4 Free Tips to Improve Pronunciation and Accent (Completely Free)

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You are spending so much time to improve Pronunciation and Accent

Tons of hours have been spent to learn all the phonetics sounds.

Teachers tell you where to position your mouth (most Accent coaches do this)

But you still struggle to speak clearly in a way people understand you. You don’t see an improvement in your Accent

I’m talking about real improvements in pronunciation and accent.

I’m talking about the type of progress that allows you to communicate with others in a comfortable and low-stress manner.

While it is essential that you understand how to use English in a structured and formal environment, it is equally important for you to be able to make small talk with colleagues before a conference or ask for directions on the streets of a city you are visiting for the first time.

How do you adapt your English abilities to speak with a clear accent and pronounce words in a way everyone understand you?

The good news is there are ways to improve your accent and pronunciation as an adults. Here are a five things you can do to make you accent sound more native:

There are three things every English student must do to take their skills to the next level.

These things are all FREE

You just need practice!

Join English Speaking Practice

Speak slightly slower

If you are a non native English speaker with an accent, try speaking slightly slower than you are used to.

When you speak slower your accent will reduce automatically. You will improve pronunciation at no cost!

Also, the listeners would have a little bit more extra time understand what you say.

Think about it this way – do you want someone with an accent you find hard to understand speak very fast?

Probably not. Do the same thing when you are speaking English.

 

 

Also, remember that most languages around the world are spoken at a faster speed than English.

If your first language is Spanish, Russian, Chinese or Tamil you would feel this difference clearly. English cannot be spoken at the same speed that you speed these languages.

Slowing yourself down by a notch will make your accent sound more native and clear.

You lose nothing by slowing down a bit.

More people will understand you and that is a great way to communicate with more people, more often.

 

Absorb English like a child

Have you been studying English for years but still can’t speak with a clear accent?

Do native English speakers find it hard to understand your accent?

Are you worried you are pronouncing some words differently than native English speakers?

Do you want to get rid of those awkward “R” sounds in your accent?

Think of how children learn to speak English. They do not study phonetic charts. Instead, they just listen to how English is spoken and mimic that.

 

How to Improve English Speaking like a child. Be Free from grammar!

 

You CAN do the same thing as an adult. It is not IMPOSSIBLE.

But you have to spend time practicing real Conversational English with a Native English Teacher.

In order to truly master the English language you need to practice using it all the time.

If you are a beginning student this means memorizing new vocabulary and building simple sentences.

For an intermediate student this means learning more verb tenses and talking or reading about more complicated subjects.

An advanced student this means focusing on high-level topics and mastering idioms, phrasal verbs and English expressions.

But, at each level, practice is key. English is a tool to help you at work, in school, or for personal reasons.

Like any tool, you must keep it sharp and ready to use at all times. Practice is essential to improve pronunciation when learning English.

Can you improve your accent and pronunciation by practicing with a non native English teacher?

No.

A non native English teacher can help you with grammar and vocabulary but if you want to really improve pronunciation you need to practice speaking with a Native English Teacher.

 

Want to sign up for a trial English Class with a Native English teacher?

Improve English Speaking Naturally

 

Don’t waste time on Phonetic charts

Most English teachers try to use Phonetic charts when helping students with pronunciation improvement and accent reduction.

However studies show that learning phonetic charts has zero value on improving pronunciation or accent.

The reason is average people don’t know how to control the parts of your mouth where vowels or consonants are pronounced!

Here is a better way to improve pronunciation and accent.

If you are an actor or a singer who has received special voice training as a child you may be able to do this but average humans can’t.

Rather than wasting time learning Phonetic charts , start practicing English speaking with a native teacher 2-3 times a week.

This will help you improve your pronunciation naturally without any memorization.

 

Record your voice and compare with Native Speakers

You have to learn accent and pronunciation from your ears, not your eyes.

The English language has a very specific rhythm to it and you will not understand this without listening carefully to your voice and comparing that to Native English speakers.

