Introducing Multilingualism: A Social Approach

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9780415609975: Introducing Multilingualism: A Social Approach

Introducing Multilingualism is a brand new, comprehensive and user-friendly introduction to the dynamic field of multilingualism.

Adopting a compelling social and critical approach, Jean-Jacques Weber and Kristine Horner guide readers through the established theories about multilingualism. The book covers language as a social construct, language contact and variation, language and identity and the differences between individual and societal multilingualism. The authors also provide an alternative approach to studying multilingualism, introducing innovative concepts such as flexible multilingualism and literacy bridge in order to encourage students to critically question dominant discourses on topics such as integration, heritage and language testing.

This highly practical textbook incorporates a wide range of engaging activities and encourages students to think critically about important social and educational issues. Throughout, the theoretical content is explored through a wide range of case studies from around the world.

Clearly argued and widely applicable, this book is essential reading for undergraduate students and postgraduate students new to studying multilingualism.

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About the Author:

Jean-Jacques Weber is Professor of English and Education at the University of Luxembourg.

Kristine Horner is Director of the Centre for Luxembourg Studies at the University of Sheffield.


'Without question, this is the most comprehensive, internationally grounded, and theoretically up-to-date review of multilingualism currently on the market. Weber and Horner’s text introduces and illustrates key critical and social dimensions of multilingualism and is sure to engage the next generation of scholars.'

Kendall A. King, University of Minnesota, USA

'This book provides a welcome and much-needed renewal of the textbook literature on multilingualism. The book is based on deep-rooted insight into the workings of language in the real world. The authors succeed in formulating their insights in a both relevant and catching manner while never yielding their sociolinguistic strictness in following and describing the practices of language users. As a textbook Introducing Multilingualism is both excellently organized with a fine combination of explanatory text, carefully selected cases which are analyzed, and activities which are bound to capture students.'

Jens Normann Jorgensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

'This book provides a valuable overview of the latest thinking in the study of multilingualism. The text is lively and informative and draws on a wide range of sources and examples from all over the world. The authors have produced an introduction to the field which is accessible but never over-simplified and a deserving addition to any language studies reading list.'

Melanie Cooke, King’s College, London, UK

'Discussions on multilingualism have tended to treat languages as bounded and separate entities. The authors of this well-designed introductory text have adopted a different perspective - they regard languages as sets of resources for meaning-making, the use of which are influenced by social and political factors. This book opens many interesting vistas for students of language/s and linguistics enabling them to see familiar concepts such as English and multilingualism in a new light.'

Constant Leung, King's College, London, UK 


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