International Handbook of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education

International Handbook of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education

International Handbook of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education

International Handbook of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education

Synopsis

This comprehensive handbook introduces a theoretical framework of the contextual situations of language maintenance and shift in which are found bilingualism and bilingual education. It presents the basic facts about language and language families in the world and where they are located, and illustrates the range of possibilities of languages in contact. A major portion of this important work is devoted to a series of case studies of bilingualism/multilingualism within nation states, arranged alphabetically, and representing specific situations in all corners of the world. Each chapter stands alone and can be read for the information it contains. The book provides a valuabe resource for theory testing and documents the range of educational policies for minority social groups, and emphasizes the legitimacy and importance of scholarly study of this complex social issue.

Excerpt

The International Handbook of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education consists of twenty-seven chapters. The first chapter, "Bilingualism and Bilingual Education: An Introduction," presents a theoretical framework of the contextual situations of language maintenance and shift in which we find bilingualism and bilingual education. The second chapter, "Languages of the World," presents the basic facts about languages and language families in the world and where they are located. The chapter spells out the range of possibilities of languages in contact.

The other twenty-five chapters are case studies of bilingualism/multilingualism within nation-states, the norm around the world in spite of the nineteenth century's European model of one nation--one language. (In today's Europe, only two countries--Iceland and Portugal--are monolingual.) Because some of the chapters contain fairly technical vocabulary from linguistics and the social sciences, a glossary has been included. The book closes with some suggestions for further reading.

The case study chapters are arranged in alphabetical order and were selected to represent specific situations from all corners of the world. In Europe, Belgium is a trilingual country with considerable tension (and legislation) accompanying the language contact situation. In contrast, Switzerland, with its four official languages, presents a much more peaceful situation. In the United Kingdom, to the north and west, we find the Celtic languages slowly dying out, while the urban centers of England face the uneasy educational problems of a second (and third) generation of immigrants. Socialist Sweden has an easier time with her educational policies for immigrant children. And in post-Franco Spain we find a reemergence of minority languages, with Catalan in a strong position of language maintenance beyond what one might have expected.

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