I recently received my PhD in adult education and community development, with a specialization in workplace learning and social change, from the University of Toronto. My research interests revolve around the intersection of language and race in the workplace. These interests particularly concern the everyday experiences and professional practices of racialized people who engage in language-focused labour.
For example, in my previous research about the professional experiences of racialized English language teachers in Toronto, I detailed how these teachers experience various workplace microaggressions on account of not being white native English speakers, the preferred workers in English language teaching due to the colonial history of the English language. Moreover, I noted how the teachers engage in various forms of identity work to cope with these microaggressions as well as to highlight their qualifications as professionals.
I am currently interested in the salience of accent in the workplace. This has first taken the form of my doctoral dissertation looking at how international teaching assistants conceptualize and execute an accent for the academic workplace, both of which conform to and/or contest ideologies concerning such things as race, whiteness, gender and foreignness. In terms of future research projects, I am interested in further exploring accent as a site of workplace training.
First, I seek to problematize so-called accent-reduction programs for migrant professionals, which use accent to normalize various forms of racism. The second part of this research is the development of an antiracist pronunciation pedagogy, which seeks to counteract the ideational and material racism associated with accent.
Areas of Interest
- Critical applied linguistics
- Critical race theory
- Labour studies
- Workplace learning
Representative Scholarly Publications
- Ramjattan, V.A. (2019). "Racializing the Problem of and Solution to Foreign Accent in Business." Applied Linguistics Review. Advance online publication.
- Ramjattan, V.A. (2019). "Raciolinguistics and the Aesthetic Labourer." Journal of Industrial Relations, 61(5), 726-738.
- Ramjattan, V.A. (2019). "The White Native Speaker and Inequality Regimes in the Private English Language School." Intercultural Education, 30(2), 126-140.
- Ramjattan, V.A. (2019). "Racist Nativist Microaggressions and the Professional Resistance of Racialized English Language Teachers in Toronto." Race Ethnicity and Education, 22(3), 374-390.
- Ramjattan, V.A. (2015). "Lacking the Right Aesthetic: Everyday Employment Discrimination in Toronto Private Language Schools." Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 34(8), 692-704.
Representative Popular Publications
- Ramjattan, V. (2019, January 13). "Does My Voice Whiten Me or Not? A Reflection on the Instability of Race and Accent." Blog post.
- Ramjattan, V. (2018, May). "Race and Employability in Private Language Schools." Contact, 19-23.
- Ramjattan, V. (2017, September 20). "Not Having the Right/White Qualifications for English Language Teaching." Blog post.