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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/2736

Title: Minority languages learned informally - the social construction of language skills through the discourse of Ontario employers
Authors: Goldberg, Michelle P.
Corson, David
Keywords: power relations and social inequality in work and learning
adult education
Canada Natives
developed nations
discourse communities
employer attitudes
employment potential
indigenous populations
informal education
job skills
language attitudes
language minorities
native speakers
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT
Series/Report no.: NALL Working Paper;22
Abstract: Many immigrants, refugees, and aboriginal Canadians learn their own languages in the normal, informal way. These minority languages learned informally are not valued as a skill that yields returns in the labour market same way the official languages or formally learned languages do. The paper confirms that what counts as a skill in a society, in a given point in time, is the product of complex phenomenological, social, economic, ideological and political processes. Furthermore, the paper illustrates how discourse is key to this process of social and cultural reproduction. The discourse of Ontario employers socially constructs the definition of what counts as a skill in Ontario workplaces, and thus what warrants value in the labour market. The paper concludes that we need to be conscious of what definition of “skill” is endorsed in discourse and whose interests are being served by it (Authors' abstract)
URI: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/22minoritylang.pdf
Appears in Collections:Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW)

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