Jasone Cenoz

University of the Basque Country


Traditionally there has been a division between elitist bi/multilingualism understood as foreign language learning at bi/multilingual schools and different types of bilingual education for minority languages. This plenary address looks at the relationship between these two types of education by focusing on multilingual education for minorities. Multilingual education is understood as going beyond bilingual education by teaching more than two languages in the school curriculum and aiming at the development of multilingualism.

The first part of the paper explores the nature of the relationship between multilingual education and society. Multilingual education is a real-life dynamic laboratory of language acquisition, language contact and language use. These characteristics of multilingual education will be represented in the ‘Continua of Multilingual Education’ model which highlights the relationship between schools and their sociolinguistic context.

The second part of the paper will provide a critical review of research in multilingual education. This review will focus on the limitations of the theoretical approaches and research methodologies and will analyse the results achieved so far. The paper will end by proposing a research agenda for addressing crucial gaps in the study of multilingual education.

Session: Jasone Cenoz
Friday, April 4, 2008, 18:00-19:00
room: aula