Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism Author: Colin Baker

Paperback - 512 pages
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18 Feb 2011
Multilingual Matters
246 x 178


The fifth edition of this bestselling book provides a comprehensive introduction to bilingualism and bilingual education. In a compact and clear style, its 19 chapters cover all the crucial issues in bilingualism at individual, group and national levels. These include:

• defining who is bilingual and multilingual

• testing language abilities and language use

• languages in communities and minority groups

• endangered languages

• language planning, language revival

• the development of bilingualism in infancy and childhood

• bilingualism in the family

• age and language learning

• adult language learning

• bilinguals' thinking skills

• bilingualism and the brain

• theories of bilingualism

• types of bilingual education

• heritage language education

• evaluations of bilingual education

• minority language literacy

• biliteracy and multiliteracies

• effective teaching and learning methods in bilingual classrooms

• the effectiveness of bilingual education in the United States

• the history of bilingual education in the United States

• language minority underachievement

• bilingual special education

• the assessment of language minority children

• Deaf bilinguals

• the spread of English as a global language

• learning English as a second or third language

• language identity and multiple identities

• the politics surrounding language minorities and bilingual education

• assimilation and pluralism

• bilingualism and employment

• bilingualism and the internet


I remain awed by Baker's ability to represent all positions and include all viewpoints, while remaining simple and straightforward. It is its scholarly exhaustiveness and complexity, coupled with a simplicity of style, that makes this text invaluable for students and scholars alike.

- Ofelia Garcia, Teachers College, Colombia University

Author Biography:

Professor Colin Baker is Pro Vice Chancellor at Bangor University and holds a Personal Chair of the University of Wales.  He is the author of a wide range of books with Multilingual Matters, including a companion volume to this book entitled Bilingual Education: an Introductory Reader co-edited with Ofelia Garcνa. His research specific interests are in language planning and bilingual education. The previous editions of this book have sold over 70,000 copies with translations into Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Latvian, Georgian, Greek, Vietnamese and Mandarin. He edits/co-edits three Multilingual Matters Book Series and is Editor of the International Journal of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education.

Readership Level:

Undergraduate, Text

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