Viola Krebs & Vicent Climent-Ferrando extra-curricular schooling. Scientific studies on bi- and multilingualism show that bilingual education is a good way of transmitting multiple languages and that it is positive for the cognitive development of a child 16.
Bilingual education or mother-tongue teaching were two forms of instruction introduced in the 1970s in a number of countries (Germany, the Netherlands, etc.) when the idea prevailed that migrants would return home. It was not therefore originally conceived of as an element of multiculturalism policy. Furthermore, in more recent years, bilingual education in the Netherlands and Germany has decreased, as it has sometimes been considered as an impediment to assimilation. More generally speaking, the recognition of the language of migrants is now being questioned as it is argued that it goes against effective integration of migrants 17. Indeed, it is argued that the recognition and support for the languages of migrants could foster ghettos and linguistic enclaves, which would be detrimental both to the host society – which regards the learning of its language as a source of patriotism and loyalty – and to immigrant groups – as their lack of fluency in the host country’s language(s) may eventually lead to marginalization and economic disadvantage. One key term in this debate is parallel society, that is, the fear that promoting immigrant particularities – cultures, religions and languages – could create self-secluding ethnic communities, leading to what has been referred to in the literature as “Balkanization”.
Emphasis therefore seems to be placed on the host societies’ languages.
The number of proposals to strengthen language tests for naturalisation appears to be on the increase. Proposals of this sort have surfaced throughout Western nations, where difficulties in immigrant integration are often blamed on the inability or unwillingness of immigrants to learn the state languages and point out that in some European countries, there is even talk about legally requiring immigrants to attend language classes 16 Cummins Jim. Bilingualism, multiculturalism, and second language acquisition : the McGill conference in honor of Wallace E. Lambert. L. Erlbaum, London, 1976, 1981.
CDIP Confrence suisse des directeurs cantonaux de l’instruction publique. Rapport sur la, question des langues, Quelles langues apprendre en Suisse pendant la scolarit obligatoire Berne, 1998.
Crawford James. Bilingual Education : History, Politics, Theory and Practice. Bilingual Educational Service, Inc., Los Angeles, 1999.
17 Kymlicka, W & Patten, A. (eds). Language Rigths and Political Theory. Oxford University Press, 2003 : 8-9.
Viola Krebs & Vicent Climent-Ferrando as a precondition for access to social benefits. A recent study 18, which analyses the programmes applied by Germany, France, Canada and the Netherlands, clearly points in this direction. This growing requirement for immigrants to learn the language of the residency country could be interpreted as a “return to assimilation”.
Another example of how policies impact migration is the ‘Open Door’ policy put in place by the Chinese government in the last few decades, which has greatly influenced migration statistics. In a recent article, Phoebe H. Li describes these changes 19. In 1997, the total number of Chinese citizens going overseas was 5.32 million. A decade later, in 2007, there were almost 80 million national border crossings by mainland Chinese. These Chinese nationals departed for most parts of the world and comprised a wide range of permanent and temporary migrants such as international students, contract workers and tourists, of whom many were potential permanent migrants. Phoebe H. Li describes the immigration criteria applied in New Zealand, which include employability and English language skills, among other things.
In recent years, many Chinese have also massively moved to Africa. Many of them are workers in the construction sector ; others have established businesses in Africa, creating an unwelcome competition for local businesses in textiles, road building, gastronomy, etc. In some cases, they also organise business activities in the informal sector. From a linguistic point of view, many of these new immigrants do not speak the local languages.
Also, they tend to stay among themselves and generally do not integrate as easily as migrants from other parts of the world 20.
There is a category of migrants who remain cut off from the local society, depending only on one or two people to stay in contact with the language of the host society. Immigrants from Sri Lankan in Lebanon perfectly exemplify this scenario. Most of them are employed as housekeepers. The majority are not entitled to leave the house without the owner who usually confiscates their passport and forces them to live isolated lives, sometimes 18 Biles, J et al. Policies and Models of Incorporation. A Transatlantic Perspective : Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Documentos Cidob. Migraciones, num. 12, June 2007.
19 Phoebe H. Li, University of Auckland, New Zealand, New Chinese Immigrants to New Zealand, a PRC Dimension, 2010, http://international.metropolis.net/pdf/fow_newzealand_immi.pdf 20 Speak to me, speak here. Linguistic Situation in Barcelona. d. ICVoluntaris.org. 2007.
Viola Krebs & Vicent Climent-Ferrando close to slavery. To avoid their isolation, ngos, such as as Caritas Migrant, provide these populations with legal and administrative support 21.
All of the above examples show the complexity of the situation in relation to immigration policies and approaches. The resolution of linguistic issues depends heavily on the way each government addresses immigration.
Nevertheless, they are also related to two other main criteria.
The first one is the type of migration, which could be seasonal, transitional or circulatory. In this case, migrants are spending a few years in another country, then returning to their home-base or moving on to another place. The linguistic integration is typically not considered a high priority by the migrants, as their main focus is around earning money or building a career rather than integrating into the new country and society. Consequently, many of these migrants are not interested in learning the language of their temporary host country.
The second one is more related to the psychological aspects of the migrants that may present an obstacle for learning the native language of a country. Many of migrants intentionally decide to not make efforts to learn the language. This refusal symbolises their own intention not to establish themselves for long in the foreign country. They have a deep desire to return home and do not see the need to acquire a language for a supposedly impermanent stay. Actually, many of them stay more than twenty years without gaining a significant understanding of the language of the host country, because they do not want to renounce their hope of returning home.