The good news is you can very easily record your voice using your phone or computer.

 

So how should I compare my voice with Native English speakers?

1.) Find a YouTube video where a Native English Speaker is talking. Write down what they are saying or find the transcript.

2.) Record your voice saying the same content.

3.) Now compare the 2 recordings side by side and make notes of the differences.

 

This very simple methodology will give you a clear baseline of where exactly you need to improve in terms of accent and pronunciation.

There is no rocket scienceYou should not be paying a fancy accent reduction specialist for this stuff!

One final rule to Improve Pronunciation…

And finally, the most important thing you need to do if you are ready to take your skills to the next level is to accept that you are going to make some mistakes.

Stop worrying about speaking English perfectly.

The goal of speaking any language is communication. So, communicate!

Say what you want to say and don’t worry about whether everything that comes out of your mouth is right or wrong. Once you do this you will begin to make real, substantive progress.

Learning English can be challenging, but it is something you can do.

If you practice frequently, speak with native English speakers, and stop worrying about every mistake you will be amazed at how much you can learn. And, hopefully, you’ll have some fun using your new English skills at the same time.

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EnglishCentral now available on Moodle – EnglishCentral: The Official Blog

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EnglishCentral’s library of 10,000 interactive videos lessons for English learning is now available on Moodle.  Moodle is an open source, learning platform with over 68 million users and 55,000 sites deployed worldwide.

The EnglishCentral Module is FREE for use in schools for up to 50 Students. 

With our new Moodle module, teachers can now give students access to EnglishCentral’s unique video library, vocabulary learning and speaking technology, without giving up the security and convenience of Moodle’s LMS for storing student information and student progress.

Adding EnglishCentral Videos

The entire database of EnglishCentral videos can be accessed from within Moodle through a Search Feature. Teachers can search for and select videos based on topic, learning objective, video length, or level.  There are 7 levels of videos on EnglishCentral, ranging from CEFR A1 to C2.

EnglishCentral Features

Each EnglishCentral video lesson includes:

  • WATCH.  Students watch videos with transcripts and a bilingual dictionary, clicking on any word in the video they don’t know or would like to study.
  • LEARN.  Based on words selected by students, the player build a close activity for students to learn the words from the videos, and
  • SPEAK.   Then, using EnglishCentral’s IntelliSpeech assessment technology,  students speak the words in the context of sentence, getting instant feedback on their pronunciation and fluency.

Goal Setting

Teachers can set goals for watching videos, learning words, and speaking lines all from within the Moodle Settings Page:

Students View

Students can track the number of videos watches, vocabulary learned, and line spoken for each activity.    Their progress is updated in real-time.

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Gradebook & Reports

Teacher can track Student progress against the set goals via the Moodle Gradebook Students overall completion % for each Moodle activity is shown in the Moodle Gradebook.

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How much does it Cost?

For use with up to 50 students in an institution, the EnglishCentral Moodle Module is FREE in 2018. For deployments bigger than 50 students, please contact us. Generally we price EnglishCentral per student per semester at cost less than a traditional textbook. This gives teachers and students access to all 10,000 video lessons and over 50 EnglishCentral courses, at a price less than a traditional textbook.

Mobile Support

The EnglishCentral Module is using responsive designs and therefore can be used on supported mobile devices, which include Android 5.0 and later, and IOS 11 and later.

How to Integrate EnglishCentral in Moodle

Please click here for steps on how to integrate EnglishCentral in your Moodle platform.

References

This EnglishCentral Module for Moodle was developed with Prof. Gordon Bateson from Kochi University of Technology in Japan.  Gordon is currently using this with his students in a Presentation Course and has also created a demo course for  Science English, each deployed using the new EnglishCentral Module for Moodle.

Demos of these courses are available upon request. Please fill out the form below to schedule a demo.

 

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How to Assess a Job Offer

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When you want a job—whether it’s your dream job or you’re simply ready to move on—it can be all too easy to accept any offer you’re given, even if it’s not the right offer for you.

