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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  • February 6, 2014
  • 03:27 AM

Emergency service provision in linguistically diverse societies

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

A few years ago, emergency service provision to speakers of languages other than English in Australia came under scrutiny when an Afghan woman tried to call the police but did not receive any assistance a few days before she was … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 3, 2013
  • 05:06 PM

Monolingualism is bad for the economy

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

In most countries of immigration, linguistic diversity is by and large ignored by policy makers. If there are language-related policies, they take a deficit view of migrants and their children and focus on improving their English (or whatever the national … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 26, 2013
  • 12:16 AM

English is excellence

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

“Using English is the sign of a great mind. Discuss.” Sounds like an absurdly bigoted essay topic? While I’ve made up the topic and while most readers will baulk at such an explicit association of English with academic excellence, most … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 10, 2013
  • 06:26 PM

Bilingualism delays onset of dementia

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

It is by now widely known that bilingualism delays the onset of dementia. What is less widely known is the fact that this knowledge is almost exclusively derived from Canadian research conducted by Ellen Bialystok and her team (e.g., Bialystock … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 29, 2013
  • 07:55 PM

Saussure, the procrastinator

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Procrastination is a fact of academic life, particularly during the PhD period, as every academic supervisor knows. However, judging from ever-increasing institutional efforts to control procrastination or from the many self-help guides intended to cure procrastination, it would seem that … Continue reading →... Read more »

Paola Villani. (1990) Documenti saussuriani conservati a Lipsia e a Berlino. Cahiers Ferdinand de Saussure, 3-33. info:/

  • October 22, 2013
  • 07:27 PM

Disenchanted in Bangkok

by Kimie Takahashi 高橋君江 in Language on the Move

“When Thai people ask me where I’m from, I tell them, “Oh I’m from the Philippines or Singapore. Then, I don’t get that look!” A young woman from Myanmar recently told me her experience of living in Bangkok as an … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 18, 2013
  • 12:56 AM

English and development aid work

by Kerry Taylor-Leech in Language on the Move

  A response to Alexandra Grey, “We do aid, not English” In my experience English is often promoted by aid organisations as part of a package and served up with very little consultation of recipients and not much concern for … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 16, 2013
  • 10:15 PM

“We do aid, not English!”

by Alexandra Grey in Language on the Move

Over a few years of involvement in the aid sector in Asia, I became aware that aid workers turn their noses up at ‘English work’. Managers for my Australian government volunteering program encouraged us not to be sucked in to … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 5, 2013
  • 12:03 AM

Music on the Move

by Mahesh Radhakrishnan in Language on the Move

An important element of language relates to its aesthetic use, in other words, how we make our lives beautiful and present ourselves to the world beautifully through language. Anthropologists and linguists have been interested in this dimension throughout the 20th … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 29, 2013
  • 10:10 PM

Beyond the mother tongue

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

This book review was originally published in Language in Society 42 (4), 463-466. [Copyright: Cambridge University Press; Language in Society] Access pdf version of this review here. Yasemin Yildiz , Beyond the mother tongue: The postmonolingual condition. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 20, 2013
  • 01:28 PM

Erasing diversity

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

On a parapet in Hagia Sophia’s gallery there is an obscure little graffiti written in Viking runes and dating back to the 9th century. All that is legible today is ‘alftan,’ which refers to the Norse name ‘Halfdan’ and it … Continue reading →... Read more »

Jan Blommaert, & Ben Rampton. (2011) Language and superdiversity. Diversities, 13(2). info:/

Goodenough, W. (1976) MULTICULTURALISM AS THE NORMAL HUMAN EXPERIENCE. Council on Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 7(4), 4-7. DOI: 10.1525/aeq.1976.7.4.05x1652n  

  • June 17, 2013
  • 04:05 AM

The diversity of the Other

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Diversity is today widely seen as a social good and is actively promoted in ‘diversity policies’ such as those of Australia, the EU or the UK. Additionally, many institutions have their own policies devoted to managing diversity. These usually extol … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 27, 2013
  • 11:04 AM

Educational outcomes of migrant children

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

A recent study of the educational pathways of the children of Brazilian migrants in Japan offers a most welcome addition to the literature on the educational outcomes of migrant children, which has to date focussed mostly on migrant children in … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 21, 2013
  • 05:24 PM

Banal nationalism and the internationalization of higher education

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The other day I was stuck in traffic in Ajman, one of the smaller of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one that has to do without Abu Dhabi’s and Dubai’s global glitz. Imagine … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 14, 2013
  • 05:32 AM

Internationalization of Higher Education, 1933

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

While the internationalization of higher education is a hot topic at the moment and is widely seen as unique to the present, internationalization of higher education is not new. The politics of internationalization at Istanbul University in the early years … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 8, 2013
  • 04:15 PM

Internationalization and Englishization in Higher Education

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The Intercultural Communication Special Interest Group of the British Association of Applied Linguistics is hosting a seminar at Newcastle University next week devoted to “Intercultural Communication in Higher Education – principles and practices.” Given that internationalization of higher education is … Continue reading →... Read more »

Piller, I., & Cho, J. (2013) Neoliberalism as language policy. Language in Society, 42(01), 23-44. DOI: 10.1017/S0047404512000887  

  • April 4, 2013
  • 03:25 AM

Multilingual provision is cheaper than English-Only

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The business and self-help section of my local Kinokuniya bookstore is currently featuring shelves and shelves of Marketplace 3.0: Rewriting the rules of borderless business by Hiroshi Mikitani, the founder and CEO of e-commerce giant Rakuten. I’m not a fan … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 25, 2013
  • 01:23 AM

Language and the stratification of restaurant labour

by Calvin N. Ho in Language on the Move

Are there language requirements for working in restaurants in Los Angeles? These two employment signs that I saw in the window of a sushi restaurant near UCLA suggests that you need English to wait tables and Spanish to work in … Continue reading →... Read more »

Waldinger, Roger. (1998) The Language of Work in an Immigrant Metropolis. Journal des anthropologues. info:/

  • March 19, 2013
  • 12:08 AM

Exclusion on campus

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

A persistent theme in research with international students in Australia is the tension between dreams of inclusion pre-departure and the experience of exclusion once in the country. In Kimie Takahashi’s ethnography with international students from Japan, for instance, participants often … Continue reading →... Read more »

Tara J Yosso; William A Smith; Miguel Ceja; Daniel G Solórzano. (2009) Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate for Latina/o Undergraduates . Harvard Educational Review, 79(4). info:/

  • March 8, 2013
  • 05:10 AM

Migrant women’s empowerment in the city

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

It is international women’s day today and the world’s women are on the move like never before: according to figures from the International Institute for Migration, women constitute 49% of the world’s 214 million transnational migrants. It is often assumed … Continue reading →... Read more »

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