New speakers as workers

WG 3 is concerned with new speakers as workers and offers a perspective on this notion through the lenses of work activities and professional mobilities. The category workers can include various categories of people (indigenous speakers, immigrant workers, monolingual workers, mobile workers etc.) who have in common to learn and practice languages, that are not their primary ones, in relation to work. We believe that the focus on workers helps to question what becomes a desirable language to learn in regard to job access and professional mobility, what languages might be considered as dangerous, what competence/skill is expected in order to do what, what is the importance of work in the life of new speakers, what roles new speakers specifically fill in the contemporary workplace, and the ways in which their language skills are (de)valorized and (mis)recognized or not in contemporary workplaces. In the end this WG also aims to complexify the notion of new speakers, by taking into account the ways in which categories like majority speakers, indigenous speakers and immigrant speakers are articulated into other forms of social categories, like, for instance, workers.

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Alexandre Duchêne

Sari Pietikäinen