Language, migration and social wellbeing
A narrative inquiry into the lives of low English proficiency Bangladeshi migrants in Australia
This article explores language experiences of three Bangladeshi migrant workers with low English proficiency in Australia through narrative inquiry. The narrative of each participant presents insights into the ways in which these migrants navigated through their work and social life, and developed social and communicative strategies to survive in the host country where English is the dominant language. Analyses of the narratives suggest that despite their limited English proficiency, these migrant workers were able to find ways to contribute to the host society and they felt satisfied with their lives in Australia. Although not generalisable, the findings call for taking a critical look at the prevailing assumption that without English language proficiency migrants cannot enjoy a successful life or ensure their social and economic wellbeing in the host society. At the same time, there needs to be a greater recognition of the role of migrants’ first languages in the new society. We also argue that instead of taking a generalised view of ‘success’ and ‘wellbeing’, taking a differentiated view may be warranted and this may require taking into account migrants’ individual circumstances and their desires and expectations in relation to their social origins.
Keywords: Bangladeshi migrants in Australia, Language experiences in migrant society, Language and migration, community languages, English Language proficiency, social and economic wellbeing
Published online: 02 December 2016
Amit, K., & Litwin, H.
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Bak-Klimek, A., Karatzias, T., Elliott, L., & Maclean, R.
Barkhuizen, G., & Hacker, P.
Chiswick, B. R., & Miller, P. W.
Chiswick, B. R., Lee, Y. L., & Miller, P. W.
Colic-Peisker, V., & Tilbury, F.
Collins, P. H.
Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J.
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E.
Eck, D. L.
Fozdar, F., & Torezani, S.
The International Wellbeing Group
Judge, T. A., & Watanabe, S.
Kvale, S., & Brinkmann, S.
Major, G., Terraschke, A., Major, E., & Setijadi, C.
Mazzei, L. A., & Jackson, A. Y.
Miller, E. R.
Mishler, E. G.
Musgrave, S., & Bradshaw, J.
Nawyn, S. J., Gjokaj, L., Agbenyiga, D. L., & Grace, B.
O’ Malley, J., & Chamot, A.
Oxford, R. L.
Piller, I., & Lising, L.
Piller, I., & Takahashi, K.
Reis, D. S.
Tubergen, F. V., & Kalmijn, M.
United Nations Development Programme
Visser, S. S., Bailey, A., & Meijering, L.
Warriner, D. S.
Yates, L., & Major, G.
Cited by other publications
Doan, Linh Dieu & M. Obaidul Hamid
Hamid, M. Obaidul, Ngoc T. H. Hoang & Andy Kirkpatrick
Petreñas, Cristina, Adelina Ianos, Clara Sansó & Ángel Huguet
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 28 november 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.