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Unstandardized English

Unstandardized English

By JPB Gerald
Thinking aloud about language, whiteness, race, and a whole lot of other things.
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Unstandardized English


Unstandardized English


Unstandardized English

The Numbers Game, with Rebecca Campbell-Montalvo
We all rely on numbers to back up our points, right? And one of the ways we rely on quantitative statistics is to advance anti-racist and heteroglossic language goals, at least as critical scholars and educators. But who says the numbers we trust should be trusted? And how harmful are the supposedly neutral categories we rely on? In this very nerdy episode (that's a positive, people!), host JPB Gerald talks to Dr. Rebecca Campbell-Montalvo about her work on data within race, ethnicity, and language. It's fun. You should listen!  Episode focused on her article, citation here: Campbell-Montalvo, R. 2019. “Being QuantCritical of U.S. K-12 demographic data: using and reporting race/ethnicity in Florida Heartland Schools.” Race Ethnicity and Education. If you are willing and able to support the show on patreon, follow this link here:
September 15, 2020
Cancel 'Cancel Culture' Culture, with Caitlin Green
In the Season Two premiere, host JPB Gerald reflects on the work he has engaged in this summer and then discusses the white hegemonic nonsense of the concept of 'cancel culture,' focusing on abusive and/or racist people with way too much power and money and how the discourse around them actually protects them. Second half of the episode focuses on Pinker and his abject nonsense. Featuring his friend and fellow language scholar, Dr. Caitlin M. Green (@caitlinmoriah). She was a co-author of this recent article on the whole Pinker mess: Also, if you are interested and able to do so, please support the show on its new patreon page here:
September 1, 2020
Season 1 Finale and Recap
In this episode, host JPB Gerald combs through the entire first season of the show, including snippets from every single episode. Enjoy! We'll be back at the end of the summer with a show that has learned lessons and really found its legs. 
June 8, 2020
These Uncertain Times, with AMT Gerald
In this very special episode, host JPB Gerald and his special guest, AMT Gerald, discuss how these times are only "uncertain" for folks whose lives didn't already include housing instability, and delve into her career working in homeless services, "affordable" housing, what "homeless" actually means, and a lot of other things that make him feel very lucky to have found her.
June 2, 2020
Critical Covid Conversations #7: Kelsey Swift
In this episode, host JPB Gerald and guest Kelsey Swift discuss historical constructions of English and a lot of other things about the posible future ahead of us.
May 26, 2020
Language and Barbados
In this special episode, host JPB Gerald speaks with Dr. Rebecca Shapiro and several of her students in Barbados on what they have learned about language and dialect in their just-concluded semester. Definitely a different episode from the others! 
May 19, 2020
Critical Covd Conversations #6: Ale Babino
Another week inside, another episode. This week, host JPB Gerald speaks to Dr. Ale Babino about the construction of bilingual education and dual language programs, the intersection of gifted and talented designations, the impact of whiteness on her career, and how language learners may be particularly impacted by this current traumatic interruption.
May 12, 2020
We Need To Talk About Karen
Joined by former guests Kelly Wright and Maureen Kosse, as well as Kelly Yoshida Nuttall in the background, this episode is a free-flowing conversation about "Karen," how it's NOT the n-word, why these non-slurs (insults, in fact) are equated to slurs, and what can be done about Karens.
May 5, 2020
Critical Covid Conversations #5: Betsy Sneller
In the next episode of this ongoing series, host JPB Gerald speaks with Dr. Betsy Sneller about the value of linguistic analysis in the present and future.
April 28, 2020
New York
Host JPB Gerald reflects, alone, on his experiences being at arm's length for NYC's two decades of ongoing disasters, his love for the city, his gratitude and guilt, his realization that impresses different types of white people helps no one but them, and finding a purpose for the future.
April 21, 2020
Critical Covid Conversations #4: Chey Davis
In this 4th episode of an ongoing series (I really am going to try to keep it going as long as we're all inside), host JPB Gerald speaks with Chey Davis, Associate Professor of English. They discuss her teaching on race and racism, how analysis of racism and disability might evolve after our current time period, and the abject fiction of American mythologizing.
April 14, 2020
Critical Covid Conversations #3: Mariam Durrani
In this episode, host JPB Gerald and guest Dr. Mariam Durrani discuss her work in on anti-Muslim racism, feminist and public anthropology, American empire, and what, if we are lucky, we, as critical scholars, have to do during and after Covid. 
April 7, 2020
Critical Covid Conversations #2: Abby Bajuniemi
In this second episode of the self-isolation period, host JPB Gerald speaks with Dr. Abby Bajuniemi about her work at the intersection of tech and linguistics, a different sort of language discussion from our usual fare. Then they speak of the ways in which diversity and inclusion efforts fail, and academia in general in the uncertain future.
March 31, 2020
Critical Covid Conversations #1: Jessica Sierk on Niceness and Whiteness
In the first installment of an impromptu series recorded during the early stages of NYC's self-isolation from Covid-19, host JPB Gerald speaks to Dr. Jessica Sierk about her research on niceness and whiteness, then asks for her take on what changes we might hope to see in how niceness and whiteness are constructed in the future that has been suddenly upended by the current crisis.
March 24, 2020
The Union of Theater and Language Education
