Photo of Guillaume Gentil

Guillaume Gentil

Professor (Applied Linguistics & Discourse Studies/French)

Degrees:DEUG Paris VI; DEA and Diplôme d'ingénieur Institut National Agronomique Paris Grignon; MA & Ph.D. McGill University
Phone:613-520-2600 x 3595
Office:262 Paterson Hall (215 PA for deliveries)


My current research interests in second language writing and biliteracy development in professional and postsecondary settings originated from my academic literacy experiences in France, the USA, and Canada. As a student of biology and agricultural sciences (M. Sc. in plant pathology, Institut National Agronomique, Paris; 16-month research internship, University of Wisconsin Madison), and then a student of applied linguistics (M.A. and Ph.D. in second language education, McGill University, Montréal; postdoctoral internship with Alister Cumming, University of Toronto), I experienced firsthand the challenges of bilingual academic writers who must shuttle back and forth between languages and discourse communities, writing in one language while reading in another, and alternating the language of composing while negotiating divided linguistic loyalties. This interest has resulted in several case studies and institutional ethnographies of academic and professional biliteracy over the last ten years with a threefold focus on multilingual writers’ motivations for biliteracy, individual and institutional strategies for biliteracy, and ways to design enabling contexts for biliteracy.

This research work has appeared in Canadian Modern Language Review, Discourse & Society, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Journal of Second Language Writing, Written Communication, and several co-edited books. The theoretical and programmatic piece “A biliteracy agenda for genre research,” originally published in JSLW, was reproduced in The Best of the Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals: 2011.

Initially, I turned to English for Specific Purposes and English for Academic Purposes for insight into the teaching of scientific and professional writing. While I have remained interested in these fields, I soon realized the importance of cross-pollinating them with other areas of research, such as second language writing, bilingual education, and academic literacies, in order to design instructional strategies that prepare student and professional writers for work in multilingual contexts. I have also turned to corpus linguistics as offering useful tools for the study of specialized discourses and writing development. More recently, my co-editorship of the Journal of Second Language Writing (2014-2017) has rekindled my interest in multilingual scholars’ publishing practices and the geopolitics of academic publishing.

Research Interests

  • Professional and Academic Biliteracy
  • Second Language Writing
  • Languages for Specific Purposes
  • Corpus Linguistics for Language, Writing, and Discourse Studies
  • Identity and Language Learning.

Ongoing Research

  • (with Jérémie Séror): Developing academic biliteracy: Longitudinal case studies of learning to write in Canada’s official languages/ Développer une bilittératie universitaire : études de cas longitudinales sur l’apprentissage de l’écriture dans les langues officielles du Canada (five-year SSHRC-funded program of research on the academic biliteracy development of undergraduate students in English and French, 2017-2022, $193,668)

I am looking for graduate students who would be interested in working on MA theses/research essays or doctoral dissertations related to academic biliteracy/multilingual writing development, and/or who could support (and receive training for) this ongoing research project as research assistants (English/French biliteracy a definite asset; research training provided; competitive rates). Click here for more information.


Current course information for this faculty member can be found by searching the Carleton Central/Public Schedule by Term and Name.

Courses Taught

  • ALDS 2202: Analysis of Written Language Use
  • ALDS 2704: Bilingualism
  • ALDS 3701: Corpus Linguistics
  • ALDS 3405 / ALDS 5705: Second Language Writing
  • ALDS 4208 / ALDS 5208: Languages for Specific Purposes
  • ALDS 5002: Inquiry Strategies in ALDS
  • ALDS 5905: Special Topic: Language and Identity
  • FREN 3511: Expression écrite et traduction
  • FREN 3050: Compétences critiques
  • FREN 4414/LING 4414/FREN 5001: La bilittératie : Recherches, pratiques et pédagogie
  • FYSM 1612: Language, Identity, and Canadian Nation Building

Selected Publications

(See also Google Scholar profile).

