Talking About Global Migration: Implications for Language Teaching

Author: Theresa Catalano

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How do migrants describe themselves and their experiences? As the world faces a migration crisis, there is an enhanced need for educational responses to the linguistic and cultural diversity of student bodies, and for consideration of migrant students at all levels of the curriculum. This book explores the stories of over 70 migrants from 41 countries around the world and examines the language they use when talking about their move to a new country and their experiences there. The book interprets common themes from the stories using metaphor and metonymy analysis to lead to more nuanced understandings of migration that have implications for language teachers. The stories also dispel many stereotypes relating to migration, serving as a reminder to us all to consider our own language when talking about this complex subject.

The 'settled' - the teachers, administrators, and others who shape schools and school systems - will better welcome the globally mobile if they understand how those mobile children and parents make sense of their movement. Weaving together 77 migrants' accounts here, Catalano masterfully shares key ideas to support this 'better welcome.'

Edmund 'Ted' Hamann, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

This extraordinary and very accessible book, based on the theme of social justice, offers vivid accounts of the diverse and complex lived experiences of migrants around the world through their own voices, rather than media accounts. Theresa Catalano masterfully analyzes their fascinating stories using metaphor and metonymy and provides original, pragmatic suggestions for teachers educating migrant children.

Linda R. Waugh, University of Arizona, USA

Catalano's research empowers me as a bilingual educator to defend my students' educational rights, while promoting a positive immigrant discourse within the classroom [...] [She] puts forth various educator suggestions and resources to alleviate some of the challenges migrant students face during their adjustment. The personal accounts in Talking about Global Migration create a true sense of compassion and understanding for the personal struggles and successes of fellow world citizens.

Educational Review 2019, Vol. 71, No. 5

Beyond a call to critically examine media discourses that stereotype migrants, Catalano calls teachers and researchers alike to learn from the stories migrants tell about themselves. Catalano succeeds in inviting her readers into a timely and much needed discussion of how researchers and educators understand, talk about, and meet the educational needs of migrant students.

Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 16:6

Theresa Catalano is Assistant Professor of Second Language Education/Applied Linguistics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. Theresa is also co-director of the Master's degree (and dual certification) in language teaching and acquisition (MAlta). She has published in a wide range of journals in the field including the Journal of Language, Identity and Education, the Journal of Latinos and Education, Teaching and Teacher Education and Critical Discourse Studies


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Terminology and Types of Migrants

Chapter 3: What are Metaphor and Metonymy?

Chapter 4: Media Discourse and Migrants


Chapter 5: Adventure Migrants

Chapter 6: Refugee/Asylum Seekers

Chapter 7: Family-Reunion/Child Migrants

Chapter 8: Economic Migrants

Chapter 9: Third Culture Kids (TCKs)

Chapter 10: Love and/or Marriage Migrants


Chapter 11: Summary of Dominant Metaphors/Metonymies in the Stories

Chapter 12: Media Discourse vs. Migrant Discourse


Chapter 13: Conclusion and Future Directions


Appendix A: Methodology

Appendix B: Resources

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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