This article presents the results of a research carried out by questionnaires and interviews, dealing with the linguistic behaviour and to future in Great Britain of languages resulting from immigration from communities originating in Southern Asia.

At issue is to see in what way the linguistic behaviour reveals the construction of identities among the Indo-Pakistani minorities of the city of Manchester.

The language is apprehended as psychosocial process which takes part of the construction of identities. Differences in linguistic behaviour are observed according to the sex. Socio-professional insecurity and linguistic behaviour are interdependent concepts particularly in these communities among which the ethnic and linguistic conscience is well-developed.

Language is a central element in the processes of identity construction : the English language as regards to social success; the language of the community as regards to integration to the social and linguistic networks which function in parallel. In the multilingual context of these communities, the language used cannot be dissociated from the situation of communication.

We initially treat relationship between the level alphabetisation in mother tongue and the level of knowledge of English. Then, secondly, we analyse the relationship between the language of the family and the language of work. The interaction between languages in contact is such that the syncretic emergence of bilingual or multilingual codes are observed.

We have noted that, in the majority of cases, the degree of alphabetisation in English is proportional with the degree of alphabetisation in the mother tongue. We also noted that the language of the nursery school remains the language of family independently of the socio-professional statute and that English is the language of work of the more educated persons, with an integration of the two cultural and linguistic systems which function in parallel.

It is clear that linguistic behaviours are invested by power relations of which the people are not necessarily conscious : the maintenance of the community languages appears essential to us with construction of identities just as much as the mastery of the English language for the construction of social identity within the British society.