25. – 28.03.2024 | University of Vienna

Sonya Sachar

Sonya Sachar

Dr. Sonya Sachar, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Elementary Education, Faculty of Education, at the University of Alberta. Prior to her appointment in July 2022, she was an instructor in the Bachelor of Education Program and the Writing Department at York University. During this period, she concurrently served as an elementary school teacher, accumulating over 10 years of teaching experience in Ontario. Since 2009, Dr. Sachar has been a member of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and has remained in "good standing" status. Her research centers on applied linguistics and is firmly grounded in principles of anti-racism and anti-oppression, aimed at promoting the needs of linguistically diverse student populations, families, and communities in language and literacy education.

In 2017, Dr. Sachar’s research was funded by the Susan Mann Dissertation Scholarship (York University). This research explored how school administrators, teachers, and students legitimize linguistic diversity in Ontario elementary schools, emphasizing the need for critical engagement with systemic issues of Anglonormativity and broader integration of inclusive approaches in Canadian education. During this time, Dr. Sachar collaborated on projects which have resulted in a co-authored paper, Legitimizing linguistic diversity: The promise of plurilingualism in Canadian schools (Krasny & Sachar, 2017) and a presentation, Reimagining Literacy-Spotlighted Session, presented at the Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada (LLRC) 2023 Conference.

Currently, Dr. Sachar is the PI of a project funded by the SSHRC Explore Grant, Countering coloniality: South Asian parents’ attitudes and practices towards heritage language maintenance in Edmonton, Alberta. This project aims to understand the attitudes and practices of South Asian Punjabi-speaking parents in Canada regarding the preservation of their heritage language. This work offers insight into how children can utilize their language skills and cultural knowledge within mainstream educational settings in Canada and ways that educators can further think about the language practices that structure our social relationships. Dr. Sachar is also the PI on a collaborative project titled, Countering monolingual ideologies: Pre-service teachers' perspectives on multilingualism in Edmonton, Alberta. This survey study focuses on pre-service teachers’ attitudes and approaches towards multilingualism and how these perceptions shape their teacher identities and practices as future educators. Furthermore, Dr. Sachar and Dr. Karen A. Krasny have collaborated as co-authors on an invited book chapter, Globalization, decolonization, and the diversity of linguistic identities: A review of language policies and practices in Canadian K to 12 education, that is currently in press.

Dr. Sachar has a strong commitment to the field of education. After a year of her appointment to the University of Alberta, she was invited to become an Affiliated Member of the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development (CRTED). She has also been an active member of the Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada since 2012.