Ingrid Piller

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  • 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 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 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 »

  • September 22, 2014
  • 05:11 AM

Language work in the internet café

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

There is now a well-established body of work exploring the language work provided by service workers in call centres and tourist businesses. By contrast, the multilingual language work provided by migrants for migrants in multiethnic service enterprises has rarely been … Continue reading →... Read more »

Maria Sabaté i Dalmau. (2014) Migrant Communication Enterprises: Regimentation and Resistance. Multilingual Matters. info:/

  • August 5, 2014
  • 07:24 PM

Sink-or-swim for international students

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

It is one of the basic findings of decades of research in bilingual education that language submersion is not a productive way to educate minority students. ‘Language submersion’ refers to a situation where students are made to study exclusively through … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 08:23 PM

How the presence of a bilingual school changes the linguistic profile of a community

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

It is one of the great narratives of our time that the market will fix everything. In education this means that parental choice is assumed to improve education. Rather than the state supplying high-quality education, the neoliberal credo is that … Continue reading →... Read more »

Clyne, Michael. (2005) Australia's Language Potential . Sydney, UNSW Press. . info:/

  • June 22, 2014
  • 09:46 PM

English in the Global Village

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Tourism has been found to be beneficial for minority language maintenance in a number of contexts from around the world. For instance, Anand Torrents Alcaraz has recently shown here on Language on the Move that the growing tourism industry in … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 3, 2014
  • 07:06 PM

Superdiversity: another Eurocentric idea?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The current issue of Begegnung (“Encounter”), the magazine of German International Schools, has a feature about the German School in Montevideo, Uruguay. The school was founded in 1857, at a time when increasing numbers of German-speaking immigrants arrived in Uruguay, … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 30, 2014
  • 11:28 PM

Linguistic penalty in the job interview

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

A common explanation for the un- and underemployment of migrants is that their English is not good enough. Despite the overuse of this explanation, we do, in fact, not have a particularly clear idea what “good English” for a particular … Continue reading →... Read more »

Roberts, Celia. (2013) The Gatekeeping of Babel: Job Interviews and the Linguistic Penalty. A. Duchêne, M. Moyer , 81-94. info:/

  • February 12, 2014
  • 10:28 PM

Inventing languages

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

An objection that is commonly raised against Esperanto and other auxiliary languages is that they are “invented.” Somehow, being “invented” is assumed to give Esperanto a shady character: it’s just not natural. The problem with this view is that – … Continue reading →... Read more »

Mühlhäusler, Peter. (2000) Language Planning and Language Ecology. Current issues in language planning, 1(3), 306-362. DOI: 10.1080/14664200008668011  

  • February 6, 2014
  • 02:27 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
  • 04:06 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 25, 2013
  • 11:16 PM

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 »

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