Dana Barrett

Dana Barrett

Instructor in Linguistics

Dana is originally from Jamaica and grew up in a strong Christian home. She made a personal commitment to follow Christ at the age of 11 and this laid the foundation for what God would later have in store for her in ministry at Wycliffe Bible Translators and CanIL.

Dana is passionate about teaching and Linguistics and counts it a privilege that she gets to do both at CanIL. Her enthusiasm for Linguistics began during her undergraduate years as a Linguistics major at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. As an undergraduate student, Dana took particular interest in a course called Sociolinguistics (also called Language and Society), the course she now teaches at CanIL. Through Language and Society, her eyes were
opened to the variability and complexities of her own language use as a bilingual person, and the social significance of language as a marker of one’s identity. Dana’s exposure to Linguistics not only gave her a better understanding of the ways she uses language, but she also gained perspective and a greater appreciation for the ways in which others choose to use language.

As a final year student, her growing interest in Linguistics took her on trips to Curacao, Suriname, Guyana (Bartica) and Accompong Town (one of four Maroon communities in Jamaica) to collect and analyze data on Creoles spoken in these areas. During this time, Dana also learned about Wycliffe and how she could use her training in Linguistics as a tool for empowering linguistically marginalized communities through Bible translation and literacy.

Through her teaching at CanIL, Dana raises awareness about the need for mother language Bible translation and hopes to inspire her students to use their training in Linguistics also to make a difference in lives of others. It is also Dana’s hope that her students would develop a greater awareness of their own language use and grow in their understanding and appreciation for how language is used by others within their social networks and beyond.

Dana has been a member of Wycliffe since 2009 and has served in various roles including language development assistant, cross-cultural camp facilitator, Bible camp teacher, workshop presenter. She has also engaged in advocacy work to promote the translation of the Jamaican Creole New Testament. Dana looks forward to exploring this exciting world of Linguistics with you!

Languages Spoken

English (level 5), Jamaican Creole (level 5) and Spanish (level 2);
Also studied, basic Japanese, basic Jamaican Sign Language and Hebrew


2012-2015. M.A. in Linguistics and Exegesis, ACTS Seminaries, Langley, BC, Canada
2004-2007 B.A. in Linguistics with honours, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica

Teaching Experience

Spring 2017.  Co-Instructor, Language & Society, Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL)
Fall 2016.  Co-Instructor, Language & Society, CanIL
Summer 2016.  Teaching Assistant, Language & Society, CanIL
Fall 2015.  Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Linguistics, CanIL
Spring 2013.  Teaching Assistant, Training Across Cultures, CanIL
Fall 2012.  Teaching Assistant, Language & Society, CanIL


LING-210 Language & Society


Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) integrates scholarship in linguistics with service to language communities worldwide.

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