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6. EDUCATION AS A SITE OF LANGUAGE CONTACT

  • Colin Baker

Abstract

This chapter reviews the multidimensional research on bilingual education, covering contexts where bilingual children are in transitional classrooms as well as schools where curriculum content is experienced in two (or more) languages. Bilingual education has become a major tool in language reversal planning, since language transmission within families within minority languages typically provides a considerable shortfall in language reproduction. To play its part in language reversal, bilingual education needs to show its relative effectiveness, both as an educational approach and for language maintenance planning. Immersion and dual language approaches have increasingly demonstrated such success. However, bilingual education is neither a universal panacea for language planners, nor is it effective purely due to dual language classroom approaches, as recent research reveals. Such research locates the political nature of bilingual education, not only at the level of policy making, but also in qualitative research in classrooms. It illuminates how language and literacy practices can latently legitimate and reproduce unequal relations between language majorities and minorities. Emerging directions in bilingual education research include trilingual education, the bilingual education of deaf students, the consequences of information technologies for bilingual classrooms, and the effect of the internationalization of English on language contact in schools. This reflects an international interest for research at the varying levels of philosophy, policy, provision, practice, and not least the politics of education as a site of language contact.

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6. EDUCATION AS A SITE OF LANGUAGE CONTACT

  • Colin Baker

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