Academic Biliteracies Multilingual Repertoires in Higher Education Edited by: David M. Palfreyman, Christa van der Walt

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02 Mar 2017
Bilingual Education & Bilingualism
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


Research on academic literacy within higher education has focused almost exclusively on the development of academic literacy in English. This book is unique in showing how students use other languages when they engage with written academic content – whether in reading, discussing or writing – and how increasingly multilingual higher education campuses open up the possibility for students to exploit their multilingual repertoires in and around reading/writing for academic purposes. Chapters range from cases of informal student use of different written languages, to pedagogical, institutional and disciplinary strategies leveraging multilingual resources to develop biliteracy. They are ordered according to two dominant themes. The first includes accounts of diverse multilingual contexts where biliteracy practices emerge in response to the demands of academic reading and writing. The second theme focuses on more deliberate attempts to teach biliteracy or to teach in a way that supports biliteracy. The collection will be of interest to researchers, higher education practitioners and students of multilingual higher education and academic literacy.


In our globalized world the use of multiple languages to engage with others and wrestle with ideas and concepts is increasingly common in higher education. This volume is an important and timely contribution to understanding the opportunities that the fluid use of more than one language offers teachers, learners and researchers.

- Betty Leask, La Trobe University, Australia

This global tour of multilingualism in higher education reminds us that multilingualism is always embedded in socioeconomic inequalities. However, something can be done about this; and Academic Biliteracies will inspire educators worldwide to pay closer attention to the merits of allowing multilingual students to draw on all their linguistic resources as a strategy to improve educational outcomes for all.

- Ingrid Piller, Macquarie University, Australia

Drawing on an interesting variety of examples from the four corners of the world, this book provides a timely, riveting and original account of different multilingual pedagogical strategies and policy recommendations to better understand and foster student academic biliteracies in higher education. With a focus on student writing, the work moves away from the extant orthodoxy of academic literacies and revisits multilingual teaching and learning practices and language policies under a new and challenging light.

- Emma Dafouz, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

This book is an innovative academic literacy resource for professionals who are investigating how to create language resources and implement pedagogical strategies in order to develop balanced academic biliteracy. A major strength of this book is the emphasis that it places on meeting the multilingual academic needs of university student populations despite the strong influence of language-centered ideologies (e.g., academic English only) that negatively impact the use of minority languages in tertiary education settings.

- International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2018 - Zahir Mumin, University at Albany, SUNY, USA

Author Biography:

David M. Palfreyman is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Writing Studies at Zayed University, UAE. His research interests include language, culture and learning in postsecondary education and he is the co-editor of Learning and Teaching Across Cultures in Higher Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Christa van der Walt is Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her research interests include the role of English in multilingual, academic contexts and she is the author of Multilingual Higher Education (Multilingual Matters, 2013).

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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