ERIC Number: ED460284
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Minority Languages Learned Informally: The Social Construction of Language Skills through the Discourse of Ontario Employers. NALL Working Paper.
Goldberg, Michelle; Corson, David
Many immigrants, refugees, and aboriginal Canadians learn their own languages in the normal, informal way. These minority languages learned informally are not valued as a skill that yields returns in the labor market in the same way the official languages or formally learned languages do. What counts as a skill in a society, in a given point in time, is the product of complex phenomenological, social, economic, ideological, and political processes. Discourse is key to this process of social and cultural reproduction. The discourse of Ontario employers socially constructs the definition of what counts as a skill in Ontario workplaces and thus what warrants value in the labor market. The notion of skill is a construction that is socially created and hence changeable. If we want to change the unjust situation that affects the speakers of minority languages, we need to change the discourse surrounding minority languages to one that truly values minority languages as skills worth conserving, maintaining, and putting to use. (Contains 18 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Bilingualism, Canada Natives, Developed Nations, Discourse Communities, Employer Attitudes, Employment Potential, Foreign Countries, Immigrants, Indigenous Populations, Informal Education, Job Skills, Language Attitudes, Language Minorities, Native Speakers, Refugees
For full text: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/22minorityla ng.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto. New Approaches to Lifelong Learning.
Identifiers - Location: Canada