Guest lecture: Identity, Investment, and Digital Storytelling for a Multilingual Future

Professor Bonny Norton will give a guest lecture Wednesday, September 18. The lecture is titled "Identity, Investment, and Digital Storytelling for a Multilingual Future" and is open to everyone.

Photo: University of British Colombia
Photo: University of British Colombia


The world has changed since I published my early work on identity, investment, and language learning in the mid 1990s. Because of advancements in digital technology, there are new relations of power at micro and macro levels, and digital literacy has become essential in “claiming the right to speak.”  As language learners navigate these changing times, they need to negotiate new identities, investments, and imagined futures (Norton, 2013). Working with Ron Darvin, I have responded to new linguistic landscapes by developing an expanded model of investment that integrates identity, ideology, and linguistic capital in a comprehensive framework (Darvin & Norton, 2015). In this presentation, I will demonstrate that while there are structures that may limit a language learner’s investment, the model illustrates how learners can draw on language and literacy practices that enhance possibility. Drawing on my recent research on digital storytelling in both wealthy and poorly resourced global communities, I will discuss the ways in which digital storytelling can harness the linguistic capital of young learners and their parents in homes, schools, and communities in the interests of a more equitable multilingual future across global sites. Key open access resources are Storybooks Canada, and Global Storybooks.

About the lecturer

Dr. Bonny Norton (FRSC) is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia, Canada. Her primary research interests are identity and language learning, digital literacy, and international development. She and her team are developing the open access Global Storybooks portal to help promote multilingual literacy for children and youth worldwide. Dr. Norton is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Educational Research Association.


Toril Opsahl and Anne Golden
Published Aug. 21, 2019 3:16 PM - Last modified Aug. 21, 2019 3:45 PM