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I’m Tony Capstick, author of a new textbook Language and Migration published by Routledge next month for use by ESOL learners, teachers and researchers.
I began writing the textbook Language and Migration in 2016 when I started teaching a final year undergraduate module of the same name and was struggling to find practical classroom activities that linked language use and language learning to specific contexts of migration. The book will be published this August – five years on from the initial idea. It’s taken this long as every additional year I taught the module, I realised the students needed a longer historical view and a more political orientation. Questions like ‘what’s the difference between colonialism and capitalism?’ from a graduating student meant exploring the links between the spread of trade and colonial expansion alongside language policy in countries such as India. What I learned after the first couple of years teaching young adults from the UK was that these kinds of question hindered theirs, and learners in other parts of the world, ability to look critically at the UK’s colonial past in order to understand the global present. As a result the book had to go beyond a discussion of the mobility of ‘languages’ and formal language learning, and focus more profoundly on how people communicate in families and communities before and after their migrations (the chapter on transnational families also looks at how Mexican family members who have no intention of migrating are part of worldwide networks maintained by language online). My own ethnographic work with migrant families in Pakistan helped me get started but then I needed to look out across the world – and ended up with a book full of case studies from four continents (going back several millennia!).... Read more
Multilingual Families’ Language and Literacy Practices Survey
Multilingual Families’ Language and Literacy Practices During and After the #Covid-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has recently forced the UK government to take exceptional measures that include the closure of all schools from 23rd March 2020 until further notice. The Project investigates how beliefs and practices of language use in multilingual households in England will change during and after the social distancing measures imposed by the UK government during the COVID-19 pandemic. It uses an online survey to ask parents in multilingual households about their beliefs and current practices. The survey was launched in April 2020, and will be repeated in 6 months - ie at the end of social distancing measures – and again in April 2021. Read more...