The Multilingual City: Vitality, Conflict and Change

Edited by: Lid King, Lorna Carson

Related Formats:
Hardback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
234mm x 156mm

Request an inspection copy

Price: £29.95
Price: $39.95
Price: €34.95

This book is an exploration of the vitality of multilingualism and of its critical importance in and for contemporary cities. It examines how the city has emerged as a key driver of the multilingual future, a concentration of different, changing cultures which somehow manage to create a new identity. The book uses the recent LUCIDE multilingual city reports as a basis for discussion and analysis, and deals with both societal and individual multilingualism in a way that draws on the full range of their historical, contemporary, visual/audible, psychological, educational and policy-oriented aspects. The book will be of interest to students and researchers of multilingualism, migration studies, European Studies, anthropology, sociology and urbanism.

This important new volume reports research on Europe's irretrievably multilingual cities and states where the challenges and rewards of multilingualism are sharply defined. Municipal authorities and national governments need to pay much more attention to the city as a site of language planning, of possible new conceptions of citizenship, and sites where much of the future of human relations will be negotiated.

Joseph Lo Bianco, University of Melbourne, Australia

An excellent way of understanding how language shapes cities just as much as nationality or ethnicity. With such understanding comes sensitivity and a greater chance of political harmony – of very great importance today.

Tony Travers, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

Students from anthropology, linguistics (specifically anthropological linguistics, sociolinguistics and maybe contact linguistics) and public policy classes would benefit from this book. This is a good source of qualitative studies and provides a good example on how to go about qualitative research in linguistics. Also, this work is good for students that are interested in plurilingualism in European cities and settings with contact between Indo-european languages and languages from Africa, Asia and other Indo-european languages.

LINGUIST List 28.986

This book and the complete downloadable research documents available online make this very well written Multilingual Matters volume an impirtant resource for students and scholars of multilingualism, migration studies, European studies, and other related disciplines. The chapters in this anthology constitute noteworthy semiotic analyses of the subtle interrelationships between languages and the city.

Language Problems and Language Planning 40:3

I invite members of CercleS and anyone interested in any aspect of multilingualism and intercultural competence to read The Multilingual City. It is a highly readable text – as explained above, it offers a clear and coherent presentation of the vitality of the urban landscape, with authors not only frequently cross-referencing to each other's contributions but also commenting on their findings in the light of previous scholarly literature.

Lid King was Director of CILT and then between 2003 and 2011 was National Director for Languages taking forward the implementation of the National Languages Strategy for England. He was co-author – with Lord Ron Dearing – of The Languages Review, and has represented the UK on languages at both the European Union and the Council of Europe. He established the Languages Company in 2008, originally in order to support the national policy on languages and also to promote languages pedagogy and policy issues.

Lorna Carson is Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics and Director of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies at Trinity College Dublin. Her teaching and research focuses on multilingualism with a particular emphasis on understanding the language classroom. She is President of the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (IRAAL).



1. Lorna Carson and Lid King: Introduction: 'Multilingualism is Lived Here'

2. Itesh Sachdev and Sarah Cartwright: The Vitality of Urban Multilingualism

3. Lorna Carson: The Sights and Sounds of the Multilingual City

4. Maria Stoicheva: Urban Multilingualism: Bond or Barrier?

5. Peter Skrandies: Language Policies and the Politics of Urban Multilingualism

6. David Little: Languages at School: A Challenge for Multilingual Cities

7. Lid King: Multilingual Cities and the Future — Vitality or Decline?

List of References           


Postgraduate, Research / Professional
« Back