Bilingualism and Migration

Bilingualism and Migration

Bilingualism and Migration

Bilingualism and Migration

Excerpt

Guus Extra and Ludo Verhoeven

After an outline of major keywords in the European public discourse on immigration is presented, the theme of immigrant minority (IM) groups and IM languages is addressed from demographic and linguistic perspectives. The demographic part deals with both trends and criteria regarding immigration and minorization processes in the European Union, illustrated by a case study on the Netherlands. The linguistic part goes into major and minor research questions in the domain of bilingualism and migration, again with the focus on the Netherlands. The chapter ends with an outline of the present volume.

How ‘they’ hit the headlines

Imagine a European citizen who has never been abroad and who travels to San Francisco for the first time in life, walks around downtown for a week, gets an impression of the Chinese community and food, happens to be invited for dinner by a Chinese family, and asks the host at the dinner table: ‘How many foreigners live in San Francisco?’, in this way referring to the many Asian, Latin, and other non-Anglo Americans (s)he has seen during that week. Now, two things might happen: if the guest’s English is poor, the Chinese host might leave this European reference to ethnocultural diversity unnoticed and go on with the conversation; if the guest’s English is good, however, the Chinese host might interrupt the dinner and charge his guest with discrimination.

In the European public discourse on IM groups, two major characteristics emerge: EM groups are referred to as foreigners (étrangers, Ausländer ) and they are referred to as being in need of integration . First of all, it is common practice to refer to IM groups in terms of non-national residents and to their languages in terms of non-territorial or non-indigenous languages. At the national level, IM groups in Great Britain are often referred to as non-English speaking residents and in the Netherlands even more curtly as ‘anderstaligen (‘those who speak other languages’). The conceptual exclusion rather than inclusion in the European public discourse derives from a restrictive interpretation of the notions of citizenship and nationality. Such notions in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.