AILA 4th Seminar on Language and Migration

Language, Migration and Labour

4th International Seminar Series

AILA Research Network on Language and Migration 

Institute of Multilingualism, University of Fribourg and HEP Fribourg, Switzerland 

Date 28-29 January 2010 (Thursday-Friday) 

Topic of the Seminar

The fourth AILA Language and Migration Research Network Seminar focuses on the relationship between language, migration flows and labour processes. Our major concern is to explore the complex relationship between the economic and cultural capital of migrants and its use or exploitation by power institutions in a globalized labour market. We will focus on the role of language in access, selection, social mobility and gate-keeping processes. The seminar will address some of the following key issues:

a) the way language operates as a means of social selection in the workplace for migrants (ie. the role of language skills in recruitment processes or job performance, with attendant issues of measurement and evaluation);

b) language teaching for migrants and acquisition of language proficiencies on the workfloor (including literacy issues);

c) the capitalization by employers of migrant language skills in the management of multilingualism (through commodification of language and identity and/or the (non)-recognition of crucial multilingual practices);

d) the role of language in the regulation of labour market related migration trajectories. 

Plenary speakers

  • Beatriz P. Lorente, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 
  • Ingrid Piller, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
  • Cécile Vigouroux, Simon Fraser University, Canada


For information on the AILA Research Network on Language and Migration, please consult the AILA website.