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In today’s society, increased mobility has blurred previously existing linguistic and cultural borders, particularly in the educational context. Therefore, the topic of mobility in education is particularly relevant to the study of intercultural communication. It is also linguistically as well as culturally highly sensitive, as it touches upon social exclusion, segregation and discrimination. Schools across many western countries have experienced a dramatic rise in numbers of newcomer students. In contrast to earlier migration patterns, the present population of migrants is extremely diverse and the group is not well defined (European Commission, 2013). This inherent heterogeneity has forced academic scholars from different disciplines to reconsider their perspectives on education, taking into account this new situation. In this presentation, I will focus on one specific category of migrants, i.e. students with a refugee background. On the basis of an ethnographic study of this group, I will show how intercultural communication has imposed itself as a requirement with regard to the integration of these students in schools. Incited by an increasing appeal for support by many schools, documents from ministries of education around the world endorse social inclusion and propose local mediation between the refugee families and the schools. These efforts are both necessary and laudable. However, the question here is whether these policies are sufficiently informed on what is required to achieve optimal integration and social inclusion of refugee students in the local school (and social) environment. In the light of data gathered during my two latest research projects, I will argue for the need to re-problematize the notions of inclusion, exclusion, integration or segregation in education.

Emmanuelle Le Pichon-Vorstman

Emmanuelle Le Pichon-Vorstman

Head of the Centre de Recherches en Éducation Franco-Ontarienne (CRÉFO)

Previously, she has worked at the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication (tenured) and at the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, in the Netherlands. Since 2009, she has led several projects on the inclusion of minority students in education. Her keen interest in migration policy has led her to conduct research studies on issues related to multilingual education, particularly on the education of newly arrived migrant students in Europe and in Canada and indigenous students in Suriname (South America).

If you require accommodation, please contact the event host as soon as possible.
Date and time
Dec 10, 2020
12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Format and location
English, French
General public
Organized by
CCERBAL, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute