Bonny Norton

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, critical literacy, and international development. She is committed to the use of open technology for educational change, and her current projects are Storybooks Canada and Global Storybooks. Recent publications include a 2017 special issue on language teacher identity (MLJ) and a 2013 second edition of Identity and Language Learning (Multilingual Matters).

Identity, investment, and digital storytelling for a multilingual future

Webbinariet med Bonny Norton sändes via e-mötestjänsten Zoom och finns inspelat:




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.

Darvin, R. & Norton, B. (2015). Identity and a model of investment in applied linguistics. AnnualReview of Applied Linguistics, 35, 35-56.
Norton, B. (2013). Identity and language learning: Extending the conversation. 2nd Edition. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

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