My name is Patricia Dawn Severenuk, and for the last sixteen years (and, probably, some time before that), I’ve worked with all kinds of people who need to understand and make themselves understood. After a short career working in administration (which was originally meant to pay for a career in theatre, but which took on a life of its own), I got into teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL); I taught for sixteen years before deciding to divert my career slightly, and I’m now finishing a Masters degree at Carleton University’s School of Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies.
Communication of all types fascinates me. From bullying to clickbait, from policies to policing and beyond, I’m always exploring what people do with language and communication (or what they don’t do with it). My current fields of research include the relationship between learning materials and teacher cognition; the role that intercultural communication and genre plays in international sporting events; communication breakdowns in high-stress situations; and a bunch of other topics which haven’t fully revealed themselves yet.
This website contains old blog entries about language learning (especially hands-on advice about learning a second language), links to relevant topics that I’m working on (as well as information about my publications and presentations, both at Carleton and off-campus), and, perhaps a controversy or two. All in the name of learning more about communication and finding out where the breakdowns, hiccups and successes occur.
And, as always, I’m happy to hear from people who have questions, insights, or nagging doubts, just like I do.