“The number one misstep I see clients take is the failure to step back, take a breath, and meaningfully assess a job offer,” says Karen Elizaga, executive coach and author of Find Your Sweet Spot. “They are almost inclined to jump immediately at an offer.”

So how can you pause to determine whether an offer is really worth it? Luckily, it’s easy to do with Glassdoor’s How to Get a Job guide. It offers a bevy of questions you can ask yourself to assess the offer, gives tips to help you negotiate, and it even provides a complete email script for sending your initial negotiation email you can use word-for-word.

Here, we’ve distilled the basic steps you need to take to assess any offer, and how to begin a negotiation with a potential employer. It doesn’t have to be intimidating with these steps!

Ask the right questions.

When you receive a job offer, you need to hit pause long enough to ask yourself questions before you give an answer, according to Glassdoor’s guide—and Elizaga totally agrees.

“It is crucial to take a step before taking a leap,” she says, advising that you first ask, “is this job what you want to be doing? And does it align with your skills, talent, and purpose?”

Glassdoor recommends you assess the company, post-interview to make sure it seems like a place you would like to work. You can ask yourself, “what’s the culture at this company and how do I fit in?” Elizaga recommends. “I have seen clients take a job where the fit—in the context of their skills and talents with the job—was excellent. But in the end, these jobs didn’t work out because the company’s culture did not jive with their own moral compass.”

You may also want to evaluate what the upward trajectory, in other words, the possibilities for advancement at this company, are, says Elizaga. “You want to consider not only the wonderful aspects of this job, but where you might rise to in the future,” Elizaga explains.

Look at the offer details.

The next step in evaluating a job offer is to move past the job and look at what is also being offered in the pay and benefits package. Glassdoor suggests you ask yourself the questions, “does the salary align with what you were expecting [and] do the benefits offered feel fair and reflect what you were looking for?” With the answers, you’ll know whether to negotiate.

Negotiate like a pro.

The idea of negotiating can be unnerving to many people, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

According to our guide, “one of the worst things you can do during salary negotiation is just make up a number. By backing up your ask with research, you’ll likely feel more confident about making it.” Luckily, you can use Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth™ salary calculator to discover the job’s average pay range. “It’s important to know what is reasonable for the market,” Elizaga agrees. That’s because, in part, “you don’t want to be negotiating for more when, in fact, what you are being offered is entirely reasonable and/or generous,” she says.

Of course, you don’t want to focus on salary alone. Before you begin your negotiation, think about whether the other benefits—vacation, commissions, bonuses, stock options, and so on—are appropriate and appealing, or could be tweaked to make the offer even better off.

Then, “when negotiating, think about what value you bring to the table, rather than how their first offer is deficient or not enough to cover your lifestyle,” advises Elizaga. “Consider the offer from the employer’s point of view. What are they getting for the compensation that they’re offering? If you think you contribute more value than the compensation would indicate, then definitely ask for more.” Or ask for an expansion of their benefits package.

Lastly, “when going in to negotiate, have a strategy and be entirely comfortable with what you’re asking for,” she says. Employers can tell when you don’t believe your own story. You’re much more likely to get what you want when you emphatically believe your value.”

More from Glassdoor:

The Ultimate Guide to Resumes

3 Job Search Mistakes To Quit Making Today

The Top 10 Non-Tech Jobs You Can Land at Tech Companies

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Teacher Tools: Setting Goals & Tracking Student Progress – EnglishCentral: The Official Blog

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Please use this post as a guide as you create your syllabus and use our teacher tools to set goals for students and track their progress through our reports:

Students get “Learn Progress” for any word they successfully complete in learn mode or in a vocab quiz. This allows teachers to set word study goals that cover both the word typing cloze activity in Learning Mode as well as the definition matching quiz in Quiz Mode.

Because our hope is to help students retain knowledge of the words they are studying in their long-term memory, Time Interval Learning in MyWords will continue to drive how words are studied on EnglishCentral. Students can make progress on words only after the applicable time interval has elapsed.

