Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"
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EDITORS: Spolsky, Bernard & Hult, Francis M. TITLE: The Handbook of Educational Linguistics SERIES TITLE: Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics PUBLISHER: Wiley-Blackwell YEAR: 2010
Alicia Pousada, English Department, University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras
This book is the 2010 paperback edition of 'The Handbook of Educational Linguistics' originally published in hardcover format in 2008 (not reviewed on LINGUIST at the time). It is an affordable, one-volume compendium that sums up the increasingly complex and multidisciplinary field of educational linguistics via focused yet processable articles written by an international group of experts. It addresses the broad spectrum of theoretical perspectives, essential themes, principal conclusions, and real world applications of educational linguistic research. It should be extremely helpful in the clarification and resolution of language education dilemmas world-wide that have resulted from the dialectical processes of globalization and linguistic diversification. It is directed at a well-educated, though diverse, audience, including school policymakers and curriculum developers, linguistic researchers, language teachers, and graduate students working in literacy campaigns, bilingual or bidialectal education programs, programs for the deaf, and language resuscitation efforts.
The editors of the handbook certainly have the credentials to carry out their job. Bernard Spolsky, retired professor formerly of McGill University, Indiana University, University of New Mexico, and Bar-Ilan University, is well-known to anyone who has worked in any of the areas circumscribed within educational linguistics. He posited the term ''educational linguistics'' back in 1974 and wrote the first textbook dedicated to the topic in 1978. He has published numerous books and articles on educational and applied linguistics and is also the editor of the 1999 Concise Encyclopedia of Educational Linguistics (Spolsky 1974, 1978, 1999). Francis Hult is an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Texas at San Antonio and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Lund University in Sweden. He has written numerous articles on language policy and planning and manages the Educational Linguistics List.
The first two of the 44 chapters paint with broad brushstrokes the outlines of the field of educational linguistics. The next seven chapters discuss the interdisciplinary links between educational linguistics and other language-related fields, including neurobiology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, political science, education, and theoretical linguistics. The 27 articles composing the core of the book address the themes of linguistically and culturally responsive education, language education policy and management, literacy development, language acquisition, and language assessment. The final eight chapters of the handbook consider the recent contributions of research to the practices of language/literacy instruction and assessment, in particular with regard to indigenous, minority, and migrant communities. They additionally pinpoint areas for future research involving the utilization of technology in dealing with language problems and in rescuing endangered languages.
Table of Contents:
Introduction 1. Introduction: What Is Educational Linguistics?: Bernard Spolsky (Bar-Ilan University). 2. The History and Development of Educational Linguistics: Francis M. Hult (University of Texas at San Antonio).
Part I: Foundations for Educational Linguistics 3. Neurobiology of Language Learning: Laura Sabourin (University of Oregon) and Laurie A. Stowe (University of Groningen). 4. Psycholinguistics: William C. Ritchie (Syracuse University) and Tej K. Bhatia (Syracuse University). 5. Linguistic Theory: Richard Hudson (University College London). 6. Sociolinguistics and Sociology of Language: Rajend Mesthrie (University of Cape Town). 7. Linguistic Anthropology: Stanton Wortham (University of Pennsylvania). 8. The Political Matrix of Linguistic Ideologies: Mary McGroarty (Northern Arizona University). 9. Educational Linguistics and Education Systems: Joseph Lo Bianco (University of Melbourne).
Part II: Core Themes A. Linguistically and Culturally Responsive Education 10. The Language of Instruction Issue: Framing an Empirical Perspective: Stephen L. Walter (Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics). 11. Bilingual and Biliterate Practices at Home and School: Iliana Reyes (University of Arizona) and Luis C. Moll (University of Arizona). 12. Vernacular Language Varieties in Educational Settings: Research and Development: Jeffrey Reaser (North Carolina State University) and Carolyn Temple Adger (Center for Applied Linguistics). 13. Linguistic Accessibility and Deaf Children: Samuel J. Supalla (University of Arizona) and Jody H. Cripps (Towson University). 14. Identity in Language and Literacy Education: Carolyn McKinney (University of Witwatersrand) and Bonny Norton (University of British Columbia). 15. Postcolonialism and Globalization in Language Education: Hyunjung Shin (University of Toronto) and Ryuko Kubota (University of North Carolina). B. Language Education Policy and Management 16. Levels and Goals -- Central Frameworks and Local Strategies: Brian North (Eurocentres). 17. Language Acquisition Management Inside and Outside the School: Richard B. Baldauf Jr (University of Queensland), Minglin Li (Ludong University) and Shouhui Zhao (Nanyang Technological University). 18. Language Cultivation in Developed Contexts: Ji?í Nekvapil (Charles University). 19. Language Cultivation in Contexts of Multiple Community Languages: M. Paul Lewis (SIL International) and Barbara Trudell (SIL International). 20. Ecological Language Education Policy: Nancy H. Hornberger (University of Pennsylvania) and Francis M. Hult (University of Texas at San Antonio). 21. Education for Speakers of Endangered Languages: Teresa L. McCarty (Arizona State University), Tove Skutnabb-Kangas (University of Roskilde) and Ole Henrik Magga (Saami University College). 