Sociopolitical Level of Context

  • Tony Capstick


This chapter explores the broader sociopolitical and historical contexts within which the migration literacies of later chapters are embedded. Recent curbs on immigration to the UK are discussed in order to demonstrate how the UK, like other countries in the West, is implementing a tightening of the relationship between language, immigration, citizenship and national security (Cooke and Simpson 2008). Whilst there has been a language requirement for citizenship applicants in the UK since 1981, Blackledge (2009) cites the 2002 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act as the legislation which strengthened this requirement. The Act extended the requirement to demonstrate sufficient language proficiency to people applying for naturalisation on the basis of marriage, and since its introduction there has been a ‘noticeable shift towards legislation that requires the demonstration of proficiency in English in order to access certain resources’ (Blackledge 2009: 14). Legislation of this type has also been introduced in some other states across Europe. Wodak (2012) looked at the linguistic requirements for migrants to European states and found that between 2007 and 2009 there was a 20% increase in Council of Europe member states imposing linguistic requirements for people wishing to acquire citizenship:


Language Policy Integration Policy English Language Proficiency Pakistani Woman Chain Migration 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Capstick
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ReadingReadingUK

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