CYBERSPACE AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MIGRANTS : A FEW EXAMPLES OF EXISTING TOOLS AND NETWORKS The internet and the web present important resources and tools for migrants, social care givers, translators, interpreters and policy makers working in the field of migration issues.
Firstly, migrants might appear on the web as the topic of articles. Many journalists write about migrants and the impact they have on the countries that have to deal with sometimes massive immigration influxes.
21 Caritas Lebanon Migrant’s Center : http://www.caritas.org.lb Viola Krebs & Vicent Climent-Ferrando Secondly, online resources are supposedly created in order to help migrants in their new environment. Some of them are in the language of the host country ; others are translated into a series of languages spoken by the migrant populations living in a given country.
Thirdly, migrants use the Web to stay in touch with their families left behind, as well as their country and culture of origin. This may be through online video and phone services, or by reading contents on web sites published in the local language of their country of origin.
Sites presenting research studies related to migration issues mpi 22, an independent non-profit think thank, is dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide. Its online database includes many scientific articles and is a source of in-depth showcases with the latest data on migration trends and patterns in the United States and around the world. Research tools include us State Data on the Foreign Born, Maps of the Foreign Born, the World Migration Map, Comparative Charts and Tables, the Global Remittances Guide, and asylum data.
Another interesting research group is the “Programme d’tudes sur l’usage des tic dans les migrations” (tic-Migrations, “the Program for the Study of the Use of Information and Communication Technologies [icts] in Migrations”). It defines itself as a research program “exploring the impact of new technologies on the world of migrants (paths, personal connections, relations with origin and host countries, etc.)”. Their objectives “are to open a new field of research, to bring together two previously separate disciplines (diaspora theory and web exploration), and to develop generic tools to be used in the social sciences and humanities”. They also present the concept of the “connected migrants” ; trying to figure out where migrants stand in a world made of discontinuous continuity.
The International Metropolis Project 23 is a forum for bridging research, policy and practice on migration and diversity. The Project aims to enhance the academic research capacity, encourage policy-relevant research on migration and diversity issues, and facilitate the use of that research 22 http://www.migrationinformation.org 23 http://international.metropolis.net Viola Krebs & Vicent Climent-Ferrando by governments and non-governmental organizations. Research articles are available online and the conferences of Metropolis bring together several hundred researchers every year who are involved in migrationrelated academic research.
The last project we can list here is called Bridge-it Network 24 which aims to raise the question of the potential of ict for promoting the integration of migrants and cultural diversity in Europe.
Information sources to help migrants in the host country Sites aimed at migrants typically provide practical information and useful links about everyday life in the country of residence. One example of such sites is the Swiss Migraweb 25, which presents practical information gathered by independent organizations from civil society, as well as relevant government offices and specialists in each field. This information is then translated into languages spoken by migrants by a team of volunteers who are all settled migrants from various communities. These volunteers are fluent in both their own tongue and in French or German. They serve as a bridge between different cultures.
In Spain, MIGRAweb.es 26 provides access to a team of professionals giving legal advice, specifically related to immigration issues, asylum and nationality.
MigraLingua.org 27 aims to provide practical information about the community interpreting services coordinated by ICVolunteers in order to accompany non-French speaking migrants in Geneva in their daily lives. The aim is to increase mutual understanding between migrants and teachers, to encourage respectful dialogue, facilitate access to institutions, and help migrants break out of isolation and thus promote the desire to learn French in order to achieve greater autonomy. With the support of a network of volunteers, this service is available to any person whatever their origin and social status.
24 http://bridge-it.ning.com 25 http://www.migraweb.ch 26 http://www.MIGRAweb.es 27 http://www.MigraLingua.org Viola Krebs & Vicent Climent-Ferrando There are also different software tools developed to bridge the gap between patients and doctors in the health system. Worth mentioning in this context is the Universal Doctor Speaker Project – a tool developed by a group of doctors – a project used in many European hospitals aimed at facilitating communication between health professionals and patients from different backgrounds and in ten languages, including Urdu.
Applications of this project exist for iPods 28.
Mobile phones can also provide support to migrants. Mobile Voices (VozMob) represents one of the best illustrations for this, where cell phones are used to transmit testimonials, to provide support to members of the same community, and to permit them to keep in touch with their relatives or compatriots. VozMob describes itself as being “a platform for immigrant and/or low-wage workers in the region of Los Angeles to create stories about their lives and communities directly from cell phones” 29.
Online language courses Learning languages now is possible online. Paid language lessons, forums and education platforms are easily available to learn and improve a range of different languages spoken in host countries. An increasing number of websites are offering a wide range of paid language lessons in up to languages, including English, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Farsi, Hindi, etc. 30 However, the most frequently available languages are English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.
These kinds of classes can be an excellent alternative, when it is difficult for migrants to follow regular language courses due to work schedule constraints.
WHEN TECHNOLOGY BECOMES A CHALLENGE RATHER THAN A SOLUTION Overall, Information and Communication Technologies (ict) connect people who are geographically in very different locations. However, they can also be a true challenge for the poorest, who may be excluded 28 http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/universal-doctor-speaker-for/id364812043 mt=29 http://vozmob.net/en/about 30 http://www.livemocha.com Viola Krebs & Vicent Climent-Ferrando from cyberspace. Indeed, technology has a cost : equipment, internet subscriptions and cybercafs are still not affordable for everyone. This applies to both immigrants and those left behind. In terms of budgets, not all migrants living in an industrialised country are easily able to use computers and the internet.
Материалы этого сайта размещены для ознакомления, все права принадлежат их авторам.
Если Вы не согласны с тем, что Ваш материал размещён на этом сайте, пожалуйста, напишите нам, мы в течении 1-2 рабочих дней удалим его.