(Un)covering the Story of Judeo-Spanish: A Personal Exploration of Language on the Margins

Lisya Seloni

This piece is a compilation of personal reflections on the decay of Judeo-Spanish (judeoespañol–also known as Jewish-Spanish) among Turkish-Jewish community members in Istanbul, Turkey. More specifically, this multimodal piece includes a sociohistorical account of the social spaces this language is used in Istanbul and the role of Judeo-Spanish in my childhood highlighting my close relationship with my grandmother.

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Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Lisya Seloni works as an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics/ TESOL in the Department of English at Illinois State University. She teaches courses related to academic literacy, second language writing, TESOL Methods and materials, and cross-cultural issues in TESOL. Her research explores ethnographic approaches to second language writing, academic socialization, and issues related to the sociopolitical context of English language teaching. She is specifically interested in the ways multilingual writers construct knowledge and text in various writing environments across the disciplines. Her research interests also include issues revolving around language policy, language maintenance, and linguistic landscape.