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M. Termote - Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration

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Integration: knowing, measuring, evaluating 17-18 giugno 2013

Integration: knowing, measuring, evaluating 17-18 giugno 2013

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  • 1. Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration Marc Termote Département de démographie, Université de Montréal Office québécois de la langue française
  • 2. Four steps 1. Methodological problems 2. Defining linguistic indicators 3. Empirical results 4. Policy implications Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 3. 1. Methodological problems (1)  Linguistic integration determines the whole integration process  Language is more than a means of communication : it is also the expression of a culture, of an identity  A multiplicity of indicators needed for analyzing a complex multidimensional process Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 4. 1. Methodological problems (2)  The usual linguistic life history provides the basis for a set of indicators : - Mother tongue - Language spoken at home - Language used during schooling - Languages « known » - Language used at work - Language used for shopping - Language used for social and cultural activities process Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 5. 1. Methodological problems (3)  For most individuels and in most societies : - same language all over the linguistic trajectory - no distinction between private use and public use Exceptions: - plurilingual societies (but : jus soli …) - immigrants Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 6. 1. Methodological problems (4)  For most immigrants : need to distinguish private space and public space (exception : those using already the language of the country of immigration) BUT - Distinction between private and public is not clear - Interaction between language used in private and language used in public Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 7. 1. Methodological problems (5)  Multiplicity of linguistic indicators, particularly for language used in public space  Favouring a particular indicator is highly questionable  Need to combine various indicators in order to measure linguistic integration Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 8. 2. Defining linguistic indicators (1)  Mother tongue: first learned at home in childhood (and still understood ?)  Language spoken at home: - « most often » (thus: one single answer …) - others, on a « regular » basis  Languages « known » : how to define « knowledge of a language » ? « speak well enough to conduct a conversation » ? Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 9. 2. Defining linguistic indicators (2)  Language spoken : combining the 3 previous indicators (Statistics Canada) – transition between private and public use  Language at school : in most cases, no choice  Language at work : complex and multiple - written/oral - type of activity - hierarchical level Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 10. 2. Defining linguistic indicators (3)  Language used for shopping : very complex - public notices, welcoming, service - location - type of commercial activity - frequency  Language used for socio-cultural activities : - private/public ? - multiple and varying Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 11. 2. Defining linguistic indicators (4) Summarizing :  Private language : relatively less complex; if one indicator to be favoured : language spoken at home (mother tongue of children)  Public language : very complex, no indicator to be favoured, need for surveys Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 12. 2. Defining linguistic indicators (5) Measuring linguistic integration :  Usual way : combining mother tongue and language spoken at home, but limited to private language, and : when, where ?  Extreme difficulty to measure integration with respect to public language (but significance ?) Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 13. 3. Empirical results (1)  Few immigrants abandon their mother tongue at home - ex Canada : 45 % over life time - Canada, USA : 2d-3d generation  Over one year, after immigration : 1-2 % (estim. Canada by following imm. cohort)  Almost no substitution after age 40 (mean age of immigrants : 27-30) Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 14. 3. Empirical results (2)  Most linguistic substitutions at ages 5-14 (role of schooling)  First years on labor market and exogamy are crucial in « fixing » substitution due to schooling  Linguistic substitutions take a lot of time  Linguistic mobility of immigrants has marginal impact on linguistic composition of population Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 15. 3. Empirical results (3)  A set of 5 multistate projection experiences (Termote, 1988-2011) : all scenarios produce continuing decline of French in Quebec and English in Rest of Canada, and very fast increase of « other » languages - Note: Montreal Island (⅟4 Quebec pop.) 2011 : French 48,5 % mother tongue, 53,0 % home language. Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 16. 4. Policy implications (1)  Policy measures may intervene only on language used in public space  Most language substitutions in public space (schooling, working, shopping in language of immigration country) are « forced » : is this « linguistic integration » ? Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 17. 4. Policy implications (2)  Immigrants’ linguistic behavior in public space may lead to substitution in private space, but after a lot of time (2-3 generations)  In the long run, crucial role of language spoken at home (intergenerational transfers) Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 18. 4. Policy implications (3)  Dominant role of demographic behavior in determining the future linguistic composition of a population  Therefore, invest in data and analysis of fertility and migration (internal and international) of immigrant groups (demolinguistics) Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 19. 4. Policy implications (4)  Need to take into account the spatial dimension : immigrants are concentrated in a few major metropolitan areas  In these areas, increasing gap between language used in private space and language used in public space Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 20. 4. Policy implications (5)  If immigration policy based mainly on humanitarian objectives (family reunification, refugees): cumulative process favouring decline of national language  Difficult to select immigrants « knowing » language of the immigration country (illegals…) Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 21. 4. Policy implications (6) Final conclusion We have to accept that: (1) linguistic integration, and therefore integration as a whole, is a very slow, difficult and multidimensional process (2) policy measures to accelerate the process have a limited efficiency. Measuring and analyzing immigrants’ linguistic integration | Marc Termote | Rome 17 - 18 June 2013
  • 22. G R A Z I E !

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