Minoritised languages: a substantial tool for labour integration
We will begin this section by considering a language with a value inherent to its use. We can therefore consider that language is a channel that facilitates people’s development of their cognitive and emotional abilities, provides elements of collective identity and encourages communication and socialization. That is why agents are willing to devote time and resources to learning a language; and, on the contrary, they consider the inability to access speech to be a costly handicap.
In language communities where a dominant language prevails, communicative action is characterised by the fact that the language enjoys sufficiency and thus power over members of another community in which a minorised language coexists. This power relationship is part of the implicit social consensus. For this reason, we can qualify the dominant language as one of the fundamental elements of integration and at the same time of social exclusion. In modern societies, this level of linguistic competence determines the promotion or exclusion of the subject in the productive system. Likewise, we consider that this obviousness can extend to the totality of languages that are spoken in a territory. If we focus on the case of a bilingual community and, more specifically, on a linguistic area in which a minorised language is spoken, it will necessarily be this language that determines the social integration of its inhabitants.
As theoretical support of these affirmations, Coleman (1988) refers to the diverse channels through which the beneficial effects of belonging to a group are produced. The first of these is the increase of the transmission of information between its members, information that can refer to the members of the group or people outside the group (this would make the economic relations more efficient). This effect is particularly important in the case of immigrants who do not speak the language of the country of destination and serves, as discussed in the previous section, to convey information on employment opportunities, housing, health, rights, etc. Language is, in this sense, an element of socialisation, a factor of bàisc integration in a given social community.
Some language economics studies have focused on the effects that language knowledge has on the socioeconomic status of individuals. Among the main conclusions, it is considered that knowledge of language has the three basic characteristics of human capital: firstly, it cannot be separated from the person who possesses it, secondly, it increases the productivity of the subject and, finally, it is bought at the cost of a sacrifice of time and money (Maneiro, JM; Sotelsek, D., 2009).
If we focus this value on the global socio-economic and business framework, we necessarily find that the increase in regional communication, informal market interaction and migrations mean that regional languages also enjoy an expansion in global terms. Since all the major language communities have opted to maintain their own languages in the face of globalization, it should come as no surprise that many other smaller communities have pursued the same goal.
Some authors point to a strong hope for the future of minority languages as a substantial tool for social integration. In the argument of his studies, Fisherman concludes that there is no reason to assume that English will always be necessary, as it is today, for technology, higher education and social mobility, especially after its regional rivals experience sudden growth: “Civilization will not sink into the sea at the moment and in the event that this happens. The decline of French when it was at the height of its influence has not irreparably damaged art, music or diplomacy. The similar decline of the German has not damaged the exact sciences. Ancient Greek, Aramaic, Latin and Sanskrit, once world languages representing military power, sophistication, commerce and spirituality, are mere relics in the modern world. The power of English will not survive for long the technical, commercial and military supremacy of its Anglo-American power base, especially if a stronger power emerges to challenge it. But the fact that the use of English in the world is declining does not mean that the values associated with its dissemination are declining. Basically, democracy, international trade and economic development can thrive in any other language” (Fisherman, 2001).
An e-learning platform to optimise employability
An e-learning platform, virtual campus or Learning Management System (LMS) is a virtual learning space aimed at facilitating the experience of distance learning, both for companies and for educational institutions.
This system allows the creation of “virtual classrooms”, in which there is interaction between tutors and students, and between students themselves, as well as evaluations, file exchange, participation in forums, chats, and a wide range of additional tools.
Benefits of an e-learning platform:
- Provides flexible and economical training.
- It combines the power of the Internet with that of technological tools.
- Eliminates geographical and temporal distances.
- Allows you to use the platform with minimal knowledge.
- Enables constant and nurtured learning through interaction between tutors and students.
- Offers freedom in terms of time and pace of learning.
These platforms have a series of tools in common as well as others that differentiate them. However, they always try to provide the best solution adapting to the needs of each user.
Applied to the linguistic field, and more specifically to the learning of minority languages, e-learning platforms can be very useful to favour the inclusion of the newly arrived population in these regions, and their full integration in all aspects: social, cultural and, of course, work.
Therefore, these platforms will be based on intuitive and attractive learning through audiovisual resources and continuous training that will enable adults to facilitate their social and labour inclusion. Of course, these virtual environments have to be designed by teachers, linguistic experts and technical specialists in the field.
It is fair to say, moreover, that these platforms would contribute to closing a possible digital gap between majority languages and minority languages.
This digital work environment characterised by interactivity and flexibility facilitates communication, exchanges and collaboration, fundamental features to be developed and taken into account in the field of occupation.