In this episode, host JPB Gerald speaks with Jade Cintron about her experiences incorporating her experience with and passion for dramatic arts into her language teaching work. She speaks of her work in Spain navigating and what she brought back with her to build a language teaching career, with her theater background, her culture and language, and her racialization shaping her craft, her pedagogy, and ultimately, her advocacy.
March 17, 2020
The Ideal Employee
In this episode, host JPB Gerald welcomes back Dr. Vijay Ramjattan to discuss another of his specialties, the topic of what constitutes "employability" and "professionalism," and how these concepts are, like everything else, constructed along racial lines.
March 10, 2020
Exceptional Merit
In this episode, host JPB Gerald analyzes his theorized connections between ELT, racism, white fragility, and meritocratic ideologies, positing that antiracism in ELT will always struggle as long as meritocracy reigns.
February 25, 2020
Racialization Experiences as ELT Professionals
In this episode, host JPB Gerald speaks with Alice Kim about her experience as a fellow racialized ELT professional who has taught abroad and also, unlike the host, spent time teaching students in her home context who are the same racialization as she is. The discussion touches on the argument made by some that clients prefer racially majoritized teachers and some possible ways forward for the field. Mostly, though, the host and the guest share their experiences, good and bad, as racialized ELT professionals.
February 11, 2020
Concepts of Academic Integrity/Language of Greater Communication
In this episode, host JPB Gerald speaks with Brendan DeCoster about the concept, and troubling nature, of the "language of greater communication," and how this affects language policy in several different contexts. You will not be surprised to learn that it leads to oppression. Also we start by discussing how the concept of 'academic integrity' is wielded harmfully against international students.
January 29, 2020
Towards a Pedagogy of Heretical Whiteness
In this special, personal episode, host JPB Gerald expounds upon his "problem of practice" upon entering his doctoral program, his research goals, and his hopes for refining a pedagogy he calls "heretical whiteness." This episode covers a lot of ground, but hopefully will push white listeners to question their faith in whiteness in every aspect of their lives and work. The question at hand is: can you be a great white teacher while whiteness exists in its current form? And if not, what is the path that will take us towards the dissolution of white supremacy?
January 20, 2020
Chasing Encounters Crossover
In this episode, host JPB Gerald completes his conversation with Chasing Encounters podcast host Yecid Ortega. The first half of the conversation can be found on his podcast page (link it here!). They discuss some of the issues with the weak way "social justice" and "diversity" are used, racial tokenism, and the fecklessness of "white privilege" discussions. It's great, and you should listen!
January 14, 2020
The Language of White Supremacy
In this episode, host JPB Gerald speaks with Maureen Kosse about the insidious ways white supremacy and the alt-right use language to lure people, what led to our current predicament, and where we might go from here. Ultimately, a necessary discussion about white racial identity.
December 24, 2019
Discriminating Outcomes
In this episode, host JPB Gerald speaks with Kelly Wright about her article "Language and Discrimination: Generating Meaning, Perceiving Identities, and Discriminating Outcomes." Linguistic discrimination is everywhere, people!
December 11, 2019
The Altruistic Shield, LIVE
Live presentation of the Altruistic Shield paper at NYS TESOL, 11/15/19. Yay!
November 27, 2019
An 'accurate' conversation about 'fluency'
In this episode, Scott Stillar joins JPB to discuss the concept of fluency and how it can be used as a judgement and a barrier.
November 13, 2019
Bad Rap
An exploration of Ibram Kendi's conceptualization of 'cultural racism' via experiences of having linguistic dismissal of 'rap' used as a socially permissible means of denigrating blackness.
November 3, 2019
'What can we actually do about native speakerism?'
If you are in the field of language education, you know that native speakerism is a prevalent form of discrimination. But we've been talking about it forever and it continues to bedevil the field. In this episode, JPB and guest Dr. Parisa Mehran try to find a productive way forward on the issue.
October 23, 2019
'Black and/or smart'
In this slightly different episode, host JPB Gerald speaks to his experiences being classified as 'smart' from a young age and how that has often been placed in opposition to his status as Black.
October 9, 2019
"Everyone has an accent"
In this episode, host JPB Gerald discusses accents with newly-minted PhD-holder Dr. Vijay Ramjattan, who has conducted considerable research on the topic. The dialogue focuses on how the word "accent" is used to marginalize and other, the best ways to describe one's accent or the accent of someone else, and the ways in which possessing certain accents mark racialized speakers as less valuable, with an eye towards finding a way to counteract this discrimination.
September 25, 2019
"The many acronyms of language education"
In this episode, host JPB Gerald and guest Lydia Villaronga discuss several acronyms within the field of language education, including ESL, ELL, TESOL, and others. Many of these acronyms seem harmless but serve primarly to marginalize and racialize, and in this conversation, these negative results are unpacked and pulled apart.
September 11, 2019
Welcome to Unstandardized English. In this inaugural episode, host JPB Gerald and guest Rob Sheppard discuss the word 'expat,' its meanings and implications, inclusions and exclusions. Ultimately, who is allowed to be considered an expat, and who isn't? What racial groups can be expats? Listen and find out!
August 29, 2019