Minority Populations in Canadian Second Language Education Edited by: Katy Arnett, Callie Mady

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21 Aug 2013
New Perspectives on Language and Education
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


Until now, the picture painted of French second language learning in Canada has tended to focus on successful French immersion. This volume offers a broader representation, in response to the demographic changes that have made the French language classroom a more complex place. Focusing on inclusion and language maintenance, the chapters discuss how a multilingual population can add the two official languages to their repertoire whilst maintaining their languages of origin/heritage; how the revitalization of Indigenous languages can best be supported in the language classroom, and how students with disabilities can be helped to successfully learn languages.


Teaching these languages poses its own set of problems: a lack of qualified teachers, few appropriate materials, and little knowledge of how best to approach these issues. This volume is an excellent starting point for research in these four areas. Each chapter has a copious bibliography and neatly describes the issues at hand. The writing is clear; it avoids overwhelming the reader with statistics and jargon but remains scholarly. Anyone interested in different language issues in Canada would be well advised to start here.

- French Review, Vol. 88.3 (March 2015) - Helene Ossipov, Arizona State University, USA

This volume provides a review of the complex and vibrant historical and contemporary situations in Canadian second language education. Students and researchers internationally will find Canada's experiences in this regard fascinating. The editors have ably brought together the work of scholars in diverse second language education fields: official language(s) education for newcomers; heritage language maintenance programs; second language education for persons with disabilities; and revitalization and maintenance programs for Aboriginal languages. This very wide scope is matched by chapters that consider in depth and detail language education provisions for these diverse groups.

- Kelleen Toohey, Simon Fraser University, Canada

This timely volume insightfully analyzes both the accomplishments and omissions in Canadian language policies over the past 40 years. Katy Arnett and Callie Mady have expanded the lens from the celebrated success of French immersion programs oriented to developing French skills among English-speaking students to include the range of multilingual realities currently found in Canadian schools. They focus on language learning opportunities (or lack thereof) afforded to social groups that have frequently been marginalized in Canadian society, specifically students from immigrant backgrounds, special needs students, and those from Aboriginal communities. The volume brilliantly sets the stage for a national discussion aimed at injecting coherence into Canadian language policies.

- Jim Cummins, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Canada

Author Biography:

Katy Arnett is Associate Professor, St Maryâ??s College of Maryland, USA, having worked in second language education for 12 years. Her research interests include inclusion in second language learning and newcomer learning, and she is the author of Languages for All: How to Support and Challenge Students in a Second Language Classroom (Pearson Education Canada, 2013).

Callie Mady worked as a language teacher for 16 years and is presently an Associate Professor at Nipissing University, Canada. Her research interests include inclusion in second language education and additional language learning. She is currently the President of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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