Towards Multilingual Education: Basque Educational Research from an International Perspective

Author: Jasone Cenoz

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Multilingual Matters
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This volume focuses on issues such as the learning, use and assessment of languages in education, the age factor, the teaching of English as an international language and multilingualism at the university, in educational contexts in which several languages are taught either as subjects or languages of instruction. Jasone Cenoz proposes the 'Continua of Multilingual Education' as a tool to identify different types of multilingual schools and focuses on Basque educational research to discuss issues that are relevant for other contexts. 'Towards Multilingual Education: Basque Educational Research in International Perspective' is an up to date and comprehensive review of research involving Basque, Spanish and English in Basque schools. The book will be of great value to researchers, professionals and students interested in multilingualism and multilingual education all over the world.

Comprehensive in scope, and universal in its appeal, this book provides new understandings of multilingualism in education. By focusing on the case of the Basque Country, Cenoz studies the complexity of language development in an international, national and regional language, from early childhood education to university. The combination of the fine lens applied to the Basque Country with the broad strokes of deep theoretical and international understandings makes this a unique contribution.

Ofelia Garcia, City University of New York, USA

This is a superbly detailed and insightful case study of multilingual education that covers multiple perspectives. It would be an excellent textbook as well as an important resource for scholars and policy makers in the field.

Fred Genesee, McGill University, Canada

This book is a very timely and important contribution to the field of applied linguistics. It offers valuable insights into the study of bi- and multilingual education in the Basque Country from an international perspective. The author's familiarity with both the educational context and research in the field of multilingualism is reflected in the intellectually rich and most comprehensive book which is bound to become an indispensable reference-point in any discussion on multilingualism and multilingual education.

Ulrike Jessner, University of Innsbruck

Overall the book provides a welcome contribution to an analysis of multilingual education in the BAC from both educational and sociolinguistic perspectives.

The book is a treasure trove for those interested in multilingualism. Cenoz's case study of the Basque country will appeal to a wide audience of researchers and practitioners in the field of language education and bilingualism/multilingualism; it is insightful for policy makers, and accessible to graduate students. It is to all those that I would wish to recommend it.

Jasone Cenoz has produced a wonderful book that is both a case study and far more than a case study. Towards Multilingual Education is a valuable, interesting and intriguing contribution to the field, and should be of interest to anyone concerned with matters of language in education.

In Towards Multilingual Education: Basque Educational Research from an International Perspective, Jasone Cenoz provides a comprehensive and fascinating overview of multilingual education as well as a detailed case study of multilingual education in Spain's Basque Autonomous Community (BAC)...I highly recommend this book to all students and scholars who wish to broaden their knowledge of multilingual education. Steve Marshall, Simon Fraser University in The Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes,

67, 1 (February/f

This is an important contribution to an important subject in education globally. The detail both in terms of the data offered and in the related discussions makes it a very comprehensive case study that has clear relevance both in the BAC and in parallel communities. Much can be gained by academics and professionals fromthe careful and accessible analysis of this context. And it does make its case for wider generalizability; its central message, that we need to become multilingual but not by neglecting any of our languages, is key. It is also clear from the book that how we do this is a crucial ongoing discussion.

Philip Hood, University of Nottingham in ELT Journal

There are many strong points in this book. I have to specifically mention the clarity of style and accessibility of this book. Augmented with basic explanations on key concepts where necessary, this book will be useful even for beginners in the field. Subtitles in the contents page, division into subsections within the chapters, the short conclusion, and also several key points at the end of each chapter increase the user-friendliness of this book and make it welcome course material or a reference book for students in education and sociolinguistics. The book by Cenoz strikes a balance between scholarly authority and down to earth and practical information, which makes it so useful for so many. This volume would be a particularly useful resource for students, researchers, teacher training, and all interested in education and language pedagogy.

Larissa Aronin, Oranim Academic College, Israel in Book reviews IJSL 206 (2010)

Nearly a decade has passed since Grosjean (2002) called for extensive research into trilingualism, in order for us to learn more about the way in which the numerous studies and approaches into bilingualism can be easily transferred and carried over to multilingualism. Cenoz's case study is a valuable contribution to our understanding of this concept. Combining the theoretical and applied issues of multilingualism, her book analyses the achievements and challenges of bilingual and multilingual education in the Basque Country against the background of multilingualism as a growing, common worldwide phenomenon.

W. Gwyn Lewis, Bangor University, UK in International Journal of Multilingualism, 2011, 1:4

This book represents the advancement that has been made recently in research on multilingual education. Cenoz argues that it is possible to pursue multilingualism even under complex sociocultural conditions, that languages of different functions and from different origins can coexist side by side in harmony, and that multilingual education should be approached from a multilingual perspective.

