Angelica Galante earns President’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers

Education professor and expert on plurilingualism honoured by President and Vice-Chancellor, Deep Saini

Since 2013, McGill has honoured 30 early-career researchers who have distinguished themselves by their exceptional contributions to research through the President’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers. This year, Angelica Galante, Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education in the Faculty of Education, was named one of the recipients of the prize. Professors Sébastien Jodoin (Faculty of Law), and Jianyu Li (Faculty of Engineering) are also winners.

“These three exceptional emerging scholars exhibit a remarkable record of research and teaching accomplishments, proving themselves as leaders in their field now and into the future,” said Deep Saini, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Their dedication and talent in addressing vital issues inspires us all.”

Administered by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, the prize, which includes a monetary award, honours individuals across all disciplines.

Creating an inclusive language-learning experience

Angelica Galante, Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education

Since joining McGill in 2019, Galante has worked at the forefront of research in applied linguistics, including linguistic discrimination and justice, and exploring new ways to learn and maintain languages.

In a multicultural country such as Canada, many people speak more than one or two languages, particularly in major metropolitan areas such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Galante’s research has demonstrated that multilingual speakers are rarely able to use all the languages they speak in all contexts.

For example, while switching between languages at home and work is a part of everyday life for many, some spaces restrict linguistic practices to one language only, often English or French. Even for those who speak more than one or two languages, learning a new language, including one or both of Canada’s official languages can be a challenge. To address this issue, Galante is exploring how educators can create a language-learning experience that acknowledges their students’ linguistic backgrounds.

“Receiving the President’s Prize is a humbling recognition of the many years of hard work to bridge the linguistic divide between English and French in Canada,” says Galante, who speaks Portuguese, Spanish, English, French and Italian. “By moving towards plurilingual education, people can learn languages more easily, maintain their plural identities, and classes can be more inclusive.”

New methods and approaches to applied linguistics

Galante’s work is changing the way second languages are taught nationally and internationally. As an academic, Galante’s research has demonstrated that people learn languages more easily when they also learn about the related cultures, traditions, behaviours, and beliefs – a concept known as plurilingualism. Plurilingualism can make language education more inclusive by not only teaching people to speak the language but also educating them about how languages are used across cultures.

Galante is the Founder and Director of the Plurilingual Lab at McGill, a hub for research in pedagogy, professional development, and equity, diversity and inclusion in plurilingual education.

She also serves as the President of the L’Association canadienne de linguistique appliquée, which was successful in their bid to bring the Association internationale de linguistique appliquée conference to Canada in 2027.

Impacting the next generation of educators

As an early-career researcher, Galante has shown a strong record of research projects and funding. Her work is published in top-tier international journals, and her research and expertise are showcased at international teacher associations, such as The International Association for Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages, and in the media.

In addition to pedagogical research, she has designed and validated the Plurilingual and Pluricultural Competence scale, a new quantitative method that measures diverse language practices among multilingual populations. Her innovative work is advancing educational research in areas of equity, diversity and inclusion, and anti-discriminatory practices.

“I hope my work can amplify the voices of linguistically and culturally marginalized populations in Canada and work towards legitimizing their multi/plurilingual practices,” says Galante.

Galante will be honoured at the Faculty of Education Convocation ceremony on May 30.

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