Bilingual: Life and Reality

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9780674048874: Bilingual: Life and Reality

Whether in family life, social interactions, or business negotiations, half the people in the world speak more than one language every day. Yet many myths persist about bilingualism and bilinguals. In a lively and entertaining book, an international authority on bilingualism explores the many facets of life with two or more languages.

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About the Author:

François Grosjean is Professor Emeritus at Neuchâtel University, and author of Life with Two Languages: An Introduction to Bilingualism.

From Publishers Weekly:

Grosjean (Life with Two Languages) breaks little new ground in his study of bilingualism, but he does succeed in his stated aim to demystify who bilinguals are and the psychological ramifications of possessing more than one language with which to process and articulate experience. His discussion zeros in on such behaviors as suppressing the knowledge of one language in order to communicate in another or the choice to resist using a language because of a trauma or, conversely, lack of emotional connection to it. He distinguishes between bilinguals and biculturals and the situations that arise in the case of their coincidence. While not quite a revelation on the ability or aptitude for bilingualism, the book is a clear and readable primer covering various linguistic idiosyncrasies, state attitudes toward bilingualism, how to encourage equal aptitude in both languages, and the challenges in raising bilingual children. Enlivening the text are Grosjean's anecdotes about growing up bilingual (he is the son of an English mother and French father) and studies on the intersection of language and politics—especially when bilingualism is explicitly nurtured, as in Navajo revival classes on reservations. (Apr.)
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