Last week, I attended a seminar (“Language, social media and migration”) at the University of Birmingham hosted by the TLANG project. The seminar explored the use of social media by people in contexts of mobility and migration, and how identity is performed and relationships built through these digital interactions.
The work that was presented was so inspiring, particularly Maria Sabaté i Dalmau’s (Universitat de Lleida) two-year ethnography in a migrant-run cybercafé in Barcelona. The most thought provoking work for me was Kristin Vold Lexander’s (University of Oslo) findings on how media choice and language selection can intersect in multilingual families. I began to think about how the design of digital platforms could influence linguistic decision making. Also, Kristin’s visualisation of some of her data could be repurposed as data collection method in design workshops; see blog image – platform (logo), language used (colour coded), mode used (coded by line style) and communicative partners (outer circles) by participant (circle in the centre).