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Language, Immigration and Naturalization

Language, Immigration and Naturalization

Ariel Loring | Prof. Vaidehi Ramanathan


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This volume focuses on the everyday legalities and practicalities of naturalization including governmental processes, the language of citizenship tests and classes, the labelling and lived experiences of immigrants/outsiders and the media’s interpretation of this process. The book brings together scholars from a wide range of specialities who accentuate language and raise issues that often remain unarticulated or masked in the media. The contributors highlight how governmental policies and practices affect native-born citizens and residents differently on the basis of legal status. Furthermore, the authors observe that many issues that are typically seen as affecting immigrants (such as language policies, nationalist identities and feelings of belonging) also impact first-generation native-born citizens who are seen as, or see themselves as, outsiders.

The studies in this book offer valuable insights into issues of belonging
and (dis-)citizenship.

Neda Salahshour, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Ariel Loring received her PhD in linguistics from University of California, Davis, USA and is now affiliated with UC Davis and California State University, Sacramento, USA. Her interest areas include language policy, language ideologies, discourse analysis, citizenship, immigration and naturalization.

Vaidehi Ramanathan is Professor of Applied Sociolinguistics at University of California, Davis, USA. Her previous publications include Language Policies and (Dis)Citizenship: Rights, Access, Pedagogies (Multilingual Matters, 2013) and Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities (Multilingual Matters, 2009).

As citizenship becomes geopolitically charged, contemporary definitions must resolve tensions between participation and inclusion, and community and legality, in the context of transnationalism and mobility. As these tensions are often negotiated through language in everyday life, this book brings a much-needed linguistic focus on institutions, communities, and classrooms in diverse geographical locations.

This book presents a much-needed challenge to the established binary of the immigrant and the settled population, and to banal discourses of integration and social cohesion, as well as adding weight to arguments for dissociating citizenship from legal status: language policies, national identities and feelings of belonging affect all citizens and would-be citizens, settled populations as well as new arrivals.

James Simpson, University of Leeds, UK

All contributions in this volume work very well together to provide the reader with substantial information regarding the investigated topics, as well as a rigorous elaboration of the key concepts that this volume deals with (...) This volume represents a significant contribution to rigorous scientific research focusing on both the legal and social implications of the interplay between language, immigration, citizenship, and naturalization.

Sanja Škifić, University of Zadar, Croatia

Discussing in great detail the clever and delicate interplay of the desired, the feared, the imaginary and the legally enforced, this book exposes the use and abuse of linguistic and discursive border control in immigration and citizenship. It builds on decades of scholarship on similar techniques elsewhere, fuses them with fundamental reflections on modernist notions of citizenship, and offers us the most advanced statements on record.

Language, Immigration and Naturalization is topical, thoughtprovoking, and immaculately edited; it stands as a collection of important ideas and methods
investigating language and citizenship and will be an excellent addition to a range of classes for years to come, in addition to being essential in its own right as a collection of scholarship on this important subject.

Emily Moline, University of California, Davis, USA

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Contents v
Contributors vii
Acknowledgements xi
1 Introduction: Language, Immigration and Naturalization: Legal and Linguistic Issues 1
Part 1 Policies 25
2 The Value(s) of US Citizenship: An Analysis of the English Writing Test for Naturalization Applicants 27
3 The Journey to US Citizenship: Interviews with Iraqi Refugees 56
Part 2 Pedagogies 77
4 ‘The ELD Classes Are … Too Much and We Need to Take Other Classes to Graduate’: Arizona’s Restrictive Language Policy and the Dis-Citizenship of ELs 79
5 Local, Foreign and In-Between: English Teachers and Students Creating Community and Becoming Global ‘Citizens’ at a Chinese University 101
6 Language and Body in Concert: A Multimodal Analysis of Teacher Feedback in an Adult Citizenship Classroom 121
Part 3 Discourses 143
7 ‘You Are Part of Where You’re From and a Part of Where You’re Born’: Youths’ Citizenship and Identity in America 145
8 Reinforcing Belonging and Difference Through Neighborhood Gentrification Projects in Rotterdam, the Netherlands 164
9 Ideologies and Collocations of ‘Citizenship’ in MediaDiscourse: A Corpus-Based Critical Discourse Analysis 184
Afterword 207
Index 210