2nd Edition

Introducing Multilingualism A Social Approach

By Kristine Horner, Jean Jacques Weber Copyright 2018
    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    Introducing Multilingualism is a comprehensive and user-friendly introduction to the dynamic field of multilingualism. Adopting a compelling social and critical approach and covering important social and educational issues, the authors expertly guide readers through the established theories, leading them to question dominant discourses on subjects such as integration, heritage and language testing. This second edition has been fully revised and updated, featuring new chapters on multilingualism in new media, the workplace and the family. Other key topics include:

    • language as a social construct
    • language contact and variation
    • language and identity
    • the differences between individual and societal multilingualism
    • translanguaging
    • flexible multilingual education.

    With a wide range of engaging activities and quizzes and a comprehensive selection of case studies from around the world, this is essential reading for undergraduate students and postgraduate students new to studying multilingualism.


    Part I: Theoretical and methodological considerations

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    A social approach to multilingualism

    A note on terminology

    Coping with change

    How the book is structured

    Chapter 2: Theoretical and methodological framework

    The construction of meaning

    Dominant vs. critical readings

    Towards an ethnographically based discourse analysis

    The study of language ideologies


    Part II: Multilingualism within and across languages

    Chapter 3: What is a language?

    Discourse models of language

    What is standard English?

    ‘English’ is a mere label

    The fuzzy boundaries of named languages

    Consequences for teaching

    Consequences for research


    Chapter 4: Language variation and the spread of global languages

    African-American English

    Caribbean ‘nation language’


    The global spread of English

    Two French youth languages


    Chapter 5: Revitalization of endangered languages

    Australian Aboriginal languages: a history of oppression

    Māori in New Zealand: a revitalization success story

    Sámi and Kven in Norway: differential positionings on the success-failure continuum

    Hebrew in Israel: the costs of revitalization

    Breton in France: how (not) to standardize

    Corsican and the polynomic paradigm


    Part III: Societal and individual multilingualism

    Chapter 6: Societal multilingualism




    Hong Kong and China

    South Africa



    Chapter 7: Language and identities


    Gee’s four ways to view identity

    Identity: a peach or an onion?

    Ethnic and national identity

    Code-switching and identity

    Translanguaging identities


    Chapter 8: The interplay between individual and societal

    The Canadian policy of bilingualism and

    Some consequences for First Nations people

    Quebec francophone nationalism

    Individual bilingualism through institutional monolingualism

    Exclusion through French, inclusion through English

    Shifting ideologies

    Conclusion: the commodification of language

    Part IV: Multilingualism in education and other institutional sites

    Chapter 9: Flexible vs. fixed multilingualism

    US vs. EU language-in-education policy

    Case Study 1: Luxembourg

    Case Study 2: Catalonia and the Basque Country

    Discussion and conclusion: towards flexible multilingualism

    Chapter 10: Mother tongue education or literacy bridges?

    The case for mother tongue education:
African-American English

    The case against mother tongue education
(in four steps): South Africa

    The problems with mother tongue education

    Towards literacy bridges

    Conclusion: a possible solution for South Africa

    Chapter 11: Heritage language education

    From mother tongue education to heritage language

    Language and heritage in the United States

    Language and heritage in England

    The dominance of the standard language and purist

    Discussion and conclusion: implications for the
EU policy of multilingualism

    12        Multilingualism in other institutional sites

    Multilingualism in the workplace

    Multilingualism in legal settings and asylum procedures

    Language use in multilingual families

    Part V: Critical analysis of discourses

    Chapter 13: Institutional discourses on language and migration

    The discourse of integration

    Language testing and citizenship

    Conclusion: unpacking the discourses of integration and language testing

    Chapter 14: Media representations of multilingualism

    Past vs. present perceptions of multilingualism in the media

    Firwat ass alles schief gaangen?: responses to
Luxembourg’s PISA results

    Constructing the UK as an English-only space

    The English Only movement in the US

    Conclusion: a historical perspective on the one nation–one language ideology

    Chapter 15: Multilingualism in the new media

    New media sociolinguistics

    Digital ethnography

    Language contact phenomena in digital language

    The limited multilingualism of the Internet

    Language policing in the social media


    Chapter 16: Linguistic landscape

    Limitations of (some) linguistic landscape analyses

    Language contact phenomena on multilingual signs

    Some basic distinctions

    Contextualizing and historicizing linguistic landscapes

    Exploring the context of reception

    Discussion and conclusion: discourses in place

    Part VI: Further directions in the study of multilingualism

    Chapter 17: Conclusion

    Further directions in the study of multilingualism

    Moving into a multilingual future

    Normalizing multilingualism

    Notes on the activities

    Notes on the quizzes

    Author index

    Subject index


    Kristine Horner is Reader in Luxembourg Studies and Multilingualism at the University of Sheffield, where she is also Director of the Centre for Luxembourg Studies. Her upcoming publications include a new edition of The German-speaking World (2018).

    Jean-Jacques Weber is Professor of English and Education at the University of Luxembourg. His most recent book publications are Language Racism (2015) and Flexible Multilingual Education: Putting Children’s Needs First (2014).