ITAL-4420 Language and Migration

Course Description

Language is central to migration in many ways. For example, language diversity creates barriers between migrants and non-migrants, degrees of language distance often affect the choice of a future home for migrants, new languages and cultures are brought by migrants to the countries they settle in, differences in language and communication patterns influence the destiny of asylum seekers and migrant workers alike, linguistic preferences deeply influence identity processes. The main objective of the course is to create awareness of how important it is to consider the role of language(s) in relation to migration and settlement and centrally to reflect on how language related issues may create barriers in both concrete procedures related to the insertion of migrants in host societies and the social and psychological processes that accompany it. Central to the course will also be the consideration of possible alternatives to a view of linguistic diversity as a problem. Besides articles and book chapters, students will work with documents and case studies exemplifying issues and possible solutions. The course does not have pre-requisites, although some background in linguistics is desirable. The course is open to undergraduates and graduates and is taught in English.