Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Learning to be German: Immigration and language in Berlin


(Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin)

This study combines analysis of German immigration and integration policy with ethnographic research conducted in the integration courses outlined by these policies. The resulting research provides insight into language practice and ideology in a linguistically diverse community of practice, two centrally located Berlin Volkshochschulen . More specifically, this research expands on the relationship between immigration law, integration policy, and the language ideologies of the participants in the programs outlined by these official texts. Two sets of research methods are employed: critical discourse analysis and ethnography. The integration courses reinforce the barrier between German speakers and speakers of other languages, despite being designed to teach non-German speakers the language. Integration courses buttress the one-nation one-language ideal, reinforcing the connection between German as an ethnic identity and a language, while participants living in Berlin utilize diverse linguistic resources to navigate their multilingual reality.