Special Issue "Immigrant and Refugee Languages"

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Martha Young-Scholten

Guest Editor
School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Newcastle University
Interests: second language acquistion of morphosyntax and acquisition of phonology; phonological awareness; development of decoding; development of comprehension by low-literate adult migrants
Dr. Rola Naeb
Website
Guest Editor
Applied Linguistics, Department of Humanities, Northumbria University
Interests: technology-enhanced learning; second language acquisition; educational linguistics; linguistic integration of adult migrants
Dr. Marcin Sosiński

Guest Editor
Department of Spanish Language, University of Granada
Interests: second language acquisition; teaching to immigrants in non formal contexts; phraseology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The goal of this Special Issue is to showcase state of the art research on language and literacy acquisition by adult migrants including but not limited to refugees and asylum seekers. The volume will examine a variety of theoretical and empirical issues such as: L2 learning and acquisition ​​by literate or non/low-literate adults from a psycholinguistic or sociolinguistic perspective; simultaneous learning of second language and literacy; the influence of L1(s) and/or its orthography; instructed vs. uninstructed learners; typological proximity or distance between L1(s) and the target languages; and educational policy.

Please note: the length of the manuscripts should be between 6000 and 10,000 words including references.

Prof. Martha Young-Scholten
Dr. Rola Naeb
Dr. Marcin Sosiński
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Languages is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • linguistic integration
  • adult migrants
  • low-literate adult learners
  • acquisition of morphosyntax
  • development of reading
  • educational policy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Exploratory Research for the Improvement of the Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language in a Spanish Public Center
Languages 2019, 4(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4040095 - 25 Nov 2019
Abstract
This paper is part of the R&D project DIPURE (El Discurso Público sobre los Refugiados en España in English Public Discourse on Refugees in Spain) and it is one of the research lines of the research group “Andalusian Circle of Applied Linguistics, HUM-194” [...] Read more.
This paper is part of the R&D project DIPURE (El Discurso Público sobre los Refugiados en España in English Public Discourse on Refugees in Spain) and it is one of the research lines of the research group “Andalusian Circle of Applied Linguistics, HUM-194” on the study of teaching Spanish as a second language (SSL) for immigrants and refugees. Its objective is to establish a profile of Spanish second language (SL) students at the Official School of Languages (OSL). To meet this objective, we carried out an exploratory study based on mixed quantitative–qualitative methods, including, among other methods, participant observation and a Likert-type questionnaire used with students of the OSL in Granada, from level A1 to B2. The data obtained has allowed us to reflect on the migration process in Spain and on the work in the classrooms of a public center with students who study Spanish as a second language—their learning beliefs, needs, and attitudes, as well as didactic preferences. The information obtained is envisaged to improve the teaching practice of Spanish as a host language in a public educational context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigrant and Refugee Languages)
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Open AccessArticle
Emerging Constructions in the L2 Italian Spoken by Low Literate Migrants
Languages 2019, 4(4), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4040086 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
The emergence of autonomous interlanguage constructions is widely recognised in the literature on L2 Italian. These constructions involve the overgeneralisation of functional forms learners are in the process of acquiring, e.g., siamo in siamo mangiare ‘be:1PL eat:INF’ (target Italian: mangiamo ‘eat:1PL’); facciamo in [...] Read more.
The emergence of autonomous interlanguage constructions is widely recognised in the literature on L2 Italian. These constructions involve the overgeneralisation of functional forms learners are in the process of acquiring, e.g., siamo in siamo mangiare ‘be:1PL eat:INF’ (target Italian: mangiamo ‘eat:1PL’); facciamo in facciamo cucinare ‘do:1PL cook:INF’ (target Italian: cuciniamo ‘cook:1PL’); per in piaciare per uscire fuori ‘like:INF for go:INF out’ (target Italian: mi piace uscire fuori ‘to.me like:3SG go:INF out’. ‘Be’/‘do’ forms are assigned a morphosyntactic function to convey temporal/aspectual/person information instead of inflecting the verb, while per ‘for’ is a generic subordinating marker. Based on new corpus data, I claim that such constructions may correlate with a learners’ degree of first language (L1) literacy. In detail, and consistent with, both literate and non-literate learners overgeneralise functional forms while working on the newly acquired morphosyntax; this shows that the non-literates are perfectly able to subconsciously identify functional forms in the input. Non-literates, however, show a stronger tendency than literates to select lexical-syntactic sub-patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigrant and Refugee Languages)
Open AccessArticle
Developing Oral Comprehension Skills with Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education
Languages 2019, 4(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4030075 - 14 Sep 2019
Abstract
The development of oral comprehension skills is rarely studied in second and foreign language teaching, let alone in learning contexts involving students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE). Thus, we conducted a mixed-methods study attempting to measure the effect of implicit teaching [...] Read more.
The development of oral comprehension skills is rarely studied in second and foreign language teaching, let alone in learning contexts involving students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE). Thus, we conducted a mixed-methods study attempting to measure the effect of implicit teaching of oral comprehension strategies with 37 SLIFE in Quebec City, a predominantly French-speaking city in Canada. Two experimental groups received implicit training in listening strategies, whereas a control group viewed the same documents without strategy training. Participants’ listening comprehension performance was measured quantitatively before the treatment, immediately after, and one week later with three different versions of an oral comprehension test targeting both explicit and implicit content of authentic audiovisual documents. Overall, data analysis showed a low success rate for all participants in the oral comprehension tests, with no significant effect of the experimental treatment. However, data from the intervention sessions revealed that the participants’ verbalisations of their comprehension varied qualitatively over time. The combination of these results is discussed in light of previous findings on low literate adults’ informal and formal language learning experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigrant and Refugee Languages)
Open AccessArticle
Language Education for Forced Migrants: Governance and Approach
Languages 2019, 4(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4030074 - 12 Sep 2019
Abstract
This article stems from research conducted into the barriers to education, employment and language learning for refugees resettled into the convergence areas of Wales, UK. The authors consider that effective language programmes should play a key role in migration policies designed for multilingual, [...] Read more.
