I’ve been wondering what would be an appropriate Christmas post for the Language on the Move blog. Seeing that I’m deeply skeptical about all those claims about the wonderful advantages of bilingualism, a good news story à la “bilingualism helps to ward off dementia” was never going to be an option. That’s when the first issue of Encounters came my way. Encounters is published at Zayed University and dedicated to seeking a critical understanding of the transcultural and transnational factors that shape encounters of cultures, intellectual traditions, and social and political systems across space and time. While the first issue doesn’t have anything to say about the role of language in transcultural and transnational encounters (yet!), I’m sure “multilingualism” will make an excellent special issue topic sometime soon. No, the article that touched my heart and is a fitting illustration of language and communication on the move during a season when many people around the world remember Mary’s and Joseph’s search for shelter is one about children caught between Africa and Europe and neither having a space here nor there. Abdelmajid Hannoum’s ethnography with the harraga of Tangier provides both a revealing account of the forgotten children of globalization and does so in a beautifully code-meshed language where the Arabic comes alive in the English.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)