Sociolinguistics of Immigration – success

Jane Andrews (University of the West of England, UK) +
Sari Pöyhönen (Jyväskylä University, Finland) +
Richard Fay (The University of Manchester, UK) +
Mirja Tarnanen (Jyväskylä University, Finland)

“Researching multilingually – exploring emerging linguistic practices in migrant contexts”

Keywords: multilingualism, knowledge construction, linguistic practices

Sociolinguistic research practice in the era of globalisation, complexity and demographic shift is bound to bring more sensitivity towards and knowledge of language ideologies and linguistic practices during research processes, both from the participants’ and researchers’ point of view (Martin-Jones et al. 2012). Reflections on research in multilingual teams (e.g. Blackledge & Creese 2010) have focused on how different voices of participants or members of a multilingual team can be incorporated into research vignettes. Researcher reflexivity encourages us to take account how researchers’ own linguistic repertoires are shaped by their histories, including their disciplinary and professional backgrounds, educational and migration trajectories. Such linguistic practices may involve demonstrating what Phipps (2013) calls researcher ‘linguistic incompetence’ in communication in contexts of migration and also Canagarajah’s concept of translingual practice (2013) where linguistic flexibility is deemed a valuable resource.

This paper explores co-constructing knowledge and experience in multilingual research teams and the ways in which linguistic practices emerge, are negotiated and interpreted. We draw on examples from team work at borders: in migration, legal and global mental health contexts. We reflect on what resulted when an explicit language dimension was built into the research process, an attention to ‘researching multilingually’ (Holmes, Fay, Andrews & Attia, 2013), and what kinds of new concepts were needed in order to capture the linguistic practices in the teams. The paper also discusses the possible tensions between multilingual practices and monolingual norms held by participants (see, e.g. Tarnanen, Rynkänen & Pöyhönen, 2015).

The presentation brings together insights from two multidisciplinary research projects: Researching Multilingually at Borders and Transforming Professional Integration. The Researching Multilingually at Borders project conducts international comparative research on translation and interpretation at different kinds of border in order to develop theory, ethical research practices and research methodologies in relation to multilingual research. The Transforming Professional Integration project critically re-assesses the roles and interplay of language proficiency, multilingual and multicultural practices and identities in working age migrants’ integration to work and professional communities in Finland.

Blackledge, A. & Creese, A. 2010. Multilingualism. A Critical Perspective. London: Continuum.
Canagarah, S. (2013). Translingual practice: Global Englishes and cosmopolitan relations. London: Routledge.
Holmes, P., Fay, R., Andrews, J. and Attia, M. (2013). Researching multilingually: New theoretical and methodological directions, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 23(3): 285–299
Martin-Jones, M., Blackledge, A. and Creese, A. (2012) Introduction: a sociolinguistics of multilingualism for our times. In M. Martin-Jones, A. Blackledge and A. Creese (eds.) Handbook of multilingualism. London: Routledge.
Phipps, A. (2013) Linguistic incompetence: Giving an account of researching multilingually in International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 23/3 329-341
Tarnanen, M., Rynkänen, T., & Pöyhönen, S. (2015). Kielten käyttö ja oppiminen aikuisten maahanmuuttajien integroitumisen ja identiteettien rakennusaineina. In T. Jakonen, J. Jalkanen, T. Paakkinen, & M. Suni (Eds.), Kielen oppimisen virtauksia. Flows of langugage learning (pp. 56-72). Suomen soveltavan kielitieteen yhdistyksen julkaisuja (73). Jyväskylä, Finland: Suomen soveltavan kielitieteen yhdistys. Retrieved from


2nd Conference on the “Sociolinguistics of immigration” will be held in Rapallo (Italy) in September, 22-23, 2016.
The aim of the Conference is to focus on epistemological and methodological continuities and discontinuities in the sociolinguistics of immigration.

Several new approaches have begun to emerge in the last few years: translingualism, polylanguaging, truncated repertoires, crossing metrolingualism.

Two main processes have contributed to this change: the epistemological orientation towards postmodernist and critical social theories within sociolinguistics as well as applied linguistics, linguistic anthropology and related disciplines and globalization.
The focus of attention of the 2nd International Conference of the Sociolinguistics of Immigration is to explore these research orientations, whilst also aiming to critically discuss these and any (dis)continuities and/or potential links between “old” and “new” orientations.

I am delighted to announce that the confirmed plenary speakers are: A. Creese and A. Blackledge (University of Birmingham) and M. Hundt (University of Zürich).

Abstract Submission
Each abstract should not exceed 500 words (incl. at least four keywords and references). Text should be justified and single-spaced (font size: Times New Roman 12pt).
Name, affiliation, and e-mail address should be on separate first page of the electronic copy.
Every individual presentation will last 20 minutes (plus 10 minutes for discussion and questions).

Important dates
The abstract submission period opens on October 20, 2015.
Abstracts can be submitted until January 20, 2016 and sent as a word attachment to
Confirmation of acceptance: February 20, 2016.
Registration for the conference starts on October 20, 2015 and closes on March 20, 2016.
Conference dates: September 22-23, 2016 .

Further details on the conference can be found at:

Gerardo Mazzaferro
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature and Modern Cultures
University of Turin (Italy)
Via S. Ottavio, 20
10124 Turin (Italy)
Office 0039-011-67032284


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