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Study information

Migration and Multilingualism

Module titleMigration and Multilingualism
Module codeSML3043
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor Francesco Goglia (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Around two-thirds of the world's migrant population is multilingual and due to migration a high level of linguistic diversity is now the norm in our society. In this module, you will explore the link between migration and languages, learn how migrant communities use and maintain their languages, as well as their attitudes and ideologies, through a wide variety of real-life case studies. 

You will be introduced to sociolinguistic concepts and means of analysis for the study of multilingualism in the context of migration. This module is interdisciplinary with no pre-requisites and will benefit students across language streams. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the link between migration and languages. The module will introduce sociolinguistic concepts and means of analysis for the study of multilingualism in the migration context.
  • You will learn how individual migrants or immigrant communities use their languages, how and why some languages are maintained, how the use of languages among migrants vary according to several factors such as different communicative situations, the migratory trajectory, speakers’ attitudes towards the languages and shared ideologies.

The module is interdisciplinary in nature and you will discuss a wide variety of case studies.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate understanding of the key sociolinguistic theoretical notions and concepts for the study of multilingualism and migration.
  • 2. Demonstrate the ability to identify extra-linguistic factors that influence the use of languages in the migratory context.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. With some guidance from the course tutor, evaluate and apply a range of sociolinguistic critical approaches to the material covered.
  • 4. Understand and use, in written contexts, a range of critical terms.
  • 5. Access and use critically printed and, where appropriate, electronic learning resources identified as useful by the course tutor(s), and, to a limited extent, discover other useful materials independently.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Develop an awareness of linguistic diversity based on engagement with a variety of readings and case studies.
  • 7. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Main concepts and approaches
  • Domains and communicative situations
  • Language maintenance and shift
  • Language and identity
  • Language and citizenship
  • Linguistic attitudes and ideologies
  • Macro-sociolinguistic situation – Census data
  • Immigrant languages and education
  • Migration trajectories and transnational communities

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1510 x 1.5 hour lectures and seminar
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Conclusion
Guided Independent Study134Private study and preparation for the seminars through reading and research

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan 750 words1-7Written and oral comments

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1003000 words1-7Written and oral comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-7Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Canagarajah, Suresh (Ed.). 2017. The Routledge Handbook of Migration and Language. New York/London: Routledge.
  • Coulmas, Florian. 2005. Sociolinguistics: the study of speakers’ choice. Cambridge: CUP. 
  • Extra, Guus and Kutlay YaÄ?mur. 2004. Urban multilingualism in Europe: immigrant minority languages at home and school. Multilingual Matters.
  • Márquez Reiter Rosina and Luisa Martín Rojo. 2015. A Sociolinguistics of Diaspora: Latino practices, identities and ideologies. New York/London: Routledge.
  • Peter Auer & Li Wei (Eds.) Handbook of Multilingualism and Multilingual Communication. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Mesthrie, Rajend, Swann, Joan, Deumert, Ana & Leap, William, L. 2010. Introducing sociolinguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Myers-Scotton, Carol.  2006.  Multiple Voices: an introduction to bilingualism.  Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Pauwels, A. 2016. Language Maintenance and Shift. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Wardhaugh, Ronald. 2010. An introduction to Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Key words search

Multilingualism, Migration, Immigrant Languages, Identity, Language Maintenance, Linguistic Attitudes, Language Ideologies

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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