This paper analyzes how language is framed as a route to full inclusion, particularly for unaccompanied asylum-seeking students labelled as disabled. It is based on a qualitative study carried out in the Italian city of Rome, which, although cosmopolitan, is often characterised by nationalistic political landscapes. The manuscript reveals how institutional biases (re: race, ability, and migration) about unaccompanied forced migrant youth, often manifested in their construction as disabled and foreign by local professionals, hinder the likelihood that they successfully participate in the life of the host society. The paper also shows how the inclusion of migrant and refugee students living in foster care homes is conceptualised as a violent integration into monolingual and monocultural education settings. Drawing on Disability Critical Race Studies and Raciolinguistics, this contribution analyzes how unaccompanied forced migrant students respond to their linguistic urgency, learn power majority languages, and simultaneously devalue their home language to perform the ‘good (im)migrant.’ Lastly, the contribution shows how processes of racialization of disabled unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee students influence how western communities perceive their linguistic capacity and effort.
- critical disabilities raciolinguistic (CDR) perspective
- Unaccompanied forced migrant children