Bonny Norton

PhD, University of Toronto
Department of Language and Literacy Education

Bonny Norton is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, UBC. Born and raised in South Africa in the turbulent apartheid years, she learnt at an early age the complex relationship between identity, language learning, and social justice, which are the focus of her research in the international community. She has published widely and received multiple awards for her scholarly contributions. Dr. Norton has also recently been involved in the African Storybook Project: Research for Social Change. 

In 2010, she was the inaugural recipient of the Senior Researcher Award by the Second Language Research group of AERA (American Educational Research Association), and in 2012 was inducted as an AERA Fellow. Described as developing a new paradigm of research around conceptions of identity and critical pedagogy, she was credited with “changing the face of second language research”. She has been recognized at UBC through the award of a Killam Research Prize and a Killam Teaching Prize.
Link to Storybooks Canada
Interview with Bonny Norton on Multilingualism and Identity at the University of Cambridge, September 2019.

Primary Recipient Awards

Wall Colloquia Abroad, Bonny Norton, 2013

Bonny Norton

The African Storybook Project: Research for Social Change

Principal Investigator: Dr. Bonny Norton, Faculty of Education, UBC. 

The Institute will hold the Colloquium Abroad at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, Stellenbosch, South Africa on October 17-18, 2013.

The colloquium introduced the African Storybook Project, its stories and its pilot sites (Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa), as well as other African, Canadian, and international partners. Representatives included 40 participants from 6 African countries, 10 universities, and 5 research and development projects. The colloquium provided a basis for the development of a collaborative research framework for the project. This framework helped to ensure that findings from relevant research both within Africa and in the international community can be harnessed to promote the success and sustainability of this important and groundbreaking educational initiative.

Distinguished Scholars in Residence, Bonny Norton, 2013

Bonny Norton

During her residency at the Peter Wall Institute in 2013-2014, Dr. Norton will organize a UBC interdisciplinary conference for faculty and students, which will focus on UBC research in and about Africa. The purpose of the conference, which will be held in the 2014 spring break, is three-fold: (i) to identify and enhance the many research projects, across diverse UBC faculties, which address the African context; (ii) to encourage interdisciplinarity and collaboration amongst established and emerging scholars at UBC; and (iii) to promote the application of research to both policy and practice, locally and internationally.

The conference is, in part, a response to a 2011 report by UBC’s Office of Research and International, which seeks input on UBC’s long-term International Strategic Plan with regard to Africa.  A website will help to promote and sustain this research network. During her residency, Dr. Norton will also guest edit a special issue of the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development on “Multilingual Literacy in African Communities.”

Co-principal Investigator Awards

International Exchanges, Uchenna Okeja, 2018

Uchenna Okeja

International Visiting Research Scholars, Claudia Mitchell, 2018

Claudia Mitchell


Related Event

Nov 022018
According to the 2016 Census, more than 7 million Canadians speak a language other than English or French as a mother tongue. To help children maintain the home language, as well...