that I am fluent in both languages. When I was interpreting a sentence for a client, I enjoyed the process of finding a more suitable word in my Chinese mental dictionary that better matched the English word, and vice versa. This was the moment that I discovered my interest in translation, which gradually expanded into a passion. My foundation in English/Chinese translation was developed after taking ECTB61H3 English to Chinese Translation: Theory and Practice in the fall of 2015. In the course, Professor Helen Wu explained the various issues that translators would encounter and offered some suggestions for dealing with the obstacles. One of our projects was to translate some parts of Olivia Chow’s My Journey: A Memoir. During class, Professor Wu analyzed the students’ Chinese versions and provided feedback, which allowed me to learn the strengths and weaknesses of my translation. One of my weaknesses was that my Chinese skills were below that of my peers, and thus LGGC64H3 Reading Chinese: China from the Inside Out (fall 2015) allowed me to practice my Chinese writing by studying the scripts of classic Chinese movies, e.g., Farewell My Concubine.
Professor Wu recommended students to practice their Chinese writing through typing, including the fundamental pinyin Romanization. By adding film studies into the course, my Chinese writing improved a lot, and even one of my Chinese compositions, “The Idealism and Realism within Correspondence with Heaven: On The Last Love Letter from Dr. Norman Bethune and Other Collections,” was selected to be published on the Chinese Canadian Voice website. After taking these two courses, I successfully gained a Work-Study Program position as an English-Chinese Aide. In this capacity, I assisted Professor Wu in preparing lecture material. I really enjoyed reading pieces of literature and their corresponding Chinese versions, and vice versa. In both ECTD69H3 Translation for Government and Public Administration (winter 2016) and ECTD68H3 (fall 2016) Translation for Business and Media, I was able to apply my knowledge in translating government and public administration documents, as well as material with business and media content. In ECTD68H3, Dr. Jingsong Ma explained the role of translation in the advertisement, which assists companies in introducing their products into the Chinese world. Subsequently, I have been able to sell my products by using English, Mandarin, and Cantonese when I am working at Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake at the Pacific Mall location. Since I am able to communicate with customers with a Chinese background, I have become the top seller in the store. Furthermore, Dr. Renee Rui Wang inspired me by explaining how English/Chinese translation is utilized in the healthcare field in ECTD69H3 she taught.
One of my assignments was to translate the “Introduction to Bipolar Disorder” from the University Health Network, which provides the combination of my interest in psychology and ECT. In addition, I will always remember Dr. Wang’s five-steps of translation method, and I continue to use it as a freelance translator. ECT can apply to diverse disciplines, and this can lead to a career. During my gap year after graduation, I successfully translated an article in linguistics from Chinese into English – “Cultural and Psychological Factor Impacts on Oral Chinese Fluency and Accuracy for the Advanced Chinese Language Learner.” I not only gained ECT skills as a freelance translator but also obtained an opportunity to apply my knowledge of scientific report writing. Besides these amazing courses, I had the good fortune to participate in the first UTSC Sight Translation Competition (winter 2017), in which I sight translated, from Chinese to English, a part of the autobiography by Lang Lang, a world famous pianist. I am so glad that ECT has held extracurricular events along with the English and Chinese Translation Studies Association (ECTSA) and the Translation and Social Science Career Path Association (TSCPA), the two students’ organizations. I, as a Marketing Director for ECTSA, liked the process of promoting ECTSA activities among members. Through the student events guided by our teachers, my interest in ECT has grown more and more, so I look forward to pursuing my MA in Translation degree.
Finally, I highly recommend undergraduates to join the ECT program if you are interested in communicating in both English and Chinese. The ECT minor allows you to highly develop the skills that you can potentially apply to situations from everyday communications to a professional career.