This article stems from research conducted into the barriers to education, employment and language learning for refugees resettled into the convergence areas of Wales, UK. The authors consider that effective language programmes should play a key role in migration policies designed for multilingual, multicultural societies. The provision of English language classes for speakers of other languages (ESOL) ensures equality of opportunities, and in doing so, enriches the culture of our societies. By highlighting the challenges to language learning faced by refugees on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), this article draws attention to the fact that government directives for language provision commissioned under VPRS often do not sufficiently meet the needs of teachers and learners at grassroots level. Recommendations for greater flexibility in the organisation of ESOL provision for those resettled under VPRS are put forward. While this paper focuses on the specific case study of VPRS participants in Wales, it is hoped that recommendations around changes to policy and practice in language learning may be applicable to teachers, policy-makers, and community organisers working at the nexus of language and migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigrant and Refugee Languages)
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Open AccessArticle
Language Learning Tool for Refugees: Identifying the Language Learning Needs of Syrian Refugees Through Participatory Design
Languages 2019, 4(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4030071 - 09 Sep 2019
Abstract
A large number of refugees need to learn a new language in order to transition to, or settle in, a new country. Most refugees have access to smartphones with which they can access mobile language learning tools. However, refugees in different stages of [...] Read more.
A large number of refugees need to learn a new language in order to transition to, or settle in, a new country. Most refugees have access to smartphones with which they can access mobile language learning tools. However, refugees in different stages of their journeys have different language learning needs. Identifying the unique needs of refugees is essential to design language learning tools that support their language learning activities. Through a two-part participatory design study, we identify and compare the tacit and latent language learning needs of two different groups of Syrian refugees: a group in transition in Lebanon, and a group settling in Germany. The Syrian refugees we worked with in Lebanon are studying English to transition to another country with better living conditions. On the other hand, the Syrian refugees we worked with in Germany are trying to learn German to better integrate into German society. Our results show overlapping needs and specific needs for the two groups of refugees. We present our findings and discuss the opportunities and challenges for designing language learning tools to support the language learning activities of refugees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigrant and Refugee Languages)
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Open AccessArticle
Education and Input as Predictors of Second Language Attainment in Naturalistic Contexts
Languages 2019, 4(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4030070 - 07 Sep 2019
Abstract
This study examines the effects of education and input as predictors of adult second language acquisition in naturalistic contexts. L1 Albanian learners of Greek who differed in amount of schooling (from 4 to 16 years) and length of residence (from 8 to 27 [...] Read more.
This study examines the effects of education and input as predictors of adult second language acquisition in naturalistic contexts. L1 Albanian learners of Greek who differed in amount of schooling (from 4 to 16 years) and length of residence (from 8 to 27 years) completed elicitation tasks that tested mastery of gender and number agreement, and past tense morphology. In addition, samples of spontaneous speech were assessed for fluency, grammatical complexity, and lexical richness in order to establish the learners’ overall proficiency in the L2. We hypothesized that education would facilitate attention to form and hence lead to better attainment of grammatical distinctions with relatively low functional load, particularly when these are complex. Quantity of input would be most strongly associated with aspects of language that are most relevant to communication, and in particular, fluency. These predictions were largely confirmed: education accounted for 15% of the variance on adjective number agreement and between 31% and 38% of the variance in performance on past tense morphology, which is considerably more complex. Fluency and clausal density, in contrast, were associated with length of residence but not with education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigrant and Refugee Languages)
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Open AccessArticle
‘Language Is Your Dignity’: Migration, Linguistic Capital, and the Experience of Re/De-Valuation
Languages 2019, 4(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4030064 - 23 Aug 2019
Abstract
Using critical hermeneutic phenomenology, this study considers the lived realities of seven adult migrants with diverse migratory trajectories who came to London in order to set up a new life. Drawing on Bourdieu, it explicates their symbolic struggles for value fought out at [...] Read more.
Using critical hermeneutic phenomenology, this study considers the lived realities of seven adult migrants with diverse migratory trajectories who came to London in order to set up a new life. Drawing on Bourdieu, it explicates their symbolic struggles for value fought out at the linguistic level and the way they live through experiences of re-valuation of their linguistic capital. Because of the fact that linguistic repertoires are not equal in terms of their value in transnational settings, this is often marked by devaluation, lack, and deficiency. The question amidst unequal linguistic realities is then how space for contestation can be secured. This paper stresses the importance of paying attention to the emotional, affective dimension of such experiences to account for how social transformation may be brought about. To this end, Skeggs’ gaze is employed, particularly the notion of ‘just talk’ as a means to turn negative affects that occur in the face of inequitable relations into action. The study argues that paying attention to this could be a form of metalinguistic talk in language classrooms to counteract experiences of inequality and devaluation. Collective awareness in turn can foster a sense of solidarity and enhance collective agency as mediated by discursive action and solidarity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigrant and Refugee Languages)

Other

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Open AccessBook Review
Educating Refugee-Background Students: Critical Issues and Dynamic Contexts. Edited by Shawna Shapiro, Raichle Farrelly and Mary Jane Curry, Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 2018, 264p. ISBN: 978-1-78309-996-2
Languages 2019, 4(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4030066 - 26 Aug 2019
Abstract
Educators, scholars and practitioners whose work intersects with refugee learners’ lives and schooling are familiar with the many strengths and challenges these learners bring to and encounter in classrooms and communities every day [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigrant and Refugee Languages)
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