KIMBERLY VINALL, University of California at Berkeley in Language in Society 40 (2011)

Towards Multilingual Education provides an excellent comprehensive and comparative overview of the existing research into (the outcomes of) different instructional approaches in Basque, Spanish and English from preschool through the university level. The book makes a significant contribution with the introduction of a new framework that presents a more dynamic and context-sensitive way of looking at multilingual education along three continua rather than binary, oppositional, distinctions. In practice, educators can use the framework to formulate goals to move their school toward the multilingual end of one or more continua. The framework is a useful tool as a starting point for setting new directions for policy, practice and research.

Ester J. de Jong, University of Florida in Language and Education, 2011, 25:1, 82-84

Towards multilingual education breaks new ground in the literature by providing the reader with a broad perspective on multilingualism in educational contexts around the world, together with a thorough analysis of the different types of multilingual education in the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC). In conclusion, Towards multilingual education is an excellent reference book in the field which can be recommended to researchers into multilingualism and to students and educators all over the world. It not only provides a comprehensive account of multilingual education in the BAC but also looks at this unique learning context from a universal stance. In the last decade, a number of books on multilingualism have appeared, but none of them combines global and local perspectives on the birth and development of multilingualism as thoroughly as this publication.

Rosa M. Jimenez-Catalan, University of La Rioja in Language Awareness, 2011, 20:2,151-154

In this volume, Jasone Cenoz presents and discusses a great number of international research studies of multilingual education. She provides the reader with detailed but accessible information on a wide range of research, along with a careful interpretation and evaluation of the evidence on each topic, locating all this within the ongoing debate on the Basque language in education...The information is presented in a well-written, balanced account of both practice and research. It will be a valuable resource for educational authorities and individuals who are aiming for a balanced multilingual curriculum from pre-school to university. The author never avoids difficult questions nor shows bias in matters related, for example, to the CLIL method or the achievements of bilingual education in the various models. The book is not only a valuable source for scholars, teachers and language planners within the BAC and other regions of Spain, but also for a wider international audience.

Alex M.J. Riemersma, Fryske Akademy in Language, Culture and Curriculum, 2010, 23: 2, 167-169

Towards Multilingual Education can perhaps be best described as one of those rare books that should not be missed. Towards Multilingual Education offers a broad, coherent, and well-reasoned overview of multilingual education that allows the reader to go beyond bilingualism and truly understand the challenges schools are facing today. The value of Towards Multilingual Education lies in having brought most of the key topics together in a coherent way. Cenoz clarifies what multilingual education is and how much we have come to know about educating multilingual students today. In comparison to other books available, it is state-of-the-art on the topic and likely to become a standard reference in the field within a very short time.

A major feature of this book is that it looks at multilingual education issues in the unique Basque situation through an international perspective and compares and contrasts the research findings from the Basque context with research from other countries. Overall, this book is a valuable addition to the existing literature on multilingual education and provides thoughts on establishing an alternative model to describe and analyse the various aspects involved in multilingual education.

Shengrong Cai, University of South Florida, USA in Language Teaching Research 15(2), 2011

This book is not only a timely, outstanding and relevant contribution to multilingualism and applied linguisitics research, but it is also a guide for those who are now interested in multilingual education, especially after the implementation of the English language as language of instruction (CLIL). The volume illustrates the comprehensiveness and importance of Cenoz's own research for the scientific community, for the field of applied linguistics in general and for studes on second and third language acquisition.

Maria Pilar Safont Jorda, Universitat Jaume I in RESLA 24 (2011) 297-301

Jasone Cenoz is professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of the Basque Country. Her research focuses on bilingualism and multilingualism in educational settings. She is the editor (in collaboration with Ulrike Jessner) of ‘The International Journal of Multilingualism’ and ‘Aila Review’. She is publications coordinator of AILA (International Association of Applied Linguistics) and she is the vice-president of IAM (International Association of Multilingualism). She has published widely on bilingualism and multilingualism and her most recent volume is ‘Towards Multilingual Education: Basque Educational Research in International Perspective’ which will be published by Multilingual Matters.



1. Why multilingualism in education?

2. Towards a typology of multilingual education

3. Using the minority as the language of instruction

4. Learning through the minority language: linguistic and academic outcomes

5. Third language learning and instruction through the third language

6. Learning English and learning through English: research outcomes

7. The influence of bilingualism on L3

8. Identities and attitudes

9. The age factor in bilingual and multilingual education

10. Bilingual and multilingual education at the university

11. Conclusions and future perspectives



Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Text
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