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Therefore, Time Interval Learning constraints prevents a student, for instance, from getting credit for studying the same word five times in one day. On the other hand, it does give students credit for learning the same word after the applicable time interval has lapsed. In this way, the system encourages review and multiple exposure to words.

 

Speak Lines

In March 2017, we settled on Spoken Lines as the key metric for setting speaking goals and measuring student’s speaking progress.  We count only unique lines, so while students are encouraged to speak lines multiple times to improve their video speaking grade, only the final instance of the line will be counted towards their line goal. We recommend setting a goal of 50 lines per week (this is now the default), which is equivalent to approximately one hour of study time. You can, of course, increase or decrease the number of lines for the goal, depending on the needs of your students or your curriculum.

Speaking Grades

To assessing student’s speaking ability, rather than just quanity of student’s speaking output, we recommend teachers use Speaking Grades (A to F).    Teachers can see grades for a single video or across all final lines spoken by the student over any defined period of time.  Note, we count only the last attempt the student made on a line towards the calculated overall grade

Teachers that are using our Premium GoLive! Product that include 1:1 tutoring (“GoLive!) can now set goals for numbers of tutor sessions in the Teacher Tools.  Note this only applies to teachers who are using our Premium Product (see Plans for more details). For most teachers using our Academic Product, they will not see any setting for GoLive! in the goal setting interface.

Student progress is now fully available on their Android or IOS mobile devices.    Students can see their progress on their “My Classes” home from the main menu on their apps.

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How To Interview Your Interviewer

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You’ve scheduled the interview. You’ve printed extra copies of your resume. You’ve researched the company’s site, and maybe even researched some employees on LinkedIn. But are you really prepared?

For many people, interviews are intimidating. A life-changing opportunity is based on an hour or two of answering a stranger’s questions. At the end comes the final query: “Do you have any questions for me?”

It’s tempting to say no, especially when your brain feels like a pile of mush after so much talking. However, you should always have questions to ask. Not only will it make you look more prepared—it will help you determine whether or not the opportunity is truly right for you.

Here are career experts’ and hiring managers’ greatest tips and tricks to nailing that final question by turning the tables and performing an interview of your own.

1
“Why is this position being filled?”

This one comes from Laura Handrick, Workplace Analyst with FitSmallBusiness.com. According to Laura, “This question allows you to understand if the company is growing, the prior employee was promoted, or whether there’s high turnover. Their answer regarding the reason for the position being filled can provide you insight as to whether there’s growth opportunity and a positive culture, a bad manager, or a culture with a high level of churn and dissatisfaction.”

While this one might seem awkward to ask, the answer can help give you an idea of the culture without directly asking about it.

2
“What would you expect me to accomplish in this job, and what does success look like in this role?”

Tammy Perkins, Chief People Officer with Fjuri Group suggests these questions as a way to gain insight into the job, the people on the team and the expectations they have. They’re both open-ended, meaning you’ll most likely receive more valuable input than if you were to ask a yes-or-no question. It can also give you insight into whether expectations are ideal for your skillset or unrealistic, which is much better to find out before you receive an offer letter, additional interview, etc.

3
“What are the core values of the company?”

“A great place to start is by asking about the organization’s core values. In a positive company culture, everyone can identify what the core values are and what they mean. This now provides you with a great opportunity to share how those values resonate with you on a personal level—something that’s likely to score big points with your interviewer,” says Piyush Patel, author of Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work.

4
“What’s the culture like here on a day-to-day basis?”

Interviewers are expecting this question, and will most likely give a thorough, positive answer. However, Stuart Ridge of VitaMedica recommends having some follow-up questions ready in case their answer to this question is a little vague. “What’s the formality of the office culture? What’s the flexibility of the work schedule? What’s the management style? What are some of the development opportunities available to employees?” These questions are incredibly important to some people when interviewing, so make sure to ask before it’s too late. Plus, it shows that you’re actively invested and interested in the position.

However, if you ask this, you may want to pair it with questions two or five so they don’t think you’re too focused on what you can get from the company versus what you can offer them.

