Article published in:Mediation Strategies
Edited by Anthony Pym
[Language Problems and Language Planning 42:3] 2018
► pp. 267–287
Language choices and practices of migrants in Germany
An interview study
The language uses of twenty migrants in Germany who have English in their language repertoires are investigated through semi-structured interviews and qualitative content analysis. The findings suggest that in occupation-related situations and daily life, these migrants resort to English in situations that are too difficult to handle in German. For most of them this is only temporary, before they have a sufficient command of German. Whether and how well migrants learn German depends on factors such as the planned length of stay, the demand for the language in their professional field, previous migration experiences, and personality. Most of the interviewees had taken language classes and were highly motivated to learn German, as English is not always a viable option for communication in Germany and because they considered proficiency in German a sign of respect. The use of German and English as a lingua franca were the two major mediation strategies, along with language technologies like Google Translate, while some interviewees reported successful use of intercomprehension.
Keywords: migration, German, English as a lingua franca, German, tertiary language didactics, language technology, intercomprehension
Published online: 28 June 2018
Adserà, Alícia & Mariola Pytliková
Bleakley, Hoyt & Aimee Chin
Bolton, Kingsley & Christiane Meierkord
Dustmann, Christian & Francesca Fabbri
2010 Making a career? The integration of highly skilled female migrants into the German job market. Paper for the APPAM International Conference Migration: A World in Motion A Multinational Conference on Migration and Migration Policy , Maastricht, February 18–20, 2010.
Heß, Barbara[ p. 285 ]
2009 Zuwanderung von Hochqualifizierten aus Drittstaaten nach Deutschland. Working Paper der Forschungsgruppe des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge 28, at https://goo.gl/LFkwH8 (February 13 2018)
Ożańska-Ponikwia, Katarzyna & Jean-Marc Dewaele
Rinke, Berit & Vogel, Dita
2014 Deutsche Bevölkerung nach Einschätzung zu den eigenen Englischkenntnissen von 2007 bis 2013 (in Millionen), at https://goo.gl/KcgXXq (February 13 2018).