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1 In the quest for greener pastures: Converting linguistic capital into economic capital 11th International Pragmatics Conference Melbourne, Australia.

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Presentation on theme: "1 In the quest for greener pastures: Converting linguistic capital into economic capital 11th International Pragmatics Conference Melbourne, Australia."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 In the quest for greener pastures: Converting linguistic capital into economic capital 11th International Pragmatics Conference Melbourne, Australia July 2009 Loy Lising Department of Linguistics

2 2 The Adult Migrant English Program national settlement program language tuition for functional English 510 hours Certificate in Spoken and Written English can do outcomes

3 3 AMEP Participation Migration stream Humanitarian83%88%87% Family66%67%73% Skill62%63%59% National71% 73%

4 4 English Proficiency and Settlement Cherry : Because the Australia speak English. Uhmhm. I I have no choice. I must to speak English. So that I can settlementing here. Hmm.

5 5 English Proficiency and Workplace Readiness Functional English assists migrants to settle successfully in Australia and provides the basic language skills necessary to deal with everyday social and some work situations in English. figures/amep-overview.htm

6 6 English Proficiency and Social Inclusion Imaan : Sometime when I go to the park. I speak English. With people yeah. Ahh in ahh in summer? I go to regular in the park and ahm meet people and speak English.

7 7 Language training and settlement success: are they related? DIAC-funded longitudinal study 152 participants across CSWE levels 112 females and 40 males 11 AMEP centres across Australia Multi-site ethnography

8 8 Data categories Profile Quarterly interviews Significant other interactions Out-of-campus interactions Out-of-class interactions Class observations Teaching materials Assessment portfolio

9 9 Research Questions What language trajectories do these participants have and how do they construct and position themselves in their new community? In what way do they think their English language learning experiences (in the AMEP) equip them for successful settlement? What are the implications of these experiences on the current form of delivery of the AMEP?

10 10 Guiding principles language is viewed as a form of symbolic capital (Bourdieu, 1991) learner invest in a second language, they do so with the understanding that they will acquire a wider range of symbolic and material resources, which will in turn increase the value of their cultural capital (Peirce, 1995) investment in the target language is also an investment in a learners own social identity… which is constantly changing across time and space (Peirce, 1995) employment is an important pathway to social inclusion… (Tilbury & Colic-Peisker, 2007)

11 11 Participants Profile CSWE level II average length of stay in Australia: 9 months months (min: 1; max: 28) AMEP centre in a multicultural middle-class neighbourhood in the Sydney metropolitan region 60% of the population of around 145,000 were born overseas a young population concentration of 20-39

12 12 Participants language trajectories ParticipantsProfessionL1 LiaVeterinary MedicineBahasa JohnnyChemical EngineerMandarin LilyC Traditional danceMandarin CherryC Traditional musicMandarin RevakaBachelor ArtsPunjabi HoganStructural EngineerMandarin KristinaTourismLithuanian MaryamHigh SchoolPersian VinnyDiploma in EducPunjabi

13 13 In what way do they think their English language learning experiences (in the AMEP) equip them for successful settlement?

14 14 5 modules in Speaking and Listening understanding of spoken information text short casual conversation on general topics negotiate a spoken transaction for goods/services short conversation involving a recount short interaction involving explanation

15 15 7 modules in Reading and Writing read a procedural text complete a formatted text write a recount read an informal letter read a narrative text write a formal letter involving explanation write a short opinion text

16 16 Symbolic and material gains attached to English learning (AMEP) social network (inclusion) workplace readiness access to services goals and aspirations validation of their English-speaking selves

17 17 Social network (inclusion) Lia : Now? About the uhm English ahh language. And, I have many friends now. Yeah. Uhm before I just ahm ahm s- at home? Alone? When my husband ahh go to work. And then stay at home. And maybe sometime I go out- outside. Linguistic capital Social capital

18 18 Workplace readiness Lily:Hm I think no because I think no. Thats why I finish this term I prepare ahm going to TAFE to keep study English. Continue study English. So maybe first ahh ahh finished one co- one term? If I feel my English is good. Maybe I try to found a job? Maybe I keep studying some course in TAFE but is anothers be- ano- another course is ahh uhm, is about some like the customer service. Linguistic capital Economic capital

19 19 Access to services Revaka: Yes, before sometime I I went to shopping centre, I I feel hesitate, I... I cant... I... I cant ask some how much this one, how much this one. Before... before... after the AMEP, I feel better, yes. And when I go to some... somewhere in shopping centre like a medical centre and bank. Yes, I can speak English very well and... I dont need any help in a bank, medical centre, shopping centre. Linguistic capital Participation

20 20 Goals and aspirations Lia: No I- I have a dream! Uhm. I want to have like a big ahm pet shop? Ahm. Maybe ahh I improve my language first. Revaka:And and the five years is because to improve my English first before I can have a business. Linguistic capital Economic capital

21 21 Validation of their English-speaking selves Kristina: Everything has changed, because now I'm feel more comfortable in Australia. I can do everything (chuckle). I can call to the appointment, everything... I can speak everyone and I... I... I dont... how to say? I'm not a... afraid like in first time. Linguistic capital Empowerment

22 22 Benchmarks for social inclusion Linguistic & Social capital ability to stay connected ability to negotiate the day to day independently having empowered selves and a validation of their English-speaking identities Economic capital ability to find work ability to plan for the future

23 23 What are the implications of these experiences on the current form of delivery of the AMEP?

24 24 Social network Johnny: Yes. I think... I think when I... when I was in... in the class, its... my English is better than now. Loss of social network Loss of linguistic capital

25 25 Workplace readiness Kristina:I want to work in tourism. Though my language is not good so- I need to wait. I think when I improve my language I can go to work. Continued access to a TL community is essential in constructing and maintaining their English speaking selves & imagined participation in the hostland.

26 26 Participants language trajectories ParticipantsProfessionL1 LiaVeterinary MedicineBahasa JohnnyChemical EngineerMandarin LilyC Traditional danceMandarin CherryC Traditional musicMandarin RevakaBachelor ArtsPunjabi HoganStructural EngineerMandarin KristinaTourismLithuanian MaryamHigh SchoolPersian VinnyDiploma in EducPunjabi

27 27 Role of AMEP towards social inclusion AMEP provides access for TL social network validation of their participation & their English- speaking identities Implications more hours learning English English language learning spread over a longer period of time

28 28 Kristina:Maybe because that... I feel more comfortable because of my English and I found new friends here and I have a job, not very good, but still its enough for me. And I have my future plans here and... because last time I didnt know what to do. Like maybe to do that, maybe to do that, or... I dont know. Maybe I will stay here, maybe I will go back, I like... like that, but now I'm (chuckles)...

29 29 Any questions?


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