International Workshop "Language and Occupations"

October 24, 1:00 pm

Department of Business and Management 

Faculty of Business and Economics

Av. de la Universitat, 1

Reus, Tarragona


Department of Business and Management 

Faculty of Business and Economics

Av. de la Universitat, 1

Reus, Tarragona


Internationalization and informationalism are producing a major need of linguistic work. During the last decades, several authors has stressed the importance of language to achieve greater levels of value creation and employability of workers. Nevertheless, researchers and institutions face a lack of systematized and comparable information about the role of language in job performance. In this current scenario, the Workshop on Language and Occupations, will allow researchers a chance to exchange and build knowledge on issues related to language and work. 

The main purpose of the workshop is to encourage a scientific debate to delve into the research project objective, which is to design and implement a measure of labour linguistic intensity in occupations. Specifically, the researchers of the project seek an interdisciplinary approach to exchange ideas on how to study language in organizational and productive contexts. These ideas will be settled on conceptual and theoretical frameworks, measurements, variables and analytical approaches and also on critical views and challenges. With this purpose, the workshop addresses three wide interrelated matters: the effects of language in the labour market, the conceptualization and measurement of linguistic work and the implementation of linguistic work in specific settings and workplaces.


Program overview:


13:00. Informal meeting and lunch at Faculty of Business & Economics


Day 1. 24 October 2016

Room: Sala de Juntes

15:00. Presentation and Introduction to the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and the Faculty of Business & Economics

15:15. Presentation of the Project ‘Language and Occupations’, by Amado Alarcón (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

15:45. Discussion

16:00. Pause & Coffee


Room: Sala de Graus

16:15-17:00. The Value of Standards and the Value of Languages: Some Critical Questions. Florian Coulmas (IN-EAST Institute of East Asian Studies. University of Duisburg-Essen)

17:00. Pause & coffee

17:15-19:30. Language and Labour Market

17:15. Foreign language skills and employability in Germany and Italy. Michele Gazzola (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

17:30. The language as a catalyst for education: immigrants’ employment in Spain. Javier Mato, María Miyar & Rodolfo Gutiérrez (UNED & Universidad de Oviedo)

17:45. Linguistic Disenfranchisement of the Labour Market. Till Burckhardt (Université de Genève).

18.00. Language Intensity in occupational classifications. Amado Alarcón (Universitat Rovira I Virgili)

18:15. Discussion

18:45. Project discussion. Main variables and databases.


20:30. Dinner at Casa Coder (Gaudí Center)


Day 2. 25 October 2016

Room: Sala de Graus

9:00-9:45 . On the time factor in mediation metrics and language policy. Anthony Pym (Intercultural Studies Group, URV)

9:45. Pause & coffee

10:00-11:15. Emphasis on measures, variables and indicators

10:00. What is linguistic work? Josep Ubalde (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

10:15. Language demands and job profiles in the Russian-speaking community of Tarragona-Salou. The need for a long-term perspective. Anthony Pym and Nune Ayvazyan (Intercultural Studies Group, URV)

10:30. Labour Process and language. Amado Alarcón, Josiah Heyman and María Martinez (Universitat Rovira i Virgili).

10:45. Discussion

11:00. Project Discussion. Quantitative dimensions. Inductive and deductive process to create a database on language and occupations.

11.15  Pause & coffee


Room: Sala de Graus

11.30-12.15. What would Karl say? Language Economics, the Marxist gaze and 21st century subjectivities. David Block (ICREA/Universitat de Lleida)

12:15-14:00 Emphasis on Occupational Struggles and Labour Process.

12:15. Language demands and job profiles in the Russian-speaking community of Tarragona-Salou. The need for a long-term perspective. Ester Torres-Simón (Intercultural Studies Group, URV)

12.30. Implications of Economic Restructuring on Linguistic Human Capital Returns: A Case Study of the Residential Construction Industry in Sin City. Maria Cristina Morales (University of Texas at El Paso)

12:45. Competencias y trabajo lingüístico. Antoni Vidal (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

13:00. El Retorn del Coneixement d’Anglès en el Mercat Laboral Català. Antionio Di Paolo (AQR-IREA, Universitat de Barcelona)

13:15. Discussion

13:45. Project Discussion. Qualitative and ethnographic dimensions.

14:00. Lunch at the Faculty Restaurant


Room: Sala de Juntes

15.00-17:00. Summary and agreements:

  1. Summary of presentations and shared views
  2. Resources from the project and deliveries for next year
  3. Preparing a Cost action on language and Occupations at EU
  4. Next meeting



Josiah McC Heyman (University of Texas at El Paso; CIBS-UTEP);

Teresa Corbella (Universitat Roriva i Virgili).

María Martínez Iglesias (Universitat Rovira i Virgili).

Eleni Papaoikonomou (Universitat Rovira i Virgili).

Maria Jesus Muiños (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) Equipo de Investigación.

Rafael Böcker (Universitat Rovira i Virgili). Equipo de Investigación.

Matías Ginieis (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) Equipo de Investigación.


This international workshop is an initiative of the researchers of the ILT project (CSO2015-64247-P), funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, which has the collaboration of the Department of Business and Management of the Faculty of Business and Economics (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) and the Research Group Social and Organizative Analysis.