Multilingual language trainers as language workers:a discourse-ethnographic investigation


This article examines language trainers as language workers in an Austrian language education company. The study interrogates what the trainers’ discourses, ideologies and practices about the nature of their work are, and how these reside within the logic and discursive practices of their employer. A close analysis of interview, ethnographic and institutional data reveal that trainers get caught up between privileged and precarious working conditions. The findings emphasise that trainers identify shifting demands in language training that require them to act reflexively, empathetically and be able to connect the linguistic with the cultural and interpersonal. The results also suggest that the institutional discourse of the education company attempts an inclusive and emancipated diversity agenda but reproduces homogenous views of language, culture and the trainers’ work. This paper contributes to growing critical scholarship on the intersection of language, education and work in the globalised knowledge economy.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
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College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Language and Intercultural Communication on 21 Jun 2018, available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Discourse,ethnography,ideology,intercultural communication,language work,linguistic diversity,Communication,Linguistics and Language
Publication ISSN: 1747-759X
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.tan ... 77.2018.1487971 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-06-22
Accepted Date: 2018-06-21
Authors: Barakos, Elisabeth (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0231-4372)



Version: Accepted Version

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