The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education

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ISBN 9781138545625
September 22, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
512 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education is the first comprehensive publication on plurilingualism, offering a multidimensional reflection on the nature, scope and potential of plurilingualism in language education and society. Authored by a range of internationally recognized experts, the Handbook provides an overview of key perspectives on plurilingualism in a complementary range of fields. After a comprehensive introduction to the concept itself, 24 chapters are organised in six sections, each examining plurilingualism through a different lens. The handbook spans historical, philosophical and sociological dimensions, examines cognitive and neuroscientific implications, and the limitations of boundaries before moving to a pragmatic perspective: How is plurilingual language education developing in different contexts around the world? How can it contribute to language revitalization? How can it be expected to develop in education, digital spaces and society as a whole? Written for an international audience, this handbook is an indispensable reference tool for scholars in education and applied linguistics, educators, graduate and post-graduate students, and policy makers.

Table of Contents

The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education

Table of Contents

An Introduction to Plurilingualism and this Handbook

Enrica Piccardo, Aline Germain-Rutherford and Geoff Lawrence

Summaries of Chapters in the Handbook

Section 1: Historical Perspectives on Plurilingualism

Chapter 1: Promoting Plurilingualism and Plurilingual Education: A European Perspective

Georges Lüdi

Chapter 2: Plurilingualism and the Tangled Web of Lingualisms

Steve Marshall

Chapter 3: The Mediated Nature of Plurilingualism

Enrica Piccardo

Chapter 4: Cosmopolitanism and Plurilingual Traditions: Learning from South Asian and Southern African Practices of Intercultural Communication

Shakil Rabbi and Suresh Canagarajah

Critical Friend Response

Danièle Moore

Section 2: Sociological and Philosophical Perspectives

Chapter 5: Language, Languaging, Plurilanguaging: Considerations on the Nature of Language and Language Education

Waldemar Martyniuk

Chapter 6: Evaluating Theoretical Constructs Underlying Plurilingual Pedagogies: The Role of Teachers as Knowledge-Generators and Agents of Language Policy

Jim Cummins

Chapter 7: Latin American Postcolonial Approaches to Plurilingualism: The Mexican Experience

Colette Despagne

Chapter 8: Linguistic Hybridity and Global Mobility

Stephen Bahry

Critical Friend Response

Bonny Norton

Section 3: The Plurilingual Individual: Cognition and Socialization

Chapter9: Neuroscience and Plurilingual Education: Trends for a Research Agenda

Claudia Maria Riehl

Chapter 10: The Cognitive and Psychological Dimensions of Plurilingualism

Thomas Bak and Dina Mehmedbegovic-Smith

Chapter 11: A Sociocognitive Theory for Plurilingualism: Complex Dynamic Systems Theory

Diane Larsen-Freeman and Elka Todeva

Chapter 12: Plurilingual Creativity: A New Framework for Research in Plurilingual and Creative Practices

Anatoliy Kharkhurin

Critical Friend Response

Isabel Capron Puozzo

Section 4: Negotiating Boundaries: Plurilingual Expression

Chapter 13: Questioning Human and Material Boundaries in Plurilingual Identity Construction

Diane Dagenais, Geneviève Brisson, Magali Forte, and Gwénaëlle André

Chapter 14: Social Sciences’ Last Hope: Giving Plurilingualism a Chance?

Jean-Claude Barbier

Chapter 15: Online Plurilingual interaction: Identity Construction and Development of Plurilingual Competence in Students and Teachers. A Focus on Intercomprehension

Maria Helena Araújo e Sá and Silvia Melo-Pfeifer

Chapter 16: What can Theatre Contribute to Plurilingual Education?

