Language and Integration Among Immigrant Populations: The Case of Spain

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Hörsaal 5A G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Maria MIYAR, UNED, Spain
Spain experienced a substantial immigration boom in the decade 1998-2008 in a process that has been thoroughly analysed. The Great Recession struck the Spanish economy in such a way that employment decreased rapidly, posing enormous problems for certain groups. Among the people hard hit by unemployment were a great number of recent immigrants. However, problems regarding social integration in Spain were not as acute as one could expect by considering just the labour market situation. Factors like return migration, unemployment subsidies, and family networks may have helped to cushion the effects of the crisis. This paper considers the role played by Spanish language skills in this regard, given that about half of the immigrant population had Spanish as their native language, and given the language learning activity of the remaining immigrants. Using the recently published Labour Force Survey special module on the labour market situation of immigrants (INE, 2015), the purpose of the research is twofold. First, an analysis of the variables that influence Spanish learning efforts among the immigrant population will be carried out. Secondly, the determinants of employment outcomes will also be analysed, paying special attention to job-search methods, and to the role played by fluency in the four official languages that exist in Spain (Spanish, Catalan, Basque, and Galician).