Harnessing Linguistic Variation to Improve Education

by Androula Yiakoumetti (Volume editor)
©2012 Edited Collection VI, 322 Pages
Series: Rethinking Education, Volume 5


This volume brings together research carried out in a variety of geographic and linguistic contexts including Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and the United States and explores efforts to incorporate linguistic diversity into education and to ‘harness’ this diversity for learners’ benefit. It challenges the largely anachronistic ideology that promotes exclusive use of an educational monolingual standard variety and advocates the use in formal education of aboriginal/indigenous languages, minority languages, nonstandard varieties and contact languages.
The contributors examine both historical and current practices for including linguistic diversity in education by considering specific bidialectal, bilingual and multilingual educational initiatives. The different geographical and linguistic settings covered in the volume are linked together by a unifying theme: linguistic diversity exists all over the world, but it is very rarely utilized effectively for the benefit of students. When it is used, whether in isolated studies or through governmental initiatives, the research findings point systematically to the many educational advantages experienced by linguistically-diverse students. This book will be of interest to teachers and language practitioners, as well as to students and scholars of language and education.


VI, 322
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (June)
Educational Approaches to Minorities Monolingualism Bilingual Dualities World Englishes in Local Classrooms Linguistic Diversity in Education
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2012. VI, 322 pp.

Biographical notes

Androula Yiakoumetti (Volume editor)

Androula Yiakoumetti is an applied linguist at Oxford Brookes University. Her research focuses on regional and social variation within linguistic systems and, more specifically, on the implications of such variation for education. She is interested in sociolinguistic aspects of linguistic variation and works within the research fields of multidialectism and multilingualism, second-language acquisition and language-teacher development. Her publications span a variety of language issues including bidialectism, language attitudes, learning of English as a foreign language and language-teacher training.


Title: Harnessing Linguistic Variation to Improve Education