“Equitable multilingualism” for equitable access to learning

Addressing the digital and linguistic divide in connected higher education for refugees


  • HaEun Kim York University




digital divide, English language learning, connected learning, technology-mediated language learning, higher education for refugees, emancipatory literacy


Addressing the digital divide for refugee learners accessing higher education in displacement also involves addressing the linguistic divide, particularly as we live in a world of interlanguage inequality where academic digital resources and learning opportunities available largely require fluency in colonial languages like English, French, Spanish, etc. This paper focuses specifically on English as many connected tertiary programs available to refugees around the world are English-mediated. It is crucial that as connected higher education becomes a key strategy for access by the United Nations, INGOs, bilateral institutions, and private donors, universities involved in this work expand their use of technology to deliver programs to integrate technology-mediated language education for digital-skills, language awareness, and language development. This argument is based on an emancipatory approach that argues literacy (i.e., English literacy and digital literacy) only empowers people when it renders them active questioners of the social reality around them.


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How to Cite

Kim, H. (2023). “Equitable multilingualism” for equitable access to learning: Addressing the digital and linguistic divide in connected higher education for refugees. Working Papers in Applied Linguistics and Linguistics at York, 3. https://doi.org/10.25071/2564-2855.29




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