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  • Cited by 105
  • Edited by Vivian Cook, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Li Wei, Institute of Education, University College London
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2016
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

How are two or more languages learned and contained in the same mind or the same community? This handbook presents an up-to-date view of the concept of multi-competence, exploring the research questions it has generated and the methods that have been used to investigate it. The book brings together psychologists, sociolinguists, Second Language Acquisition (SLA) researchers, and language teachers from across the world to look at how multi-competence relates to their own areas of study. This comprehensive, state-of-the-art exploration of multi-competence research and ideas offers a powerful critique of the values and methods of classical SLA research, and an exciting preview of the future implications of multi-competence for research and thinking about language. It is an essential reference for all those concerned with language learning, language use and language teaching.


‘… a true tour de force. Its broad scope, covering everything from methodology to learning and teaching and representing a variety of original approaches to traditional language learning research, makes it a must read for anyone interested in what it means to know more than one language.’

Susan M. Gass - Distinguished University Professor, Michigan State University

‘… constitutes a major landmark that will help shift assumptions away from thinking of monolingualism as the norm to accepting multilingualism as the default condition for human language ability. The chapters are written by top scholars in all aspects of the language sciences, producing a collection that is compulsory reading for researchers, educators, and clinicians.'

Ellen Bialystok - Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology, York University, Toronto

'… wonderfully rich in its state-of-the-art delineation of linguistic multi-competence approaches to study of individuals and communities previously known as merely 'bilingual'. From translanguaging to creativity in language use, language acquisition to attrition, syntax to emotion and personality, the range of the topics (and the authors) reflects the broad extension Cook's concept of multi-competence has achieved. I plan to use this book regularly in the neurolinguistics classes I teach on bilingualism.’

Loraine K. Obler - Distinguished Professor, City University of New York Graduate Center

‘Vivian Cook's inspiring notion of multi-competence has sown seeds in many different areas of language research and this collection that Li Wei and he have put together provides ample proof of that. This should rapidly become standard reading for all these interested in enlightened approaches to language use and language users, monolinguals and multilinguals alike.’

Mike Sharwood Smith - Emeritus Professor of Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh and Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Edinburgh

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