Multilingualism, translation, interpreting and linguistic inequality

Translation and multilingualism in reception centers; translation in public health care

Adjusting Multilingual Information provision on Communication needs in Asylum reception (AMICA)

Description: The project aims to gain a better understanding of the communication needs of applicants for international protection in the reception network, and use these insights to develop a more targeted multilingual information service for this target group. The project focuses on the intake phase of applicants with a vulnerable linguistic profile. On the basis of ethnographic field research, the project aims to develop a multilingual website (audio and video) in order to better attune the provision of information to the language needs of this target group.
Promoter(s): Katrijn Maryns , July De Wilde
Researcher(s): Aline Guaus
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2019 - 2022

Developing an EU web-portal for video-remote public service interpreting for third-country nationals (EU-WEBPSI)

Description: EUWEBPSI aims to develop and test an innovative EU-wide WEB portal for information exchange and online collaboration between stakeholders involved in providing and using quality webcam public service interpreting. EUWEBPSI wants to tackle a double challenge: (1) the lack of a unified framework of minimal standards for PSI services leads to unequal access to basic services across the EU and across types of public services; (2) the mismatch between interpreter supply/demand requires more flexible solutions to enhance interpreting capacity, in particular in situations of urgency and for languages of lesser diffusion (LLDs). EU-WEBPSI is an EU-AMIF project with partners from Belgium (PI), UK, Austria, Greece and France.
Promoter(s): Katrijn Maryns , July De Wilde
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2022 - 2025

Language and guardianship: A sociolinguistic ethnography of the multilingual resources and strategies used in the guidance trajectory of unaccompanied refugee minors

Description: Multilingualism plays a critical role in asylum and refugee encounters. Often, migrants and refugees have a hard time expressing themselves because they do not get adequate language support. So far, research has focused on the multilingual challenges of adult migrants and refugees, but little attention has been paid to communication with unaccompanied refugee minors (UAM). This research project aims to fill this gap through a sociolinguistic ethnography of how linguistic diversity is managed in the guidance trajectory of UAM, focusing on the interaction between UAM and legal guardians. More specifically, the project will examine the multilingual strategies selected by UAM and their guardians and their impact on (a) disclosure and performance of personal experiences, (b) negotiation of complex procedural knowledge and (c) building of a relationship of trust, with a view to increasing knowledge of the interactional management of these encounters and an improved guidance and care of UAM.
Promoter(s): Katrijn Maryns , Ilse Derluyn , Floor Verhaeghe
Researcher(s): Lotte Remue
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2022 - 2026

Language barriers and multilingualism in sexual and reproductive healthcare: A linguistic ethnography of an abortion clinic

Description: This PhD project comprises a linguistic ethnographic study of an abortion clinic in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. The aim is to obtain insights into the various ways multilingualism and language barriers come into play in this particular setting. In doing so, it looks at the use of (non-professional) interpreters and their performances during abortion consultations, and the use of other strategies (e.g. Google Translate, multilingual websites, linguae francae), while also taking into account institutional language policies, discourses, translation practices, and viewpoints on linguistic diversity. The project seeks to gain understanding of the discursive and interactional nature of multilingual abortion consultations, as well as to examine the various ways in which language in the clinic is connected with access to information and services.
Promoter(s): July De Wilde
Researcher(s): Ella van Hest
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2019 - 2023

Multilingualism in Secondary Education in Flanders: The Dynamics of Language Policy

Description: In many countries, global mobility and migration create a more diverse society. This shift in population also reflects in schools. However, pupils have great diversity in terms of ethnicity, talents, beliefs, and language skills; we see that Flemish schools still apply a monolingual language policy. Whereby Dutch is considered to be the standard language of instruction. Many Flemish schools completely ban the home language of pupils. This study aims to look at the school's language policy dynamics and how they influence each other (micro-, meso- and macro-level). During this ethnographic research, an intervention takes place, 2 classes of a Flemish secondary school are observed, interviews are conducted with teachers, pupils, management, and language teachers throughout the different phases of the research. This research aims to investigate how teachers' perceptions, attitudes, behaviors towards multilingualism change in the classroom after they implement FML in their own classroom.
Website research project: https://research.flw.ugent.be/en/projects/multilingualism-secondary-education-flanders-dynamics-language-policy
Promoter(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Maxime Van Raemdonck
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2019 - 2023

PRO-M: Promoting Early Multilingualism in Childhood and Childcare

Description: Although language diversity poses short-term challenges, early multilingualism and multi-literacy come with great benefits, at least, when it is correctly supported. Currently, many language minority (LM) families are distressed about language issues and many early childhood (EC) professionals (such as parenting advisors and childcare staff) feel insecure in their approach toward LM families. This project aims to transform this societal problem by promoting early multilingualism and multi-literacy in childhood and childcare in Flanders. In the first phase of the project, large-scale data and small-scale will be collected. This will generate critical insights about the needs of LM families and competencies of EC professionals. In the second phase, this knowledge will be integrated into five valorisation applications that will address the broad field of EC professionals.
Website research project: https://research.flw.ugent.be/en/projects/pro-m-promoting-early-multilingualism-childhood-and-childcare
Promoter(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Victoria Van Oss
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2018 - 2022

Video-remote interpreting in the Fedasil reception network

Description: Since the COVID-19 crisis, the demand for remote interpreting in reception centres has become particularly acute. To respond to this demand, this action-research project analyses the institutional and organisational challenges of remote interpreting, and more specifically webcam interpreting in the Fedasil reception network. Based on a thorough context analysis, a pilot project is carried out in a selection of reception centres in order to develop and test an innovative method for video-remote interpreting in the reception network. The implementation of this pilot project is accompanied by the development of an (online) training module and script for video-remote interpreting for service providers in the reception network.
Promoter(s): Katrijn Maryns , July De Wilde
Researcher(s): Marie Gijsels
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2021 - 2022