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Language learning as psycho-social support: translanguaging space as safe space in superdiverse refugee settings

Capstick, T. (2020) Language learning as psycho-social support: translanguaging space as safe space in superdiverse refugee settings. Applied Linguistics Review, 11 (4). pp. 701-726. ISSN 1868-6311

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1515/applirev-2018-0036


This paper explores language learning for displaced people in the countries bordering Syria and attempts to establish a link between the concept of translanguaging and the concept of safe spaces used by NGOs. The paper uses the term ‘displaced people’ as it is this feature of being dis-placed that the paper seeks to explore through the lens of superdiversity and its connections to spaces for translanguaging. The concept of superdiversity helps us understand the stratification and multiplication of the processes and effects of migration which lead to heightened complexity, while the concept of translanguaging has been incorporated into this heuristic to help understand how people communicate in these superdiverse settings. The main finding is that monolingual ideologies of language learning pervade the safe spaces which one NGO provides, though the aim is not to single out this one NGO for criticism when the majority of NGOs visited orient to similar monolingual outlooks which disregard home languages at a time when vulnerable adults, adolescents and children need to draw on all of the language resources in their repertoires to make sense of their new surroundings.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:88392
Publisher:De Gruyter


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