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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  • March 4, 2013
  • 01:26 AM

Is speaking English a civic duty?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

In today’s immigration countries, adherents of the “one nation, one language” idea face a unique ideological problem: to claim that the national language is a sign of national loyalty and incorporation into the nation while, simultaneously, disavowing any association between … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 18, 2013
  • 04:11 PM

Grassroots multilingualism

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

What does an urban middle-class male university graduate from Conakry, the capital of Guinea, have in common with a peasant woman with little education from a village in Sichuan? Well, both are caught up in the processes of globalization and … Continue reading →... Read more »

Han, Huamei. (2013) Individual Grassroots Multilingualism in Africa Town in Guangzhou: The Role of States in Globalization. International Multilingual Research Journal, 83-97. info:/

  • February 13, 2013
  • 10:42 PM

To English with Love

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

It’s Valentine’s Day today. Valentine’s Day is a truly global event inextricably linking the emotional life of individuals with the capitalist world order. Young women around the world dream of romantic love and many men do their best to meet … Continue reading →... Read more »

Takahashi, Kimie. (2013) Language learning, gender and desire: Japanese women on the move. Multilingual Matters. info:/

  • January 31, 2013
  • 04:37 PM

Is English improving lives in a remote Indonesian village?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

In a recent post, I reviewed language policy research that shows how compulsory English in China has given rise to new inequities and is far from being a means to fair development. In that context, compulsory English language learning is … Continue reading →... Read more »

Pasassung, Nikolaus. (2003) Teaching English in an "Acquisition-Poor Environment": An Ethnographic Example of a Remote Indonesian EFL Classroom. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of Sydney. info:/

  • January 17, 2013
  • 06:31 PM

A golden age of multiculturalism

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Last week I had the privilege of attending, virtually, a seminar devoted to “Mobilities, Language Practices and Identities” organized by the CIEN Group at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The seminar brought together a small number of international scholars working … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 11, 2013
  • 01:31 AM

English for everyone is unfair

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Knowledge of English has come to be seen as the key talent of the 21st century, a way to perfect an individual’s character and to modernize societies; a central facet of global development. China, for instance, introduced an ambitious universal … Continue reading →... Read more »

Hu, G., & Alsagoff, L. (2010) A public policy perspective on English medium instruction in China. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 31(4), 365-382. DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2010.489950  

  • January 7, 2013
  • 08:12 PM

Early study abroad students in young adulthood

by Bong Jeong Lee in Language on the Move

Readers of Language on the Move will be familiar with South Korea’s English fever, the sweeping zeal for learning English. Parents enrol children in English medium-preschools, arts and sports classes, nursery schools with native-speaking English staff, toddler gyms with English … Continue reading →... Read more »

Cummins, Jim. (2000) Language, power and pedagogy: bilingual children in the crossfire, . Multilingual Matters. info:/

  • January 3, 2013
  • 07:30 PM

The exotic Chinese language

by Chen Xiaoxiao 陈潇潇 in Language on the Move

Ingrid’s blog post “Character challenge” has set me thinking about Chinese language learning these days. I have found her observation about learning Chinese characters as “the most intriguing pastime” particularly impressive, especially when I look again at the data I … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 8, 2012
  • 11:58 PM

Seeing Asians speaking English

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

I am very much looking forward to attending the International Conference on Research and Applications of Intercultural Communication in Wuhan next week. By way of preparation, I’ve googled the conference hotel on tripadvisor and was disappointed to discover that the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 7, 2012
  • 11:21 PM

Bilingualism is good for your mental health

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

October is Mental Health month here in New South Wales. The campaign runs under the slogan “Celebrate, connect, grow” and includes some fantastic tips how to look after your mental health. The key point is to build strong relationships and … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 24, 2012
  • 07:44 PM

Language test masquerading as literacy and numeracy test

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Last week, the results of the 2012 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) were published. As has been the case since NAPLAN was first introduced in Australia in 2008, the Northern Territory (NT) has, once again, underperformed dramatically. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Gillian Wigglesworth, Jane Simpson, & Deborah Loakes. (2011) NAPLAN LANGUAGE ASSESSMENTS FOR INDIGENOUS CHILDREN IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES: ISSUES AND PROBLEMS. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 34(3), 320-343. info:/

  • August 26, 2012
  • 08:53 PM

Illegitimate English

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The other day I watched a show about global textile production. How fair is fashion? by British educational media producer Pumpkin TV is an excellent resource explaining the circuits of cheap clothing for consumers in the global North, huge profits … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 20, 2012
  • 04:15 AM

Postnatal depression and language proficiency

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Last week I was interviewed for a publication intended to showcase the achievements of women in research. When the interviewer, Meryl Hancock, asked me about the biggest challenge I had faced in my career, I answered “motherhood’ without any hesitation. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 14, 2012
  • 08:27 PM

Rising multicultural middle class

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

In response to my blog post about the disparity between educational qualifications and employment outcomes faced by select country of origin groups in Australia, Val Colic-Peisker reminded me that there is also a more optimistic way of looking at the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 10, 2012
  • 12:39 AM

Human capital on the move

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The labour market integration of migrants presents a persistent conundrum. The Australian story – as that of other migrant destinations – is largely told as a success story: the skilled migration program with its focus on bringing human capital into … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 24, 2012
  • 02:22 AM

Home is where I’m alienated*

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

To be transnational has become rather fashionable: never before in human history have so many people been on the move, airfares have never been so cheap, new communication technologies have never been so, well, new, and space and time have … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 26, 2012
  • 07:50 PM

Shopping while bilingual can make you sick

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

I’ve just found an e-mail from Apple in my spam folder with a ‘personal’ invitation to attend one of their new store openings in Sydney. I’m not going for two reasons: first, Apple has not yet done anything to improve … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 24, 2012
  • 09:46 PM

Some bilingualisms are more equal than others

by Sara Blažić in Language on the Move

Bilingualism has been a media darling of late, and considering the intense focus of the current scientific community on bilingual brains and the breakneck speed with which globalized societies interact, it’s no surprise. The results of neurological and psychological research … Continue reading →... Read more »

Poulin-Dubois D, Blaye A, Coutya J, & Bialystok E. (2011) The effects of bilingualism on toddlers' executive functioning. Journal of experimental child psychology, 108(3), 567-79. PMID: 21122877  

  • June 3, 2012
  • 06:40 PM

Gay men, English and desire in Bangkok

by Shih-Wei Cheng in Language on the Move

I have recently begun working on my MA thesis on sexuality and second language learning at the Graduate School of English, Assumption University of Thailand, under the supervision of Kimie Takahashi. She has encouraged me to share my experience in … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 21, 2012
  • 09:41 PM

What would you do?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Caroline Tennant Kelly with two of her photos from the Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement (Source: Sydney Morning Herald at In 1924 the first university Department of Anthropology in Australia was founded at the University of Sydney. The founding professor was … Continue reading →... Read more »

Kidd, Rosalind. (1997) The Way We Civilise: Aboriginal Affairs - the untold story. University of Queensland Press. info:/

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