Ian Robertson - keynote speaker


Professor Ian Robertson, Former Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Education, UWI St. Augustine

Ian Robertson is retired Professor of Linguistics at the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. He has worked as Linguist and Language Educator both at the University of Guyana and the University of the West Indies. The major focus of his research and publication has been on English Language Education with a focus on Creole sociolinguistic circumstances as well as in Creole Language description, documentation and history. Read more

Hubert Devonish


Hubert Devonish, Professor of Linguistics, University of the West Indies (UWI); Coordinator, The Jamaican Language Unit, Dept. of Language, Linguistics & Philosophy, UWI

Prof. Hubert Devonish is Professor of Linguistics at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, in Jamaica, where he has worked since 1979. He is a Guyanese who has worked extensively on the standardisation and promotion of Caribbean Creole languages, with his book, Language and Liberation: Creole Languages in the Caribbean (1986, 2007) being his best-known work on this topic. He is Coordinator of the Jamaican Language Unit, which has language planning and promotion responsibility for the Jamaican Language (Jamaican Creole) and for advocating for language rights for speakers of the Jamaican Language. Read more


john-rickford-2013PRESENTER and FACILITATOR

John R. Rickford is the J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Linguistics and the Humanities at Stanford University. He is also professor by courtesy in Education, and Pritzker University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He has been at Stanford since 1980.

He received his BA with highest honors in Sociolinguistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1971, and his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He won a Dean’s Award for distinguished teaching in 1984 and a Bing Fellowship for excellence in teaching in 1992.

The primary focus of his research and teaching is sociolinguistics, the relation between linguistic variation and change and social structure. He is especially interested in the relation between language and ethnicity, social class and style, language variation and change, pidgin and creole languages, African American Vernacular English, and the applications of linguistics to educational problems.

He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, and author or editor of several books, including A Festival of Guyanese Words (ed., 1978), Dimensions of a Creole Continuum (1987), Analyzing Variation in Language (co-ed., 1987), Sociolinguistics and Pidgin-Creole Studies (ed., 1988), African American English: Structure, History and Use (co-ed., 1998), African American Vernacular English: Features, Evolution, Educational Implications (1999), Creole Genesis, Attitudes and Discourse (co-ed., 2000), Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English (co-authored, 2000, winner of an American Book Award), Style and Sociolinguistic Variation (co-ed., 2001), and Language in the USA: Themes for the Twenty-First Century (co-ed., 2004). He also has two books forthcoming in 2012: Language, Culture and Caribbean Identity (co-ed.) and African American, Creole and Other Vernacular Englishes: A Bibliographic Resource (co-authored). For further details, see the Research Interests statement and the CV on this site.


Charlene Wilkinson


Charlene Wilkinson, Lecturer, Department of Language and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Education and the Humanities, University of Guyana; Initiator and Coordinator, Languages of Guyana Colloquium 2016

Charlene Wilkinson is a lecturer in the Departments of Language and Cultural Studies and Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus. She has a BA in English from John Carroll University, Ohio, USA, an MA in English from the Windsor University, Ontario, Canada and a Dip.Ed in Secondary Education from Sam Sharpe Teachers College, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Her research interests are education in mother tongue, language discrimination and community disempowerment, healing through the arts, and language rights. Ms Wilkinson has been a teacher of Language, Literature and Drama for most of her career. She has taught in Guyana, the US Virgin Islands, New York City and Jamaica. She has also worked as a journalist and as a director and script writer in amateur theatre. She is a member of the African Studies Research Group at the University of Guyana and a signatory to the Charter for Language Policy and Language Rights in the Creole Speaking Caribbean. She is actively involved in promoting awareness of the Guyanese linguistic situation and teaching literacy in Creolese, the Guyanese lingua franca.




Pamela Roselecturer in the Departments of Language and Cultural Studies, and Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Guyana. She has a BA from the University of Guyana, a Post Graduate Diploma in Language Teaching and Learning and a MA in the same field from the University of Auckland. Her research interests include teacher education and development, classroom methodology, language policy and the teaching of academic writing at both tertiary and secondary levels.



Sinikka Henry is a plurilingual language enthusiast with a Master’s Degree (University of Freiburg) in Sinology, Japanology, and Romance Philology, an unconventional career path and a love for community service and development. Specialised in teaching English as a second language (University of Toronto) to speakers of Korean , German, Chinese, Japanese, and Romance Languages.