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  • Cited by 17
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2018
Print publication year:
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Book description

The ability to speak two or more languages is a common human experience, whether for children born into bilingual families, young people enrolled in foreign language classes, or mature and older adults learning and using more than one language to meet life's needs and desires. This Handbook offers a developmentally oriented and socially contextualized survey of research into individual bilingualism, comprising the learning, use and, as the case may be, unlearning of two or more spoken and signed languages and language varieties. A wide range of topics is covered, from ideologies, policy, the law, and economics, to exposure and input, language education, measurement of bilingual abilities, attrition and forgetting, and giftedness in bilinguals. Also explored are cross- and intra-disciplinary connections with psychology, clinical linguistics, second language acquisition, education, cognitive science, neurolinguistics, contact linguistics, and sign language research.


'This is the most up-to-date collection of insights into bilingualism to appear over the past ten years. It represents a significant contribution to an all-embracing view of the many facets of bilingual research and should become foundation reading for all those intending to delve further into this exciting domain.'

Hugo Baetens Beardsmore - Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and Emeritus Professor of English and Bilingualism, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

'A stunning and accessible compilation, anchored in expertise and courageous in charting the dynamic and evolving terrain of research on individual language acquisition and bilingualism. Bravo to the editors for their inclusive and lifespan approach to language learning, use and unlearning and their willingness to encourage scrutiny of long-held beliefs about bilingualism, monolingualism and language.'

Nancy H. Hornberger - University of Pennsylvania

'The editors of this Handbook have done a tremendous job in offering readers an exceptionally broad spectrum of views on phenomena of individual bilingualism across the life span: A wealth of well-structured information and new insights, timely and truly refreshing, even for established researchers.'

Jan Hulstijn - Universiteit van Amsterdam

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