5
“How did you come to be here, and how long have you been here?”

This is a different question from all of the others, as it’s not directly about you or the company, though it can help you gain insight into the latter. Ridge explains that this question serves two purposes.

“Asking for personal stories builds a rapport and connection with your interviewer, as people love to talk about their experience and knowledge.” The more personal and interested you appear in your interview, the better impression you’ll leave.

Ridge goes on to say that “Personal insight will also give you a more honest view into the company culture: You will be able to tell right away if the person loves their work, or if they are struggling to find positive things to say.” The difference between a glowing recommendation and hesitation is obvious.

6
“What are the skills and attributes you value most in someone being hired for this position?“

This is a safe question, as you’ve already listed your own skills and experiences before, so it shows that you’re still engaged and interested in what they’re looking for. Perkins recommends asking this question as it “gives you a sense of what the manager values most—is it tactical execution, strategy and what types of skills they reward?“ Do those values align with yours? Or are they opposites?

Now you have a solid list of questions to keep in your mind, or even write down in a notebook, you can walk into your next interview with confidence. Remember: the company should be trying to impress you just as much as you’re trying to impress them.

A version of this post originally appeared on Glassdoor’s blog.

More from Glassdoor:

The Ultimate Guide to Resumes

3 Job Search Mistakes To Quit Making Today

The Top 10 Non-Tech Jobs You Can Land at Tech Companies

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Turning Doug Ford’s Attack on Toronto into a Movement for Democratic Renewal – Canadian Dimension

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Photo by CTV Toronto

An open letter about Bill 5 Better Local Government Act

We, the undersigned group of scholars and teachers, deplore the autocratic and arbitrary reduction of ward representation for Toronto city council contained in Bill 5 being rushed through the Ontario Legislature by the just-elected Doug Ford-led Conservative provincial government.

There are numerous problems with this initiative – both in terms of policy and process – that cannot be squared with democratic values or procedures.

As policy, reducing the number of city councilors will not make for better representation or government or cost reductions for the city, as the Ford government claims. Indeed, as we saw with a similar cynical reduction of MPPs by a previous Conservative government, reducing the number of politicians did not lead to any cost savings, but merely shifted where money was spent in a poor and half-hearted attempt to respond to constituent demands, and had the effect of weakening local influence and centralizing more power at Queen’s Park and the Premier’s Office.

As policy, reducing the number of city councilors will weaken the democratic representation and advocacy roles so crucial to local government. Fewer wards mean that many more people will be trying to get the attention of fewer politicians. Far from increasing accountability, this will have the effect of insulating politicians from public pressure as bigger wards mean increased costs to run for office and politicians that will be indebted to those who can fund their campaigns. Meanwhile, local citizens will find it much harder to organize a grassroots campaign in these larger wards.

As policy, reducing the number of city councilors will make it harder to have a council that truly reflects the economic and social diversity of the city, as all research on representation shows that winner take all voting systems combined with large riding sizes tend to benefit the most established and powerful groups in society (i.e. wealthy white males) and fail to reflect the class, gender, ethnic and racial diversity of the community.

As process, it is conventional to signal the desirability of such reforms in the campaign period for provincial office, rather than announcing it after the election when voters now have no ability to consider it in casting their vote.

As process, it is conventional to take input on such proposed changes from the institutional representatives and voters that will be affected by the changes and develop an interactive policy approach that operates on realistic timelines to gain, respond, and act on such input, rather than ram through arbitrary changes just months before they need to be put into practice.

As process, it is conventional for governments elected under the first-past-the-post electoral system, particularly those that have gained a majority of seats but only a minority of the popular vote, to act with caution in taking up divisive policy issues, especially when such issues touch on the democratic rules of the game themselves. To radically alter the representational structure of another level of government, without warning and without input from said government or its electorate, is clearly an abuse of the power that the first-past-the-post voting system grants to legislative majority governments.

