Aneta Pavlenko, Emotions and multilingualism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Pp. xiv, 304.
As applied linguists turn their attention to the relationship among language, culture, and identity in second language acquisition (SLA) (e.g., Norton 2000; Kramsch 2003a, 2003c), the area of research called “affective factors in SLA” has gained in prominence, particularly with regard to bilingual individuals – according to Pavlenko's definition in Emotions and multilingualism, “speakers who use two or more languages or dialects in their everyday lives” (p. 6). In the past 10 years, Aneta Pavlenko has singlehandedly put emotions at the center of the language learning enterprise and has given a heart to SLA processes that are usually studied exclusively from the cognitive or the social perspective. This book pulls much of her recent work together and embeds it in a large programmatic, state-of-the-art discussion of the emotional dimensions of bilingualism. It also makes an eloquent case for relinquishing the current monolingual bias in linguistics and for studying language from the perspective of the multicompetent individual who speaks more than one language across multiple cultural contexts in everyday life. As such, it is passionate, ambitious, at times personal and autobiographical, but thoroughly researched and rigorously argued, a book that attempts to redirect the attention of linguists, anthropologists, and psychologists to the subjective dimensions of language, language learning, and language use. Even though the book explicitly focuses on non-instructional uses of language, it makes reference throughout to language teachers in the classroom and to their need to teach non-native speakers the culturally appropriate ways of expressing and interpreting emotions in the L2.