Review by Choice Review
Davis and Jones (Univ. of Wales, Bangor) convincingly demonstrate that great encyclopedists are still with us. Their 118 brief articles (three to five pages), vetted by an international team of scholars, define key terms, describe the work of leading theorists and researchers, cite substantive critical responses, and most importantly, raise more questions than they attempt to answer. The work is a distillation for nonspecialists, who will find it very palatable. Each entry is enhanced by text boxes (e.g., photographs, charts, and biographical sketches of leading scholars like Joshua Fishman) that occasionally overwhelm shorter pieces but on the whole add appeal. Where else can one find a description of a "Welsh Not" stick, worn by hapless students who dared speak their mother tongue in school? The articles are ordered rather arbitrarily within three sections (a fourth is devoted to the linguistic situation in various countries, with accompanying maps), but this is a work meant to be browsed. The tone is informal, even chatty, and the writing style sometimes hackneyed but never dry. Some topics are too condensed: one dealing with foreign and second language teaching summarizes four popular approaches but fails to mention either the natural approach or the communicative approach. The excellent bibliography contains some 2,000 references to Continental and US books and journal articles. This set is a prodigious treatise and although not without minor editorial faults should be in every academic library. C. B. Thurston; University of Texas at San Antonio
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
Language is more than a means of communication. It is tightly bound to culture, politics, and ethnic identity. With increasing migration and globalization, the need to function in more than one language is becoming more important. Bilingual education, the topic of many heated discussions in political and educational circles, is not easy to understand. The authors, bilingual scholars at the School of Education, University of Wales, Bangor, want to "promote the subject of bilingualism in an attractive, comprehensible and comprehensive manner . . . to be academically sound while being accessible to as wide an audience as possible." This encyclopedia has four major sections: "Individual Bilingualism," "Languages in Society," "Languages in Contact in the World," and "Bilingual Education" . Each section contains broad topical articles on subjects such as "Who Is Bilingual?" "Aims of Bilingual Education," and "Multiculturalism in Education." These articles are broken down into shorter sections that cover individual aspects of the subjects, such as immersion in bilingual education, bilingual education for deaf students, and second-language acquisition. Section 3, "Languages in Contact in the World," discusses bilingualism in specific countries. Most articles have short lists of sources for further reading. Graphs, maps, charts, and photographs accompany the articles. Sidebars present extra material such as brief biographies of scholars working in the field, portraits of bilingual families, current educational and linguistic theories, and contemporary events such as the controversy about Ebonics in the Oakland, California, public schools. Cross-references direct users to related articles. A bibliography of more than 2,000 sources and author and subject indexes complete the work. Although much of the material presented here deals with complex theories in the areas of linguistics, psychology, sociology, and education, the authors discuss things like language acquisition, cognition, and social and ethnic identity in terms that are easy for all readers to understand. They also offer a great deal of practical information about the implementation of bilingual and multicultural education. This is an interesting and useful source for academic and large public libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Just about anything anyone would want to know (and then some) about bilingualism around the world can be found in this 500,000-word encyclopedia. Noting that approximately two-thirds of the world's inhabitants are bilingual, Baker (education, Univ. of Wales) and coauthor Jones attempt to raise awareness about language diversity and help reduce the prejudice and stereotyping that surround language minorities. The encyclopedia is broken into four sections discussing individual bilingualism, languages in society, languages in contact in the world, and bilingual education. Each section offers numerous textboxes, photographs, and graphics. Cross-referencing allows the reader to access other information in the encyclopedia, while "Further Reading" sections at the end of each topic and a bibliography at the end of the encyclopedia lead the reader to information elsewhere. Though the scope is worldwide, interest will be limited owing to its cost and narrow focus. For academic libraries and larger public libraries.ÄTerry A. Christner, Hutchinson P.L., Kansas (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.