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How do children and adults become multilingual? How do they use their languages? What influence does being multilingual have on their identities? What is the social impact of multilingualism today and how do societies accommodate it? These are among the fascinating questions examined by this book. Exploring multilingualism in individuals and in society at large, Stavans and Hoffmann argue that it evolves not from one factor in particular, but from a vast range of environmental and personal influences and circumstances: from migration to globalisation, from the spread of English to a revived interest in minority languages, from social mobility to intermarriage. The book shows the important role of education in helping to promote or maintain pupils' multilingual language competence and multilingual literacy, and in helping to challenge traditional monolingual attitudes. A clear and incisive account of this growing phenomenon, it is essential reading for students, teachers and policy-makers alike.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Global and Societal Issues in Multilingualism and Trilingualism: 1. Historical perspectives of language contact; 2. Patterns of societal multilingualism; 3. Old and new linguistic minorities; 4. Globalisation, language spread and new multilingualisms; Part II. Construing Individual Multilingualism: 5. Individual multilingualism; 6. Multilingual language competence and use; 7. Accommodating multilingualism; 8. Multilingual education and multilingual literacies; Glossary; References; Index.

About the Author

Anat Stavans is a Professor in Applied Linguistics at Beit Berl College and a researcher at the Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Charlotte Hoffmann was formerly Reader in Sociolinguistics at the University of Salford, UK.


'The authors of this book demonstrate that multilingualism is as old as humanity itself. Language and politics have always been intertwined, creating amazing and conflictual complexity ... This is a very clear and highly informative book.' Jean-Marc Dewaele, Birkbeck, University of London

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