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Multilingualism and Mobility in Europe

Policies and Practices

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Edited By Kristine Horner, Ingrid de Saint-Georges and Jean-Jacques Weber

How do individuals experience multilingualism and mobility in the context of Europeanization and globalisation? The contributors explore language-in-education policies and family language policies, as well as the complex interface between multilingualism and space. They provide fresh insights on key issues in sociolinguistics, multilingualism and language policy via discussion of rich qualitative data. The multiple sites analysed in the chapters are located in France, Germany, Luxembourg, Hungary and Moldova. Some of the chapters dealing with France, including one about the overseas French territory of La Réunion, are written in French.
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Introduction: Multilingualism and mobility in European context

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1 Language policies and practices in contemporary Europe

Given the historical trajectories and present-day configurations of multilingualism in Europe as a whole and the ways that multilingualism currently is being managed and experienced in different European states and territories, the European context provides a fruitful location to explore questions situated at the cutting edge of sociolinguistic inquiry, in particular research on language policies and practices. Ricento (2000, 208) maintains that it is agency or “the role(s) of individuals and collectivities in the processes of language use, attitudes and ultimately policies” that distinguishes recent studies on language policy from earlier work in the field. Moreover, Shohamy (2006) encourages us to explore the interface between policy and practice as well as the multiple devices or “mechanisms” that function to implement language policy. The objective of this volume is to contribute to our understanding of the interface between language policy mechanisms and practices in educational and additional sites, as well as the ways that individuals experience multilingualism and mobility in the context of Europeanization and globalisation.

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