At this point, it would be fruitless to demand that the Ford Conservative government reverse its actions on this issue as the government has made it clear by its actions and stated public rationales that its ‘reforms’ are, like their ‘austerity’ agenda, ideological in nature, scope and objectives and, as such, not subject to reasoned, informed, evidence-based discussion or deliberation or non-partisan considerations of the public good or fair play. As with conservative movements across western countries, the point of such efforts is to weaken the already shallow substance of democratic representation, deliberation and accountability in favour of strengthening the power of those with substantial wealth.

However, armed with evidence-based insights about these attacks on democracy at both the procedural and institutional levels, we can recommend specific political reforms to help reverse and prevent such undemocratic initiatives in the future. As such we call on citizens, organized groups in civil society, and the key Ontario opposition parties to support the introduction of the following reforms:

  1. The immediate introduction of a proportional voting system for provincial elections. The results of the 2018 Ontario provincial election and the subsequent actions by the Ford Conservative government demonstrate clearly why the first-past-the-post voting system is a danger to the survival of democracy itself. Conservative governments are increasingly demonstrating their willingness to abuse the democratic trust that is required for FPTP to operate. With just 40% of the popular vote, the Ford Conservatives are pushing through a host of policies that a majority of Ontarians clearly oppose, and they are doing so in a manner that prevents that opposition from organizing and bringing pressure to bear on the government. The opposition parties in Ontario should declare their commitment now to introduce PR after the next election, if they are elected.

  2. The establishment of a legitimate public consultative process to determine the proper levels of representation for the city of Toronto, as well as other reforms of governance (like the introduction of a proportional voting system for the city), with a commitment by the provincial government to act on them.

  3. A removal of the ban on political parties or slates running for municipal office in Toronto. As research clearly demonstrates that an absence of organized groups at the local level is the key barrier to people running for and participating in local politics, this politically-motivated restriction should be repealed.

  4. Establish a Citizens’ Assembly to rethink the role and purpose of local government, including ways to rebalance the influence between the provincial and local levels, and between property developers, ratepayers and tenants.

Authored by:

Dennis Pilon, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York 
Roger Keil, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York
Bryan Evans, Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson
Greg Albo, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York

Endorsed by:

Nadia Abu-Zahra, Associate Professor International Development University of
Ottawa

Christo Aivalis, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, University of Toronto

Patricia Albanese, Professor, Dept of Sociology, Ryerson University

Ahmed Allahwala, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Human Geography, UTSC

Sabah Alnaseri, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York

Miriam Anderson, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University

Caroline Andrew, Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa

Sedef Arat-Koc, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University

Hugh Armstrong, Professor Emeritus, Carleton University

Ian Balfour, Professor, Dept. of English, York University

Rachel Barken, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, York University

Deborah Barndt, Professor Emerita, York University

Tim Bartkiw, Associate Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

Ranu Basu, Associate Professor, Geography, York University

Shyon Baumann, University of Toronto

Ray Bazowski, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York

William Bedford, PhD Candidate, FES, York University

Andrew Biro, Professor, Department of Politics, Acadia University

Simon Black, Assistant Professor of Labour Studies, Brock University

Niko Block, author and Graduate Studies, Department of Politics, York University

Nicholas Blomley, Professor of Geography, Simon Fraser University

Larry S. Bourne FRSC FCIP, Professor emeritus, University of Toronto

Susan Braedley, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Carleton

Linda Briskin, Professor Emeritus, Social Science Department York University

Deborah Brock, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, York University

Susannah Bunce, Associate Professor, Department of Human Geography, University of Toronto Scarborough

Bill Burns Adjunct Faculty Graduate Studies, York University

Nergis Canefe, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and the School of Public Policy, York

John Carlaw, Graduate Research Fellow, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University

Jenny Carson, Associate Professor, Department of History, Ryerson University

Jon Caulfield, Senior Scholar, Urban Studies Program, York University

Chris Chapman, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, York University

Soma Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, York University

Cara Chellew, Research Administrator, Major Collaborative Research Project Global Suburbanisms, York University

