Aspects of Bilingualism in Wales

Author: Colin Baker

Related Formats:
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm
Price: £89.95
Price: $129.95
Price: €109.95
Wales is a small nation with a long and varied tradition of bilingualism. The minority language and culture is under threat. The book seeks to take the temperature of the Welsh language. Building on a computer analysis of the 1981 Welsh language Census data, the book provides evidence of a language moving slowly towards extinction. The aim of each chapter is to examine an issue which is of significance in most minority language situations, but is exemplified and encapsulated in the Welsh context. The effect of television and other mass media, the potential and threat of the microelectronic revolution, the existence and erosion of heartlands are issues which are part of the nervous tension of contemporary Wales and many other minority language regions. The role of bilingual education is a central issue of the book. A bilingual education model is described as a basis for analysing some of the problems and issues of Welsh and worldwide bilingual education. Another chapter analyses different approaches to curriculum development in minority language contexts and argues for a dual approach combining central initiatives and teacher based action research. Regional variations in the policy and provision of bilingual schooling in Wales are portrayed, and two further chapters present recent research into Welsh education. This research points to the crucial nature of immersion and active participation in the minority culture as a lifeline for the future of the Welsh language.

Colin Baker is Emeritus Professor of Education at Bangor University. He has three bilingual children and has given talks for over 20 years to parents and teachers on bilingualism. His many publications on bilingualism include Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, which has been translated into Japanese, Spanish, Latvian, Greek and Mandarin and is now in its 5th edition (2011).

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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