Edited by Corinne A. Seals & Vincent Ieni Olsen-Reeder (Victoria University Press)
Embracing Multilingualism Across Educational Contexts is a comprehensive
exploration of international case studies of multilingualism in education, and investigates the effects of different types of supportive languages education. There is a focus on researcher-led and practitioner-led studies of translanguaging in teaching.
The book is one to refer back to over time, to dip and delve into, as each of the chapters brings a different context and suggestions of possible further research or practical implications to support multilingual learning environments. Regardless of the specific context, though, there is a shared agreement that embracing students’ multilingual resources within the learning environment is crucial for successful learning.
The discussion from research, practitioner and policy perspectives enables “live” tensions and discourse to be unpacked. Some real tensions are identified between the policies related to mother-tongue language development through mother-tongue education, and the realities of attitudes that support monolingualism and dominant languages. These tensions highlight the difference that may occur between the espoused theory and the theory in action, and the impact of this on both teachers and students.
The book pays particular attention to how one best serves heritage languages, inclusive of indigenous and immigrant languages, and would be a must-read for those working in this space in teaching.
Reviewed by Lynda Stuart