Sheila Colla, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York

George Comninel, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York

Creighton Connolly, Postdoctoral fellow, National University of Singapore

Rosemary J. Coombe, Senior Canada Research Chair in Law, Communication and Culture, York University

Matt Corbeil PhD Candidate York University

Deborah Cowen, Professor, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

Cathy Crowe, Distinguished Visiting Practitioner, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University

Simon Dalby, Professor, School of International Policy and Governance, Wilfrid Laurier University

David B. Dewitt, Professor, Department of Politics, York

Don Dippo, Professor, Faculty of Education, York University

Stephan Dobson, Contract Faculty, Dept. of Social Science, York University

Daniel Drache, Professor Emeritus, Department of Politics, York

Lisa Drummond, Associate Professor, Urban Studies, Dept of Social Science,
York University

Robert J. Drummond, Professor Emeritus, Department of Politics, York

Geneviève A. Dumas, Professor Emerita, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen’s University

Michael Ekers, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Geography, University of Toronto, Scarborough

Theresa Enright, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

Lorna Erwin, Associate Professor, Sociology, York University

Fay Faraday, Assistant Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York

Steven Farber, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Scarborough

Dena Farsad, PhD Candidate, York University

Leesa Fawcett, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Jennifer Foster, Associate Professor, York University

Liette Gilbert, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Sam Gindin Graduate Faculty York University

Jill Glessing, Continuing Education, Ryerson University

Luin Goldring, Professor, Sociology, York University

Kanishka Goonewardena, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

John Greyson, video/filmmaker, Toronto

Sean Grisdale, PhD Student in the Geography Department at the University of Toronto

Shubhra Gururani, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, York University

Oded Haas, PhD Candidate, York University

Ratiba Hadj-Moussa, Professor, Department of Sociology, York University

Laam Hae, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York

Paul A. Hamel, Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Pierre Hamel, Sociology, University of Montreal

Rebecca Hall, Assistant Professor, Development Studies, Queen’s University

Bob Hanke Adjunct Faculty Department of Communication Studies York University

Judy Hellman, Professor Emerita, Departments of Social Science and Politics, York

Stephen Hellman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Politics, York

Jordan House, Phd Candidate, Department of Politics, York University

Johanna Householder, Professor, Faculty of Art, OCAD University

Jennifer Hyndman, Professor and Director, Centre for Refugees Studies, York University

Susan Ingram, Associate Professor, Dept of Humanities, York University

Adrian Ivakhiv, Steven Rubenstein Professor of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont

Les Jacobs, Professor, Department of Social Science, York

William Jenkins, Associate Professor, Geography, York University

Josee Johnston, University of Toronto

Ilan Kapoor, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Ali Kazimi, Associate Professor, Department of Cinema & Media Arts, York University

Matthew Kellway, PhD candidate, Department of Politics, York University

Ryan Kelpin, PhD candidate, Department of Politics, York University

Azam Khatam, PhD., Instructor at York University, Disaster and Emergency Management program

Loren King, Associate Professor of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University

Stefan Kipfer, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Margaret Kohn, University of Toronto

Abidin Kusno, Professor, Environmental Studies, York University

Hannes Lacher, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York

Danielle Landry Lecturer, School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University

Robert Latham, Professor, Department of Politics, York

Nicole Latulippe, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Scarborough

Ute Lehrer, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Nina Levitt, Associate Professor, Department of Visual Art & Art History

Steven Logan, University of Toronto Mississauga

Brenda Longfellow, Associate Professor, Department of Cinema and Media Arts, York University

Stephen Longstaff, Professor Emeritus, Sociology, York University

Meg Luxton, Professor, Women’s Studies, York University

Lucy Lynch, Project Coordinator, MCRI Global Suburbanisms, York University

Margaret MacDonald, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, York University

Sara Macdonald, Phd candidate, Utrecht University

Heather MacRae, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York

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Judith Marshall, Research Associate, CERLAC, York University

Carlota McAllister, Associate Professor, Anthropology, York University

Eleanor MacDonald, Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University