Joëlle Aden

Critical Friend Response

Jonas Erin

Section 5: Plurilingualism, Pluriculturalism and Practices in Language Education

Chapter 17: Plurilingual Mediation in the Classroom: Examples from Practice

Brian North

Chapter 18: Intercomprehension: Strengths and Opportunities of a Pluralistic Approach

Maddalena de Carlo and Sandra Garbarino

Chapter 19: Language Assessment in the Context of Plurilingualism

Nick Saville and Graham Seed

Chapter 20 - A multi-perspective tour of best practices

Perspective 1 (Plurilingual Education in Europe: Contexts, Initiatives and Ongoing Challenges): Emilee Moore and Mercè Bernaus

Perspective 2 (Challenges to Implementing Best Practices in Complex Plurilingual

Environments: The Case of South Asia): Shelley Taylor and Ajit Mohanty

Perspective 3 (Plurilingualism in Southern Africa): Medadi Ssentanda and Bonny Norton

Perspective 4 (Plurilingual Possibilities in the US: Beyond Translanguaging with Minoritized Bilinguals to Critical Multilingual Language Awareness for All Learners): Gail Prasad

Perspective 5 (Plurilingual Teachers in a Monolingual Disguise: Linguistic Landscapes and Language Pedagogy in Two Brazilian Language Programmes): Angelica Galante

Perspective 6 (Plurilingual Practices: A Canadian Perspective): Marie-Paule Lory

Perspective 7 (Plurilingual Perspectives in Australian Education): Sue Ollerhead and Julie Choi

Critical Friend Response

Angel M.Y. Lin

Section 6: The Potential Future of Plurilingualism

Chapter 21: Language Revitalization as a Plurilingual Endeavour

Robert Elliott

Chapter 22: Plurilingualism in Digital Spaces

Jérémie Séror

Chapter 23: Examining the Nature and Potential of Plurilingual Language Education: Toward a Seven-step Plurilingual Language Education Framework

Nathalie Auger

Chapter 24: The Ongoing Role of the CEFR in Our Plurilingual Landscape

Bernd Rüschoff

Critical Friend Response

Michele Gazzola



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Enrica Piccardo PhD is Professor of Language Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto and director of the CERLL research centre. Co-author of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Companion Volume (Council of Europe, 2020), she has coordinated international research projects in Canada and Europe. Her research spans language teaching approaches/curricula, multi/plurilingualism, creativity and complexity in language education.

Aline Germain-Rutherford PhD is Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include faculty development, second language pedagogy, speech technology and the integration of active pedagogy into online learning practices. She is the recipient of the 3M National Teaching Fellow Award, a Canadian award for excellence and leadership in higher education.

Geoff Lawrence PhD is Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics and English language teaching at York University, in Toronto, Canada. His research and publications focus on technology-mediated, intercultural and plurilingual approaches in language teaching and teacher education.



"This is an important and timely contribution, exploring comprehensively the significance, reach, and influence of plurilingualism, conceptually, geographically, and pedagogically. It highlights how a theoretical concept with its genesis in Europe can further inform and expand those sociolinguistic and applied linguistic fields worldwide which focus on language plurality as their starting point. Read it."

Stephen May, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


"This comprehensive volume is an outstanding contribution to the study of plurilingualism and plurilingual education. It is an excellent resource for scholars and for all those interested in how to value plurilingual repertoires and how to consider linguistic and cultural diversity as an asset."

Jasone Cenoz, University of the Basque Country, Spain.


"This collection of insights into plurilingual education presents a significant contribution for all interested in plurilingual education, multilingualism, language teaching and language learning in general. It summarizes the state-of-the-art of contemporary knowledge in an extraordinary variety of topics and thereby gives evidence of the multifaceted nature of the fairly new domain. This indispensable resource will certainly open up new research avenues in the field of language pedagogy in its relation to the dynamics and complexity of pluri- and multilingualism."

Ulrike Jessner, University of Innsbruck, Austria and University of Pannonia, Hungary.


"Plurilingualism is a phenomenon whose significance has become more evident, and analysed, in the contemporary world, and one of which educators must take into account. With contributions from authoritative scholars, this handbook provides the foundation on which new educational practices and outcomes can be constructed. It is a volume for every language professional and educators’ library." 

Michael Byram, University of Durham, UK.


"This much needed handbook consolidates theories, philosophies and practices around plurilingualism in education from different disciplinary, cultural and geographical angles. An essential companion for researchers, educators and teacher educators!"

Gabriela Meier, University of Exeter, UK.