Séror, J., & Gentil, G. (2020). Cross-Linguistic Pedagogy and Biliteracy in a Bilingual University: Students’ Stances, Practices, and Ideologies. Canadian Modern Language Review, 76(4), 356-374. doi:

Gentil, G. (2019). Translanguaging and multilingual academic literacies: How do we translate that into French? Should we? Pour en faire quoi ? (et pourquoi s’en faire?). Cahiers de l’ILOB/OLBI Working Papers, 3-41. doi:

Gentil, G. (2019). D’une langue à l’autre: pour une didactique plurilingue et translangagière de l’écrit. Canadian Modern Language Review/Revue canadienne des langues modernes 75(1), 65-83. doi:10.3138/cmlr.2018-0168

Gentil, G., & Meunier, F. (2018). A systemic functional linguistic approach to usage-based research and instruction: The case of nominalization in L2 academic writing. In A. Tyler, L. Ortega, M. Uno, & H. I. Park (Eds.), Usage-inspired L2 instruction: Researched pedagogy (pp. 267-289). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Gentil, G. (2018) Modern Languages, Bilingual Education, and Translation Studies: The Next Frontiers in WAC/WID Research and Instruction? Across the Disciplines 15 (3), 114-129.  Link to the special issue.

Gentil, G. (2018). Multilingualism as a writing resource. In J. Liontas (Ed). The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching, Liontas, J. (Vol. Teaching Writing, co-edited by D. Belcher & A. Hirvela). New York: Wiley.

Gentil, G. (2017). Afterword: Moving forward with academic biliteracy research (pp 206-220). In D. Palfreyman, & C. van der Walt (Eds.), Academic biliteracies: Translanguaging and multilingual repertoires in higher education settings. Clevendon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Gentil, G. (2014). Will ESL writing teachers lose their jobs in the age of highly accurate computer-assisted translation? Contact Magazine (TESOL Ontario Newsletter), 40(4),31-34.

Gentil, G. & Séror, J. (2014). “Canada has two official languages—or does it?  Case studies of Canadian scholars’ language choices and practices in disseminating knowledge.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 13(1),17-30

Gentil, G. (2013). Bilingual corpus-assisted discourse analysis: Promises, challenges, and ways forward. In D. Belcher & G. Nelson (Eds.). Critical and corpus-based approaches to intercultural rhetoric (pp. 97-125). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Gentil, G. (2011). A biliteracy agenda for genre research. Journal of Second Language Writing. 20(1), 6-23. (reproduced in “The Best of the Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals, 2011” and awarded an honourable mention for the Best Article of the Year for 2011 for the Journal of Second Language Writing).

Freake, R., Gentil, G., Sheyholislami, J. (2011). A bilingual corpus-assisted discourse study of the construction of nationhood and belonging in Quebec. Discourse & Society, 22(1), 21-47.

Gentil, G., Bigras, J., & O’Connor, M.(2010).Achieving bilingualism in the Canadian federal public workplace: Does language training matter? In B. Apfelbaum, & M. Meyers (Eds.), Multilingualism at work [Hamburg Series on Bilingualism] (pp. 81-105). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Gentil, G., Bigras, J., & O’Connor, M.(2009).Le maintien du français chez les fonctionnaires fédéraux: impact d’un programme de formation linguistique. Canadian Modern Language Review/Revue canadienne des langues modernes, 65(5), 841-867.

Gentil, G. (2006). EAP and Technical Writing without borders: The impact of departmentalization on the teaching and learning of academic writing in a first and second language. In P. Matsuda, C. Ortmeier-Hooper, & X. You (Eds.), The politics of second language writing: in search of the promised land (pp. 147-167). West Lafayette: Parlor Press.

Gentil, G. (2005). Commitments to academic biliteracy: Case studies of francophone university writers. Written Communication, 22, 421-471

Recent or Forthcoming Conference Papers

Gentil, G. (2018, May 4).  Translanguaging and multilingual academic literacies” How do we translate that into French? Should we?/Approche translangagière » et « littératies universitaires plurilingues » : Barbarismes, oripeaux modernes ou matière à repenser la didactique de l’écrit ?Invited plenary speaker. CCERBAL 2018 Conference, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), University of Ottawa. Plenary on YouTube.

