The potential of transnational language policy to promote social inclusion of immigrants: An analysis and evaluation of the European Union's INCLUDE project
Bian, C. (2017). The potential of transnational language policy to promote social inclusion of immigrants: An analysis and evaluation of the European Union's INCLUDE project, International Review of Education 63 (4): 475-494.
Language issues and social inclusion consistently remain two major concerns for member countries of the European Union (EU). Despite an increasing awareness of the importance of language learning in migrants' social inclusion, and the promotion of language policies at European and national levels, there is still a lack of common actions at the European level. Challenged by questions as to whether language learning should be prioritised as a human right or as human capital building, how host/mainstream language learning can be reinforced while respecting language diversity, and other problems, member countries still need to find solutions. Confronting these dilemmas, this study analyses the relationship and interactions between language learning and immigrants' social inclusion in different contexts. It explores the potential of enhancing the effectiveness of language policies via a dialogue between policies and practices in different national contexts and research studies in the field of language and social inclusion. The research data are derived from two databases created by a European policy for active social inclusion project called INCLUDE. This project ran from 2013 to 2016 under the EU's lifelong learning programme, with funding support from the European Commission. Through an analysis of these two project databases, the paper reviews recent national language policies and their effect on the social inclusion of migrants. In the second part of her article, the author interprets the process of language learning and social inclusion using poststructuralist theories of language and identity.
Social inclusion, social capitale, language, immigration
Other interesting information
When language is regarded not just a set of utterances but as a kind of social capital with the potential of directly or indirectly yielding some beneﬁts, its social and economic functions turn into a generator for learning. Language learning demands both learners’ motivation – as a primarily psychological construct (Do ¨rnyei 2001; Norton and Toohey 2011), and ‘‘investment’’ (Norton and Toohey 2011) – as a sociological construct. The application of ‘‘investment’’ theory indicates that the ‘‘pull’’ factor in language learning is both implicit and explicit, and that learners’ expectations for a potential increase of their social and cultural capital are the key to pushing the learning process forward.
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