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    Altman, Carmit Burstein Feldman, Zhanna Yitzhaki, Dafna Armon Lotem, Sharon and Walters, Joel 2014. Family language policies, reported language use and proficiency in Russian – Hebrew bilingual children in Israel. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Vol. 35, Issue. 3, p. 216.

    Avni, Sharon 2011. Toward an understanding of Hebrew language education: ideologies, emotions, and identity. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Vol. 2011, Issue. 208,

    Golan-Cook, Pnina and Olshtain, Elite 2011. A model of identity and language orientations: the case of immigrant students from the Former Soviet Union in Israel. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Vol. 32, Issue. 4, p. 361.

    Muchnik, Malka 2010. Is it just the telenovelas? Learning Spanish in Israeli schools. Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol. 4, Issue. 1,

    Bensoussan, Marsha 2009. Reading preferences and expectations of multilingual Israeli university students. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Vol. 30, Issue. 6, p. 465.

    Makoni, Sinfree Makoni, Busi and Nyika, Nicholus 2008. Language Planning From Below: The Case of the Tonga in Zimbabwe. Current Issues in Language Planning, Vol. 9, Issue. 4, p. 413.

  • Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Volume 17
  • 1997, pp. 138-150

Multilingualism in Israel


Israel's geographical position as a land bridge connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, its resulting long history of conquest and reconquest, and its status as the point of focus of four major world religions (the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, and significant to Islam and Baha'i), all assure it a long tradition of complex and ever-changing multilingualism. By the beginning of the Common Era two thousand years ago, a pattern of triglossia had emerged, with Hebrew, Judeo-Aramaic, and Greek all playing meaningful roles (Spolsky 1983). This model of language organization became the norm for the Jewish people during most of their dispersion, with separate defined functions for three languages. Hebrew (actually Hebrew and Talmudic Aramaic) was used for religious and literacy purposes; a Jewish language like Yiddish, Judeo-French, Ladino, or Judeo-Arabic was used for most other community and home functions (Rabin 1981); and one or more “co-territorial vernaculars” was used for communication with non-Jews (Weinreich 1980).

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E. Barkon and E. Avinor . 1995. Academic difficulties and early literacy deprivation: The case of Ethiopians in Israel. Language, Culture and Curriculum. 8.201210.

J. Fellman 1973b. The revival of a classical tongue: Eliezer ben Yehuda and the modern Hebrew language. The Hague: Mouton.

S. B. Saulson (ed.) 1979. Institutionalized language planning. The Hague: Mouton. [Studies in the Sociology of Language.]

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Annual Review of Applied Linguistics
  • ISSN: 0267-1905
  • EISSN: 1471-6356
  • URL: /core/journals/annual-review-of-applied-linguistics
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