22. The Impact of English on the School Curriculum: Yun-Kyung Cha (Hanyang University) and Seung-Hwan Ham (Michigan State University). C. Literacy Development 23. Literacy: Glynda A. Hull (University of California, Berkeley) and Gregorio Hernandez (University of California, Berkeley). 24. Vernacular and Indigenous Literacies: Kendall A. King (Georgetown University) and Carol Benson (Stockholm University). 25. Religious and Sacred Literacies: Jonathan M. Watt (Geneva College) and Sarah L. Fairfield (Geneva College). 26. Genre and Register in Multiliteracies: Mary Macken-Horarik (University of Canberra) and Misty Adoniou (University of Canberra). D. Acquiring a Language 27. Order of Acquisition and Developmental Readiness: Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig (Indiana University) and Llorenç Comajoan (University of Vic). 28. Language Socialization: Kathleen C. Riley (Concordia University). 29. Interlanguage and Language Transfer: Peter Skehan (Chinese University of Hong Kong). 30. Second Language Acquisition and Ultimate Attainment: David Birdsong (University of Texas) and Jee Paik (University of Texas). 31. Explicit Form-focused Instruction and Second Language Acquisition: Rod Ellis (University of Auckland). E. Language Assessment 32. Language Assessments: Gate-keepers or Door Openers?: Lyle F. Bachman (University of California, Los Angeles) and James E. Purpura (Teachers College, Columbia). 33. Diagnostic and Formative Assessment: Ari Huhta (University of Jyväskylä). 34. Accountability and Standards: Alan Davies (University of Edinburgh). 35. Scales and Frameworks: Neil Jones (University of Cambridge) and Nick Saville (University of Cambridge). 36. Nationally Mandated Testing for Accountability: English Language Learners in the U.S.: Micheline Chalhoub-Deville (University of North Carolina) and Craig Deville (Measurement Inc.).
Part III: Research-Practice Relationships. 37. Task-based Teaching and Learning: Teresa Pica (University of ennsylvania). 38. Corpus Linguistics and Second Language Instruction: Susan M. Conrad and Kimberly R. LeVelle (Portland State University). 39. Interaction, Output, and Communicative Language Learning: Merrill Swain (University of Toronto) and Wataru Suzuki (University of Toronto). 40. Classroom Discourse and Interaction: Reading Across the Traditions: Lesley Rex (University of Michigan) and Judith Green (University of California, Santa Barbara). 41. Computer Assisted Language Learning: Carol Chapelle (Iowa State University). 42. Ecological-semiotic Perspectives on Educational Linguistics: Leo van Lier (Monterey Institute of International Studies). 43. The Mediating Role of Language in Teaching and Learning: A Classroom Perspective: Frances Bailey (School for International Training), Beverley Burkett (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) and Donald Freeman (School for International Training). 44. A Research Agenda for Educational Linguistics: Paola Uccelli (Harvard Graduate School of Education) and Catherine Snow (Harvard Graduate School of Education).
While all of the articles are useful in different ways, they are far too numerous and their scope far too ample to permit individual evaluation in this review. However, a few points bear highlighting for anyone seeking to utilize the handbook in educating or informing others.
First of all, this is not a textbook and is best utilized as a reference book or supplementary reader. A number of the articles naturally review overlapping literature and can become repetitious if read one after the other. Second, given the small space allocated for each article (approximately 10 pages), there is a tendency to rush through the explanations of complex theories and procedures. Graduate students (and other potential users like program planners or grant writers) should be encouraged to read the articles that are most useful to them in order to get a general idea of the major points of contention and then explore the specifics further in the list of sources given. Lastly, there is considerable coverage of classic references which may initially appear to the modern reader to be less than relevant in the 21st century. It is vital that these vintage sources be given due recognition for their groundbreaking status, and it is crucial that the process of creating research of all kinds be seen as the dynamic and historically contextualized unfolding of understandings that it is.
Overall, Spolsky & Hult offer a varied and valuable treatment of key language questions faced by educators and government planners today. They allow a newcomer to get a sense of the breadth and depth of the field of educational linguistics, while providing veterans with useful summaries and analyses of past and current investigations. Graduate students and researchers will especially appreciate the extensive bibliographic sources listed at the end of each chapter, including Internet references, and the creative and potent suggestions for future research that is geared toward improving the linguistic experiences of speakers around the world.
Spolsky, B. (1974). The Navajo Reading Study: An illustration of the scope and nature of educational linguistics. In J. Quistgaard, H. Schwarz & H. Spong-Hanssen (Eds.). Applied linguistics: Problems and solutions: Proceedings of the third congress on applied linguistics, Copenhagen (pp. 553-565). Heidelberg: Julius Gros Verlag.
Spolsky, B. (1978). Educational linguistics: An introduction. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Spolsky, B. (1999). Concise encyclopedia of educational linguistics. Amsterdam/New York: Elsevier.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Alicia Pousada received her Ph. D. in Educational Linguistics from the
University of Pennsylvania, one of the first graduates of the program initiated
by the late Dell Hymes. Since 1987, she has taught linguistics in the English
Department of the College of Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico, Río
Piedras. She directs the Lewis C. Richardson Seminar Room, a graduate
research center dedicated to language and literature of the
English-speaking world with particular emphasis on the Caribbean. Her
publications and presentations focus on language policy and planning,
multilingualism, and teaching of English as an Auxiliary Language world-wide.