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European level: Court cases about language problems

National level: Language, migration and work in Germany and the Czech Republic

Regional level: Language use of multinational companies 


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Scope of Study

For the study "Multilingualism amongst minority populations: a case of trans-cultural capital or social exclusion", researchers concentrated on Vietnamese immigrants in the Czech Republic and Francophone African immigrants in Germany.

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5th Issue, October 2009

Language Competence of Immigrants: Neither Appreciated Nor Advanced

It is a common belief that people with lacking language skills risk getting low-level jobs. However, LINEE researchers showed that the relation works the other way round, too: some low-level jobs need no sophisticated language skills, and therefore migrants doing these jobs have difficulties with improving their language competence and lack the motivation to do so.

LINEE researchers investigated two groups of migrants: Vietnamese immigrants in the Czech Republic and African immigrants in Germany. The two groups have a very different status in their host countries. On the one hand, the Vietnamese in the Czech Republic are an established community with a relatively secure residency status. Some of these immigrants started with little businesses in the Czech Republic, became rich and then formed larger companies, providing business opportunities, language services and jobs for many more compatriots. On the other hand, the sample of francophone African immigrants in Germany suffered from isolation and insecurity of residency as part of their refugee status.

next page: lack of jobs for African migrants


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