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Multilingualism in European Bilingual Contexts: Language Use and Attitudes

Chung, Jeehyae

Multilingualism in European Bilingual Contexts is a timely publication in light of the European Union’s continuous and forceful promotion of multilingualism. The authors describe the research they present in the book as an “attempt to break some ground” (p. 249) in understanding the challenges of multilingualism in Europe, and through the book they advance the argument that language awareness will play a key role in overcoming those challenges. The book is based on a transnational research study that was conducted in nine different bilingual regions of Europe. The same research design and instrument were employed across all of the contexts that were studied to survey the language use and language attitudes of pre-service teachers. The scope of languages was broadened in this study to include not only minority and majority languages but also the foreign languages often used in the regions. Therefore, as the authors state, the book “goes beyond bilingualism and into multilingualism” (p. 4). The respective cases and the research report as a whole will help readers compare different language situations, identify common patterns, and also gain an understanding of how language education policies and sociolinguistic conditions exert influence on the ground in various European contexts. Although each case represents its own unique situation, the rather contradictory juxtaposition of efforts toward minority language revitalization and the continued emphasis on English was identified across all cases. The editors had particularly chosen pre-service teachers to be the principal informants of the study under the belief that teachers have a profound impact on students’ language use and attitudes. Accordingly, a central argument of the book is that explicit language awareness education will lead to linguistic tolerance and acceptance, and reduce parochialism.

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Title
Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
November 2, 2015