Established by the President of the Royal Society of Canada in April 2020, the RSC Task Force on COVID-19 was mandated to provide evidence-informed perspectives on major societal challenges in response to and recovery from COVID-19.
The Task Force established a series of Working Groups to rapidly develop Policy Briefings, with the objective of supporting policy makers with evidence to inform their decisions.
Overview of Impact of COVID-19 on Language and Literacy in Canada
One of the most significant achievements of a young baby’s life is the emerging ability to understand and use language to communicate. Language is an inherently social phenomenon— its meaning and power stem from how it is used by members of a community to convey thoughts, ideas, feelings, and to identify tangible elements in the environment. Due to the inherently social nature of language, children rely on information provided by parents to learn the words and rules of their native language.
Members of the Working Group
Haykaz Mangardich, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology, The University of British Columbia
Adriel John Orena, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology, The University of British Columbia
Mark Turin, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, The University of British Columbia
Janet F. Werker, FRSC, University Killam Professor, Department of Psychology, The University of British Columbia
Muhammad Abdul-Mageed, Assistant Professor, School of Information, Department of Linguistics, The University of British Columbia
Krista Byers-Heinlein, Professor, Department of Psychology, Concordia University
Xi Chen, Professor, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
Suzanne Curtin, Professor of Child and Youth Studies and Vice-Provost and Dean Graduate Studies, Brock University
Hélène Deacon, Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Dalhousie University
Alona Fyshe, Departments of Computer Science and Psychology, University of Alberta
Marc F. Joanisse, Professor, Department of Psychology, The University of Western Ontario
Guofang Li, Professor and Canada Research Chair, Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia
Bonny Norton, FRSC, University Killam Professor and Distinguished University Scholar, Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia. Project Lead, Global Storybooks
Julia Rivard Dexter, Co-Founder and CEO of Eyeread INC., a Canadian Digital Literacy Learning Platform
Daisy Rosenblum, Assistant Professor, Language Documentation, Conservation and Revitalization in the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program, Department of Anthropology, The University of British Columbia
Susan Rvachew, Director and Associate Dean of the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University
Jenny Thomson, Reader in Language and Literacy, Director of Research and Innovation in the Health Sciences School at the University of Sheffield
Heidi Tworek, Associate Professor, International History and Public Policy, the University of British Columbia
Henny Yeung, Assistant Professor, Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Simon Fraser University
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