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"Language barrier" in UK newspapers 2010-2020: Figurative meaning, migration, and language needs

Federici, F; (2020) "Language barrier" in UK newspapers 2010-2020: Figurative meaning, migration, and language needs. Cultus: the journal of intercultural mediation and communication , 13 pp. 194-219. Green open access

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Abstract

This article investigates the use of the expression “language barrier” in online and printed newspapers in the United Kingdom between 2010 and 2020. The analysis focuses on occurrences published in news items dealing with migration and language needs in multilingual UK contexts. The usage of the expression is discussed referring to policies addressing language needs of long-term and recent culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Language policy changes in the UK over the same period indicate an adoption of progressively negative connotations of the concept of “language barrier”, which reshaped language provision thus creating vulnerabilities for CALD communities. Being able to access information in a language that is understood in crisis settings relies on language policies recognising the linguistic diversity of the local population and accepting the need for language service provision for transient resident and/or recent arrivals in a country. The study focuses on the parallel between an increased frequency of use of the term in the UK media and a gradual dismantling of language service provision for the country’s CALD communities. Mapping the usage of “language barrier” leads the article to reflect on the politicization of the discourse on multilingualism, as historically the UK pursued ever stricter migration policies, leading to policy-making choices that risk increasing societal vulnerability.

Type: Article
Title: "Language barrier" in UK newspapers 2010-2020: Figurative meaning, migration, and language needs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.cultusjournal.com/files/Archives/Feder...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: language policies, integration policies, multilingual preparedness, figurative language, migration
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS > Translation Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119057
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