Gentil, G. (2017, April 26). D’une langue à l’autre: pour une didactique plurilingue et translangagière de l’écrit. Invited plenary keynote at the 6th Meeting on Language Teaching(MeLT)/6ème rencontre sur l’enseignement des langues (ReEL), UQAM, Montréal

Gentil, G. (2016, September). Why only English? Rethinking monolingual writing instruction for the multilingual demands of today’s global communication. Invited plenary keynote at the 10th International Symposium of the China Association of Teaching and Researching EFL Writing, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, China.

Gentil, G. & Tardy, C. (2015, November 20): A geopolitics of second language writing: Updating the map, broadening the landscape. Paper presented at the Symposium on Second Language Writing, Auckland, New Zealand.

Artemeva, N., Gulli, C. J., Fogarty-Bourget, C. G.; Abaalkhail, A., Marcon, A., Nicholson, L., Gentil, G., Bennell, C. (2015, May 31). Discursive Realization of Suicide: A Corpus-based Genre Analysis of Genuine Suicide Notes. Paper presented at the Seventh Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing l’Association canadienne de rédactologie (CASDW/ACR), University of Ottawa

Gentil, G. (2015, March). Helping multilingual writers: A biliteracy perspective. Invited Speaker Presentation at the TESOL 2015 International Convention, Toronto.

Artemeva, N., John Gulli, C., Fogart-Bourget, C., Gentil, G., Marcon, A., & Bennell, C. (2014, February). The genre of suicide notes: Written manifestation of the suicide phenomenon. WRAB III—Writing Research Across Borders, University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France.

Meunier, F., Gentil, G. (2014, March). Tracking learners’ progress in nominalization use: a quantitative and qualitative longitudinal corpus analysis. Paper presented at GURT 2014-Georgetown Roundtable in Linguistics: Usage-based approaches to language, language learning and multilingualism. Washington, D.C.

Meunier, F., Gentil, G. (2013, September).L2 nominalization use: A corpus-based investigation into the interplay of L1 influences, L2 proficiency, and genre knowledge. LCR2013-Learner Corpus Research Conference, Bergen, Norway.

Recent Graduate Supervisions

Ongoing doctoral thesis supervision of Brittany Amell and Dimtry Priven.

MA Thesis (ALDS 5905). Brittany Amell (co-supervision with Graham Smart). The first [draft] was a lof of me… but the second one is what they want”: A multiple-case study of four indigenous students’ experiences with academic writing. (completed June 15, 2016).

MA Thesis (ALDS 5905). Lindsay Cowley (co-supervision with Natasha Artemeva)Black, White, and Grey: (Re)Constructing the “One Size Fits All” Approach to Plagiarism (completed May 26, 2016).

MA Research Essay (ALDS 5908): Mizuki Hoshino. Title: The Suitability of French Immersion Programs for Bilingual Children with Specific Language Impairment (completed May 2014)

MA Thesis. Matthew Falconer (co-supervision with Graham Smart) Tutor training in Carleton University’s Writing Tutorial Service: An Ethnographic study of pre-service training and socialization of junior tutors. (completed May 2013)

MA Research Essay. Sara Potkonjak The English as an additional language scholar and the imperative to publish in English: Identifying challenges and exploring resources for reconfiguring the publication landscape. (completed December 2012)

MA Research Essay (ALDS 5908). Jentje Smith. Title: Toward greater understanding of structural errors in French L2 writing produced by Congolese writers (completed May 2012)

MA Research Essay. Tara de Pratto. Title: The Role of Metalinguistic Awareness in the L3 Italian Written Production of Students with English as a First Language and French as a Second Language (completed May 2010)

MA Thesis, David Cooper. Situating teacher written feedback in an EAP classroom: How context influences responding practices. (completed June 2009)

MA Thesis, Rachelle Freake. The role of language in the popular discursive construction of belonging in Quebec: A corpus assisted discourse study of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission briefs (completed May 2009, with distinction)


  • American Association of Applied Linguistics
  • Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics