Sociolinguistics and Language Education Edited by: Nancy H. Hornberger, Sandra Lee McKay

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17 Jun 2010
New Perspectives on Language and Education
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This book, addressed to experienced and novice language educators, provides an up-to-date overview of sociolinguistics, reflecting changes in the global situation and the continuing evolution of the field and its relevance to language education around the world. Topics covered include nationalism and popular culture, style and identity, creole languages, critical language awareness, gender and ethnicity, multimodal literacies, classroom discourse, and ideologies and power. Whether considering the role of English as an international language or innovative initiatives in Indigenous language revitalization, in every context of the world sociolinguistic perspectives highlight the fluid and flexible use of language in communities and classrooms, and the importance of teacher practices that open up spaces of awareness and acceptance of --and access to--the widest possible communicative repertoire for students.


The very size and richness of this volume makes it ideal for multiple shorter self-designed explorations. So each reader can enter through the chapter of greatest interest at the moment (for me the first time, it was Language Policy and Planning in the Language and Society section). Then follow your own links to Language and Ideology, Variation, Literacy, Identity, and Interaction. It belongs in all our personal libraries.

- Courtney B. Cazden, Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA

To those of us who 'came of age' with McKay and Hornberger’s Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching (1995), this newly edited volume is a gift - a gift that will enable us to share our fascination with the social, cultural, and political aspects of language teaching with our student teachers, while updating our own knowledge of sociolinguistics.

- Yasuko Kanno, CITE, Temple University, USA

Sociolinguistics and Language Education brings together the most authoritative voices in the field to explore the intersections of language and education in contexts around the world. At a time of unprecedented population mobility and cross-cultural contact, policy-makers and educators are searching for ways to adapt 20th century assumptions about the static nature of constructs such as language, culture, power, identity and communication to the dynamic and shifting realities of 21st century schools and communities. The editors have done a superb job in creating a resource that is comprehensive in its articulation of the complexities of social interactions in a globalized world yet simultaneously accessible, lucid, engaging, and thought-provoking.

- Jim Cummins, OISE, University of Toronto, Canada.

What makes this book stand out is that it eloquently combines sociolinguistics with language education in the same volume... It is without a doubt that each chapter has been written by some of the most influential figures in the field from all over the world, who have done extensive research on the topic explored...This volume makes a major contribution to our understanding of the approach to language education in relation to the complex and diverse social and linguistic contexts of today...This book is rich in material, has useful bibliographies, and is both interesting and thought provoking. It is readable without over-simplifying detailed arguments. One of the strengths of this book is the frequent and explicit reference to learners and their teachers in specific situations...The editors have done a superb job in creating a resource that is comprehensive in its articulation of the complexities of social interactions in a globalized world yet simultaneously accessible, lucid, and engaging. All in all, the book should find its place in postgraduate courses in applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, language and education, language and diversity and bilingual education. It is also a suitable introduction to research for both teachers and novice researchers.

- Alexandre Dufaur, Department of Linguistics, Florida Atlantic University LINGUIST List 22.46

Author Biography:

Nancy H. Hornberger is Professor of Education and Director of Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Recent three-time Fulbright Senior Specialist, to Paraguay, New Zealand, and South Africa respectively, Hornberger teaches, lectures, and advises on multilingualism and education throughout the world and has authored or edited over two dozen books, including most recently Can Schools Save Indigenous Languages? Policy and Practice on Four Continents (Palgrave Macmillan 2008), and the ten-volume Encyclopedia of Language and Education (Springer 2008).

Sandra McKay is Professor Emeritus of English at San Francisco State University. Her books include Teaching English as an International Language: Rethinking Goals and Approaches (2002, OUP) and Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching (edited with Nancy Hornberger, 1996, CUP). Her newest book is International English in its Sociolinguistic Contexts: Towards a Socially Sensitive Pedagogy (with Wendy Bokhorst-Heng, 2008, Frances Taylor). She has received Fulbright Grants, academic specialists awards and worked extensively in international teacher education in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate, Text

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