Life in a New Language

Conveners: Ingrid Piller, Loy Lising, Vera Williams Tetteh (Macquarie University)

Presenters: Ingrid Piller (Macquarie University), Donna Butorac (Curtin University), Emily Farell, Loy Lising, Shiva Motaghi-Tabari, Vera Williams Tetteh (all Macquarie University)

Discussants: Ofelia García (City University of New York), Ingrid Gogolin (Hamburg University)

How do you live your life through a new language learned as an adult immigrant? How do you manage the simultaneous challenges of learning a new language and achieving communicative goals through that language? Communicative goals that relate to your settlement needs and well-being, such as finding accommodation, pursuing employment, accessing healthcare, asserting consumer rights, and other aspects of community participation?

This workshop addresses these questions based on a re-analysis of ethnographic data collected over 20 years with 130 migrants to Australia from 35 different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. We examine how their language learning trajectories intersect with their settlement experiences, with a specific focus on employment, social participation, family life, and discrimination.

The workshop, based on a book titled Life in a New Language, which is due to appear with Oxford University Press later in the year, also engages with methodological questions in sociolinguistic research on multilingualism. The six presenters are the co-authors of Life in a New Language, and we reflect on re-analysis and data sharing in qualitative research, multilingual team research, and the epistemic justice issues that have animated our collaboration.

The workshop will consist of short presentations from each of the six collaborators, followed by a roundtable discussion.

Bios: The presenters are all members of the Language on the Move research team.

Workshop details

This workshop is part of the main conference. You must register for the main conference to attend this workshop.