Challenging the Monolingual Mindset Edited by: John Hajek, Yvette Slaughter

Hardback - 272 pages
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02 Oct 2014
Multilingual Matters
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This volume illustrates the distinctive and interconnected use of languages in increasingly diversified communities, examining a range of multilingual contexts, including post-migration settlement, language policy, education, language contact and intercultural communication. With contributions from researchers in Australia, Europe and Asia, the book discusses the opportunities and tensions that can emerge when societies attempt to manage and understand multilingual communication within and across communities. Reflecting the ideas of Professor Michael Clyne, the volume makes clear how ongoing research across a broad range of topics can assist in challenging the monolingual mindset by bringing to the attention of readers the rich linguistic diversity, as well as linguistic potential, of our communities around the world.


The book is a tribute to the legacy of Michael Clyne, researcher and advocate of multilingualism in Australia and abroad over a lifetime, and source of lasting inspiration for his many colleagues around the world, including those who contributed to this book with case studies across Australia, Europe and Asia. Australia has been a continent of immigration for many people and newborn generations with a wide spectrum of European roots. In its turn, this book will function as a rich source of learning and inspiration for many interested researchers and students who have witnessed and experienced the passage of Europe from a continent of emigration to immigration.

- Guus Extra, Tilburg University, Netherlands

A wonderful book dedicated to the memory of Professor Michael Clyne who contributed so much to sociolinguistics and to multilingualism in Australia and in the world. The papers focus on the 'monolingual mindset' – an attitude that is so prevalent in many nations but gets challenged by migration, economic globalization and immigration. This collection provides a profound overview about various aspects of this type of mindset and the effects on language and society.

- Rudolf Muhr, Austrian German Research Centre, University of Graz, Austria

This volume illustrates in a unique way the breadth of influence of Michael Clyne to whom it is dedicated. This is reflected in a wide range of exceptional studies in the field of multilingualism from what can be called 'The Melbourne School'. Reaching from language use and policy in the international contexts and challenges of language maintenance, transmission and intercultural communication to multilingualism in the educational system, this book sets landmarks for future research.

- Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Munich, Germany

Challenging the Monolingual Mindset serves as a fascinating exemplification of Clyne’s eclectic philosophy and introduces readers to a range of issues relating to the topic of multilingualism within international and Australian contexts. This renders it a compelling read for scholars and students from a variety of backgrounds including those interested in language policy, the status of multilingualism in various locales, language maintenance, and the rise of global English.

- LINGUIST List 26.2474 (2015) - Heather Smyser, University of Arizona, USA

Challenging the monolingual mindset is a thoughtful volume that highlights the
universality of a language ideology that has influenced the way linguistic diversity
and multilingualism has been viewed and addressed in education, language policy
and everyday communication. This book is a highly enjoyable and engaging read.
It is a notable contribution to the emerging body of research that has been
influenced by the pioneering ideas of the late Professor Michael Clyne. This book
is a worthy dedication to a remarkable and inspirational academic whose ideas
and passion for linguistics hopefully continue to shape emerging research.

- Multilingua 2015 - Livia Gerber, Macquarie University, Australia

Author Biography:

John Hajek is Professor of Italian and Director of the Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-cultural Communication (RUMACCC) in the School of Languages and Linguistics at The University of Melbourne. He is also founding president of the Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities (LCNAU).

Yvette Slaughter is a Research Fellow in the Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross- Cultural Communication (RUMACCC) in the School of Languages and Linguistics at The University of Melbourne. Her research interests include language policy, language education (policy and implementation), bilingual education and sociolinguistics.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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