Multilingualism at Work: International Talents, Mismatched Language Skills and Workplace Communication

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2023

Project

The Lang@Work project develops inclusive working practices for international educators and professional training. We adapt the framework of TRANSLANGUAGING to working life context, allowing all participants of the education process to use several languages in communication. Translanguaging ensures that learning and teaching is enriched via more active interaction and better understanding of any topic. Our vision is to end the problem of having 'mismatched language skills'.

Funder(s)

Main funder

Opetushallitus: Erasmus+

Multilingualism at Work: International Talents, Mismatched Language Skills and Workplace Communication funder logo

Organization

Karelian Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

The ability to communicate efficiently with other people is a key professional skill. Communication skills are also essential to create a positive  environment for productive teamwork. Professional  knowledge and skills are often ignored if a person in front of the interviewer cannot demonstrate proficiency in the organization’s “working” language. Therefore, individuals with limited (that is mismatched) linguistic repertoires are disadvantaged in the labour market, even though they may have the necessary skills to do the same job in another linguistic context.

The Lang@Work project develops inclusive working practices for international educators and professional training. We aim at facilitating the entry of linguistically vulnerable young people from into the labour market, and through this, their integration with the society. We also target those who decide whom to hire, assuming that their reluctance stems from a lack of skills. TRANSLANGUAGING is a practical tool that allows all participants of the
education process to use several languages. Translanguaging ensures that learning and teaching is enriched via more active interaction and better understanding of any topic.

The Lang@Work project will adapt the method of pedagogical translanguaging to working life contexts. Focusing on education as a workplace, the project helps re-frame the position of an educator as a learner. By shifting the narrative about what it means to be “fluent”, the project seeks to challenge the culture of ‘nativespeakerism’, which strictly regulates who can pass as “one of us”. The project thus brings the principles of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DEI) to the education sector.

The project will produce the following open-source results:

  1. Research Paper
    We will collect insights from unemployed/underemployed educators, the administrative personnel and management (aka decision makers) and migrant integration counsellors to understand the nature and dynamic of linguistic insecurity in a multilingual workplace.
  2. Career Guidance e-Toolkit for International Talents
    We will collect and test practices that help bring down language barriers.
  3. e-Handbook
    The handbook will help the hiring decision makers to better understand the translanguaging approach in education. It will present findings from all case studies.
  4. e-Course
    The result will popularize translanguaging and multilingualism in an accessible form for non-expert audiences, including youth.These results are complementary but each is tailored to the needs of a specific target group. Therefore, our results offer a comprehensive approach to understanding multilingualism and supporting communication across mismatched language skills.

Keywords

Time period

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2023

Group members - UEF

Cooperation partners

Links

Files