Title

English Optional: A Perspective on the Implications of Language Barriers Among Temporary Migrant Workers

Submitter and Co-author information

Stephanie Goncalves, University of WindsorFollow

Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Oral Research Presentation

Challenges Theme

Building Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities

Your Location

Windsor

Faculty

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Sponsor

Jamey Essex

Abstract/Description of Original Work

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Low-Skill Agricultural Stream (TFWP) are two Canadian federal vehicles that grant the agricultural industry the ability to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to fill domestic labour shortages. Analysis of both programs and their policies show that TFWs are not provided settlement services like language and cultural training because of the nature of their temporary status (Basok 2004, p. 57). Although they are temporary, many migrants return to Canada, and often to the same farm, for many consecutive terms. Policy in both programs does not include integration training that allows for TFWs to lead integrated lives in Canada. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 cites that all humans have the right to dignity, language, an adequate standard of living, and freedom of movement among other rights (Liebman et all, p. 979). To ease newcomer transition to Canadian society, language and cultural training services have been implemented into policy. Because of the exclusion of similar or comparable policy in both temporary migrant worker programs, TFWs often lack the necessary cultural and linguistic skills to function fully during their time in Canada. Widely reported, TFWs face a host of problems from health and safety concerns, isolation and segregation, difficulties in socialization, and an inherently problematic employer-employee relationship as a result of closed work permits (Basok 2004, Basok 2010, Gabriel & Macdonald 2011, Nakache & Kinoshita 2010, Perry 2018, Preibisch et al 2014). The ability to advocate for oneself, to exercise agency and to communicate in society are greatly hindered when language and culture skills are lacking. Because of the language barriers, some of the aforementioned problems include; not understanding their work contracts, how to access benefits, how to collect CPP after their work terms are complete, access to social services, communication barriers, isolation, and feeling like a citizen of no where. Does the exclusion of mandatory language and culture training to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program policies accelerate some of the problems of agency and integration faced by temporary migrant workers? I propose ESL training for TFWs as a partial solution to some of the problems faced by TFWs.

Share

COinS
 

English Optional: A Perspective on the Implications of Language Barriers Among Temporary Migrant Workers

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Low-Skill Agricultural Stream (TFWP) are two Canadian federal vehicles that grant the agricultural industry the ability to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to fill domestic labour shortages. Analysis of both programs and their policies show that TFWs are not provided settlement services like language and cultural training because of the nature of their temporary status (Basok 2004, p. 57). Although they are temporary, many migrants return to Canada, and often to the same farm, for many consecutive terms. Policy in both programs does not include integration training that allows for TFWs to lead integrated lives in Canada. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 cites that all humans have the right to dignity, language, an adequate standard of living, and freedom of movement among other rights (Liebman et all, p. 979). To ease newcomer transition to Canadian society, language and cultural training services have been implemented into policy. Because of the exclusion of similar or comparable policy in both temporary migrant worker programs, TFWs often lack the necessary cultural and linguistic skills to function fully during their time in Canada. Widely reported, TFWs face a host of problems from health and safety concerns, isolation and segregation, difficulties in socialization, and an inherently problematic employer-employee relationship as a result of closed work permits (Basok 2004, Basok 2010, Gabriel & Macdonald 2011, Nakache & Kinoshita 2010, Perry 2018, Preibisch et al 2014). The ability to advocate for oneself, to exercise agency and to communicate in society are greatly hindered when language and culture skills are lacking. Because of the language barriers, some of the aforementioned problems include; not understanding their work contracts, how to access benefits, how to collect CPP after their work terms are complete, access to social services, communication barriers, isolation, and feeling like a citizen of no where. Does the exclusion of mandatory language and culture training to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program policies accelerate some of the problems of agency and integration faced by temporary migrant workers? I propose ESL training for TFWs as a partial solution to some of the problems faced by TFWs.