ERIC Number: ED435168
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
A Global Perspective on Bilingualism and Bilingual Education. ERIC Digest.
Tucker, G. Richard
The number of languages spoken throughout the world is estimated to be 6,000. Although a small number of languages serve as important link languages or languages of wider communication around the world, these are very often spoken as second, third, fourth, or later-acquired languages. Fewer than 25% of the world's approximately 200 countries recognize two or more official languages, with a mere handful recognizing more than two. Despite these conservative government policies, available data indicate that there are many more bilingual or multilingual individuals in the world than there are monolingual. In addition, there are many more children throughout the world who have been and continue to be educated through a second or a later-acquired language, at least for some portion of their formal education, than there are children educated exclusively via the first language. In many parts of the world, bilingualism or multilingualism and innovative approaches to education that involve the use of two or more languages constitute the normal everyday experience. Results from published, longitudinal, and critical research undertaken in varied settings throughout the world indicate that the development of multiple language proficiency is possible and is viewed as desirable by educators, policymakers, and parents in many countries. This digest discusses the use of multiple languages in education, research on the use of first and second languages in education, common threads of successful programs, cross-cutting themes, key issues warranting further attention, and questions to ask regarding multilingual education in one's community. (VWL)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Bilingualism, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Language of Instruction, Language Research, Multilingualism, Program Design, Second Language Learning, Second Languages, Teaching Methods
ERIC/CLL, 4646 40th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016-1859. For full text:
. Tel: 800-276-9834 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.