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Bilingual Community Education and Multilingualism Beyond Heritage Languages in a Global City Edited by: Ofelia García, Zeena Zakharia, Bahar Otcu

Paperback - 368 pages
07 Sep 2012
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


This book explores bilingual community education, specifically the educational spaces shaped and organized by American ethnolinguistic communities for their children in the multilingual city of New York. Employing a rich variety of case studies which highlight the importance of the ethnolinguistic community in bilingual education, this collection examines the various structures that these communities use to educate their children as bilingual Americans. In doing so, it highlights the efforts and activism of these communities and what bilingual community education really means in today's globalized world. The volume offers new understandings of heritage language education, bilingual education, and speech communities for bilingual Americans in the 21st century.


Overall, Bilingual Community Education forwards a compelling argument for examining how public schools and community language education programs can foster effective relationships that nurture global citizens with a critical awareness of the power of language. Through offering a range of studies in widely spoken languages—Spanish, Yiddish, Japanese, Russian, Bengali, Hindi, Sikh, Persian, Arabic, French, Haitian Creole, Hebrew and Korean—the editors demonstrate how language education is beginning to incorporate heteroglossic frameworks for acknowledging transcultural identities.In comparison with other studies on the subject of language education, Bilingual Community Education offers a wider spectrum of analysis for a particular geographic region and attends to the differing motivations for communities in establishing language education programs.

- Critical Multilingualism Studies, Vol 2, No 1 (2014)
- Irene Jagla, University of Arizona, USA

The volume as a whole is more than an accumulation of the impressive collaborative work Garcı´a and her colleagues have carried out in New York City over the last few years. It is a reconceptualization of bilingual education for the twenty first century. The studies included in the book have wide-ranging implications for policy-makers and educators.

- Language Policy (2015) 14:285–287
- Li Wei, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

Author Biography:

Ofelia García is Professor in the PhD programs of Urban Education and of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Among her most recent books are: Bilingual Education in the 21st Century; Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity, Vols. I & II; Educating Emergent Bilinguals; and Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times.

Zeena Zakharia is Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her recent publications consider the interplay of language policy, collective identity, and human security in schools, during and after violent political conflict. These interests stem from over a decade of educational leadership in war-affected bilingual contexts.

Bahar Otcu is Assistant Professor at Mercy College, New York. Her research interests include bilingual education, applied linguistics, language policies and ideologies, discourse analysis, and pragmatics. Her recent publications include a co-authored book chapter titled Developmental Patterns in Internal Modification Use in Requests and an article titled Heritage Language Maintenance and Cultural Identity Formation.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

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