Language on the Move Reading Challenge 2018

Language on the Move is back for another year and we’ll start the excitement with a reading challenge.

One important piece of advice for all (aspiring) academics is to “Read, read, read!” You have to be a reader to become a writer. And you have to extend yourself in your reading – it’s not enough to just read stuff that will feature in the literature review section of your next assignment or research publication. To this end and to encourage broad reading in the discipline and to make linguistics reading fun, Language on the Move is running our first-ever reading challenge this year.

The Language on the Move Reading Challenge 2018 will be devoted to, well, language on the move. By that we mean the sociolinguistics of intercultural communication, language learning, and multilingualism in contexts of migration and globalization.

Here is how it works: the challenge will run from February to November and the challenge is to commit yourself to read one book in each of the categories below. You can commit publicly by pledging in the comments below or you can keep your participation to yourself. You can track your progress by preparing reviews for our comments section (we’ll try to run a “progress” blog post each month) or for another site such as Good Reads or similar. In the latter case, make sure to leave links to your reviews in our comments section so that we can go and visit.

Another way to share your progress is to tweet about it. Mention @lg_on_the_move as we will be gifting a copy of Intercultural Communication to one of our interactive followers each month from February through to November.

You can read the books in any order but you must read them between February and November this year. Double-dipping is not allowed: you can count each book only for one category, even if it fits in more than one.

Ok, now, here is the actual challenge (pin our graphic)

  • A book about language on the move in Africa, Asia, Central/Eastern Europe, Latin America or the Middle East; in other words, anywhere that is not an Anglophone centre country
  • A book about language on the move in cyberspace
  • A book about language on the move in history (before mid-20th century)
  • A book about language on the move in your home (as in hometown, homeland)
  • A book about language on the move that is not in English (read in the original if you can; alternatively in translation)
  • A book about language on the move that is written by an author who is neither male nor white
  • A book written by a member of the Language on the Move team
  • An ethnography of language on the move
  • A memoir of an adult migrant and language learner
  • A novel about language on the move

Happy Reading! Have fun selecting, reading (and reviewing) your books!

Author Ingrid Piller

Dr Ingrid Piller is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Ingrid’s research expertise is in the fields of intercultural communication, bilingual education and the sociolinguistics of language learning and multilingualism in the contexts of migration and globalization.

More posts by Ingrid Piller
  • Nicole

    What a great idea!

  • Michele Back

    This is a fantastic idea. However, it would be nice if we could get a list of recommendations of books. Perhaps that is something commenters could put together?

  • We just downloaded “Third Age Learners of Foreign Languages (Second Language Acquisition)” by Danuta Gabrys-Barker. If this book qualifies for your reading challenge, we’ll be happy to participate and post comments as we progress.

  • Yes, please send in your suggestions; we’ll also provide suggestions in our monthly progress posts.

  • Great suggestion! You are on! 🙂 The key point is to extend your reading and have fun. It’s a broad field and we are not intending to police what qualifies and what doesn’t …

  • Nicole

    One of the categories you could have added is to read at least one book about artificial languages like Esperanto, because many people don’t really understand that “artificial” languages are really like other languages in many ways, but have a shorter history.

  • Thanks for the suggestion! We’ll keep that in mind for the Language on the Move Reading Challenge 2019 🙂

  • Livia Gerber

    Language on the Move readers, check out the #lingfic hashtag on twitter for inspiration! Further inspo can be found on ‘Superlinguo’ where Lauren Gawne compiled a personal master list (; but please extend your own list beyond this one..! It’s not much fun if we all read from the same list 😉

  • Verónica Pájaro

    I would like to suggest Bea Lorente’s “Scripts of Servitude.” It fits several of the categories.


    Fun! To kick start your interest, if you’re in Sydney, I recommend an inexpensive (and worth it) theatre performance that deals with language on the move, both verbal and body language. “My Urrwai”, written and performed by Ghenoa Gela It’s about her own journey and relationship to Torres Strait Islander language and culture. Maybe another year we can include a creative work like theatre/film/song in the challenge!