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

01 January 2020 → Ongoing
European funding: various
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Discourse analysis
    • Sociolinguistics
asylum reception centres ethnographic research linguistic vulnerability multilingual communication multimodality
Project description

Good communication can make a difference. This is often underestimated in contexts of asylum and migration, where other priorities (than language) prevail. This is particularly tangible in the reception of applicants for international protection, where multilingualism is the rule rather than the exception. Service providers try to get by with the linguistic means they have to provide the necessary information and support. However, these means are often insufficiently tailored to the complex communication needs that characterise asylum reception. In particular, applicants with a vulnerable linguistic profile, such as illiterate persons or speakers of lesser used languages, have no or limited access to information to which they are entitled, which increases their vulnerability throughout the reception process.

The proposed project aims to gain a better understanding of the communication needs of applicants for international protection in reception centres and to use these insights to develop a more adapted multilingual information service for this target group. The project focuses specifically on the intake of applicants with a vulnerable linguistic profile. To this end, the project sets the following three objectives:

  • Making an inventory (based on ethnographic fieldwork: interviews, focus interviews and observations) of the communication needs of applicants with a vulnerable linguistic profile and checking to what extent the existing (multilingual) information provision offers a solution to this. It will also examine which information channels the applicants themselves use to disseminate information within their own networks.
  • Developing a language registration tool to identify the language knowledge and needs of applicants in an easily accessible and fast manner so that the information provision can be better tailored to this target group.
  • Developing and testing multilingual audio and video animation scripts that provide applicants with information during intakes;
  • Informing and empowering service providers on the basis of workshops on the use of communication tools in communication with applicants.