With a flurry of recent public controversy surrounding legislation on language in education and the workplace, observers are beginning to assess the likely consequences of the shift in balance when speakers of English as a second and foreign language outnumber native speakers. At the same time there is a growing appreciation of the benefits which multilingualism brings for both minority language speakers and the wider English-speaking community in terms of business, the arts, diplomacy and defence. Multilingualism in the English-speaking World: Pedigree of Nations looks at the everyday realities for people living in 'inner-circle' English-speaking countries from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Accessibly written and drawing on real-life examples from North America, the British Isles, Australia and New Zealand, this book discusses the theoretical issues that underpin the current debates, drawing on the research literature on societal multilingualism, language maintenance and shift, language policy, language and power, and language and identity.
Viv Edwards is Professor of Language and Education at the University of Reading. She is editor of the international journal Language and Education, and her publications include The World in a Classroom: Language in Education in Britain and Canada (with Angela Redfern, 1992), The Other Languages: A Guide to Multilingual Classrooms (1996), and The Power of Babel: Teaching and Learning in Multilingual Classrooms (1998).