Language on the Move

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Language on the Move is dedicated to language and communication in multicultural and transnational contexts: language learning, multilingualism and intercultural communication, in short, in Language and Communication on the Move (L.CoM)! The blog is part of the sociolinguistics portal created by Ingrid Piller and Kimie Takahashi. Visit to find out more about our work.

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  • November 24, 2015
  • 04:36 PM

Cultural brokering

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Recently, I signed a contract for a revised second edition of my 2011 book Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction to be published in 2017. One way in which I am planning to extend the book is to have a greater … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 27, 2015
  • 06:09 PM

“Made in Germany” at risk? Volkswagen and the German trademark

by Rahel Cramer in Language on the Move

The Volkswagen (VW) emissions scandal has received significant media coverage in and outside of Germany. Besides accounts of the developments that led to the discovery of Volkswagen’s unethical behaviour, the immediate impacts on the company’s finances, CEO Martin Winterkorn’s resignation … Continue reading →... Read more »

Piller, I. (2003) Advertising as a site of language contact. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 170-183. DOI: 10.1017/S0267190503000254  

  • October 7, 2015
  • 12:28 AM

Children as language brokers

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Some of the most striking images from the refugees who have been trekking across Europe are of families and children. Beyond the immediate perils of their journeys, migration inevitably changes families. As children are usually much quicker to learn new … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 22, 2015
  • 09:23 PM

Who is a real refugee?

by Agnes Bodis in Language on the Move

The refugee crisis in Europe has caught a lot of global media attention. Countries at the entry points and their official actions, as well civil organizations, get a lot of attention in online media; furthermore, social media comments quite often … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 10, 2015
  • 07:18 AM

Bitter gifts: migrants’ exclusive inclusion

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

My migration newsfeed in the past few weeks has been dominated by news about the Syrian refugee crisis and the various European and international responses. But there have also been two other noteworthy migration news: one relates to the changing … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 25, 2015
  • 06:58 PM

Don’t know what “jurisdictional error” means? Some people’s future depends on it

by Laura Smith-Khan in Language on the Move

When people arrive in countries like Australia, seeking to be recognised as refugees and offered protection, it is obviously important that they are able to communicate their experiences and respond to any doubts the authorities may have about their claims. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Crock, M. . (2011) Immigration, Refugees and Forced Migration: Law, policy and practice in Australia. Annandale: The Federation Press. info:/

  • August 11, 2015
  • 08:50 PM

Getting past the ‘indigenous’ vs. ‘immigrant’ language debate

by Dave Sayers in Language on the Move

“Indigenous languages” and “immigrant languages” are much discussed in language policy research, but surprisingly little time is spent actually defining those terms. In general, “indigenous” tends to encompass two features: a long heritage in a place; and some form of … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 15, 2015
  • 03:39 AM

Frightful language tests

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

In the Middle Ages those suspected of witchcraft were often subjected to a ‘trial by fire’ to prove their innocence or guilt. The idea was that fire was a divine manifestation and hence the ordeal of being burnt would result … Continue reading →... Read more »

Young, M. M. (1989) Comment: The Salem Witch Trials 300 Years Later: How Far Has the American Legal System Come? How Much Further Does It Need to Go?. Tulane Law Review, 234-258. info:/

  • July 8, 2015
  • 12:07 AM

Language or religion: which is the greater fault line in diverse societies?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

In a shopping mall in the city of Brighton, UK, a tourist was arrested on terrorism charges last week for taking a selfie video. Surely, taking selfies in a shopping mall is such a part of contemporary culture that the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 30, 2015
  • 08:12 PM

Mongolian on the market

by Gegentuul Baioud in Language on the Move

Last week when I saw in my friends’ Wechat group an advertisement for delicately made Mongolian yurts, I thought of an article I had read earlier written by Mongolian scholar Naran Bilik. In his paper about urbanized Mongolians Bilik writes: … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 26, 2015
  • 08:15 PM

Voice of China on the move

by Alexandra Grey in Language on the Move

It’s a weeknight at the Sydney Town Hall, an ornate 19th century building in the city centre. Almost everyone bustling in the entryway is of Chinese extraction, except the ushers (and me). They’re all ages, and as I pour inside … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 19, 2015
  • 10:14 PM

Are the children of intermarried couples smarter?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Ever since my research for my 2002 book Bilingual Couples Talk I’ve regularly been told by people – or been asked to confirm their belief – that a cross-cultural relationship is beneficial once the couple have children. The children are … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 13, 2015
  • 12:01 AM

“Naughty boys” trying to learn

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Teacher expectations can constitute a self-fulfilling prophecy: teachers behave differently towards children depending on their expectations of them. The ways in which teachers treat students affect students’ self-concept, motivation, achievement and aspirations. Over time, the performance of high-expectation students will … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 14, 2015
  • 09:06 PM

‘Investing in language:’ Why do we think about language education the way we do?

by Agnes Bodis in Language on the Move

If someone cannot now learn their native language, adding a couple of foerign (sic) dead languages is not going to help them. And there is no possible economic return such as is available from Asian languages or living European languages … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 7, 2015
  • 11:52 PM

Children of the harvest: schooling, class and race

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

I’ve just come across a fascinating article about the schooling of migrant children during the Great Depression era in the US West Coast states. The authors, Paul Theobald and Rubén Donato, tell a fascinating tale of the manipulation of schooling … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 17, 2015
  • 06:35 PM

Paying lip-service to diversity

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Bilingual education presents a major conundrum in contemporary diverse societies: on the one hand, bilingualism and diversity more generally are applauded in many educational discourses and widely seen as a good thing; on the other hand, schooling is all about … Continue reading →... Read more »

Robertson, L., Drury, R., & Cable, C. (2014) Silencing bilingualism: a day in a life of a bilingual practitioner. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 17(5), 610-623. DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2013.864252  

  • March 3, 2015
  • 05:48 PM

Is language learning on the job the best way to learn a new language?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

One of the most famous research subjects to ever have participated in second language learning research is a man known in the literature as Alberto. In 1973 Alberto participated in a ten-month longitudinal study of his learning of various English … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 3, 2015
  • 10:03 PM

What’s in a name?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Would Kirk Douglas be a Hollywood legend if he had kept his birth name Issur Danielovitch? Would Bob Dylan have achieved global fame if he had kept his birth name Robert Zimmerman? Would the current Australian treasurer Joe Hockey have … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 05:52 PM

Lost in bilingual parenting

by Shiva Motaghi Tabari in Language on the Move

It is not unusual for bilingual parents to experience a sense of bewilderment when it comes to language choice in the family. When raising a child in a language different from the one parents were socialised into, old truths and … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 16, 2014
  • 02:43 AM

Bilingual students at the crossroads

by Livia Gerber in Language on the Move

Secondary education as a monolingual fork in the road Let me bust a prevalent urban myth: You do not need to be bi- or multilingual to become a linguist. There, busted. In fact, being bilingual initially brought me to a … Continue reading →... Read more »

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