Kenneth Iain MacDonald, Dept of Geography and Program in Planning, Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto

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Paul Christopher Gray, Assistant Professor, Department of Labour Studies, Brock University

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Colin Mooers, professor, Dept of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University

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Alex Murray, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Karen Murray, Associate Professor and Democratic Administration Program
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Lisa Myers, Assistant Lecturer, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

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Umut Ozsu, Associate Professor, Department of Law, Carleton University

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The rise of the Right & the challenge of building a Left alternative – Canadian Dimension

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Volume 52, Issue 2: Summer 2018

Just a few months away from the next Québec
election, the polls are indicating a possible majority
government for François Legault’s Coalition Avenir
Québec (CAQ), with 37 per cent of the vote, versus
28 per cent for the Québec Liberal Party that continues
to slide, a historic 19-per-cent low for the Parti
Québécois, and a steady nine per-cent for Québec
solidaire.

The financial crisis and the resulting economic
uncertainty are certainly having an impact. The climate
of uncertainty is not unique to Québec, but
precipitated by the global crisis that is impelling
large numbers of people to flee environmental
disasters, endemic poverty, repression and war.

Europe and North America (with the exception of
Mexico) had been relatively sheltered from the crisis
until recently, mainly because of their position of
dominance vis-à-vis the global south, gained through
economic exploitation and militaristic policies, with
the U.S. leading the way and Canada following. The
resulting permanent environmental and economic
crises have now reached our shores. The lasting
recession that has taken hold in Europe, and the
United States is now knocking at our door, both in
Canada and Québec.

The tired and corrupt Liberal Party can no longer
maintain credibility, despite its election promises.
The prevailing winds, however, are not blowing from
the Left, as evidenced by the victory of Macron in
France, Trump in the United States and Doug Ford in
Ontario, as well as the Conservative win in a recent
Québec federal by-election in the Saguenay. This
adds to the challenges faced by the Left and particularly
Québec solidaire, which has to put forward a
comprehensive and persuasive political response to
the situation in order to convince voters of the need
for far-reaching social change.

If we fail to provide this response, then protectionist
and anti-immigration sentiment will maintain its
hold on an electorate in search of solutions. To defeat
the Right, we need to clearly show who is responsible
for the current political and economic crises.

The CAQ has used the issue of immigration
to earn political capital, arguing that we need
to lower immigration levels to ensure better
integration of immigrants into Québec society,
and the party has not hidden its hostility
towards refugee claimants. As for the PQ, it has no
qualms about using ethnic nationalist appeals for
electoral purposes.

While the Liberals and the CAQ push privatization
to serve the interests of the business class, the PQ
promises to be a government that is proud of its
entrepreneurs and will put “the state in the service
of greater economic growth.” It plans to create a
more business-friendly environment by reducing
regulation.

The Québec Liberal Party has been a zealous
defender of the interests of the Québec business
class, and especially the oil and gas companies. The
CAQ works from the same playbook and has never
been very critical of Liberal policies in this regard.
The Parti Québécois in power under Pauline Marois
behaved in a similar way, subsidizing oil exploration
on Anticosti Island and tying the government to
the oil companies with a contract that cost $41 million
to cancel.

Québec solidaire will therefore be campaigning
against a worn-out Liberal Party and a PQ in a continuous
downward spiral, but also facing a general
decline in mass mobilization in the wake of various
setbacks in recent years. Québec’s trade union
movement, for instance, failed to build on the energy
and victories of the 2012 student strike.

The challenge for QS lies not only in waging a
successful election campaign, in the traditional
sense, but also in its ability to restore hope for
change and rally the forces of social opposition to
rekindle the struggle.

Translated by Andrea Levy.

André Frappier is a regular contributor
to Dimension. He also
serves on the editorial
board of the online
weekly Presse-toi à
gauche and has been
a member of the FTQ
Montréal Labour
Council for many years.
André ran for Québec
solidaire in the riding
of Crémazie.

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