Is Dual Language Education Fulfilling its Purpose?

We recently published Bilingualism for All? edited by Nelson Flores, Amelia Tseng and Nicholas Subtirelu. In this post the editors explain the current issues surrounding dual language education in the US.

Bilingualism is many things to many people. In US schools, some students’ bilingualism is taken as a sign of achievement and an investment in a cosmopolitan future, while other students’ bilingualism is treated as unbridled potential but is more readily seen as a barrier. For example, in an essay titled “How to dismantle elite bilingualism”, Nelson Flores argues that a variety of policy decisions and other factors coalesce to create “classrooms where elite bilinguals are framed as gifted and racialized bilinguals are framed as in need of remediation”. In particular, white students from affluent backgrounds are often celebrated for studying languages like Spanish in school, while bilingual BIPOC students are framed as having “gaps” in their achievement and language abilities.

Both of these ways of seeing students’ bilingualism have contributed to the current boom of dual language programs being offered in elementary and middle schools in the United States. Dual language programs grew by a factor of 10 between 2001 and 2015. Proponents of dual language immersion paint a picture of a classroom environment where everyone wins: students classified as English language learners strengthen their English, and other students get the opportunity to develop proficiency in an additional language, such as Spanish, all while building a multicultural community. This vision of inclusive and progressive education offered by dual language immersion programs is tantalizing. But is it being fulfilled?

The question of whether dual language education is fulfilling its purpose in serving vulnerable populations to the betterment of all is a critical topic. As an example, the city where we live, Washington, D.C., is on the cutting edge of dual language education, with many historic and more recent public and charter schools following a dual-language model. However, schools tend to be overwhelmingly white, leading the Washington Post to ask in 2018, “Are dual-language programs in urban schools a sign of gentrification?” This article highlights the popularity of elite bilingualism and a neoliberal perspective of “language as resource” where bilingual education is a hot commodity for white, middle-class Americans, whose needs and norms then dominate the schools, while racialized bilingual students remain marginalized within the same schools, and they and other racialized children are not able to access the schools and benefit from the programs.

Our new book, Bilingualism for All?, brings together the most recent research on these topics and more, from scholars who use a range of approaches to address educational equity. Their work takes a raciolinguistic perspective to examine the reproduction of racial inequities in classrooms, at the school and community level, and at the level of policy. They examine topics ranging from peer interactions, teaching, parent relationships, and school and district policies. Languages covered include Spanish, Korean, Hebrew, and English; research sites range from California and Utah to New York City and beyond. The book raises new questions, such as bilingual education and equity for disabled students, and engages directly with issues of racism and privilege. With the help of an outstanding group of scholars, our aim is for the book to put its finger on the question of whether dual language education is currently for the betterment of all, or increasingly for a select population that already enjoys many social privileges. It is our hope that the book will resonate not only with scholars, but with educators who may see these themes in their own schools and classrooms, and with future teachers. We believe in bilingual education as a critical support for educational equity and achievement, and in dual language immersion as a powerful and potentially transformative model. However, in order to achieve its potential, dual language education must confront the same structural inequities that permeate our institutions and are at the forefront of national debate.

Amelia Tseng, American University
tseng@american.edu

Nicholas Subtirelu, Georgetown University
Nicholas.Subtirelu@georgetown.edu

For more information about this book please see our website.

What’s New in the Second Edition of “Cultural Heritage and Tourism”?

We recently published the second edition of Cultural Heritage and Tourism by Dallen J. Timothy. In this post the author tells us what to expect from the update.

Heritage tourism continues to be one the most voluminous and pervasive types of tourism on the planet. It entails people visiting historic places, participating in cultural events, consuming intangible elements of living culture, celebrating elements of ordinary and extraordinary daily life, and interacting with the human past in multitudes of other ways. Hundreds of millions of people travel each year to participate in cultural heritage-oriented activities, motivated by a wide range of personal and extraneous forces. The theme of heritage tourism in the research academy continues to grow exponentially, commensurate with its prominence in the industry. Research about heritage and cultural tourism is now one of the foremost areas of tourism scholarship, which indicates that specialists are actively seeking new ways of understanding the phenomenon. Every year, hundreds of journal articles, books and book chapters are written about a wide range of heritage-related topics. To keep pace with cultural tourism’s growing importance, many universities and colleges are now offering specialized courses in heritage tourism to supplement cultural resource management and museology modules that have long been at the roots of heritage tourism education. This textbook is extremely timely as it provides a critical overview of the current theoretical and academic treatment of cultural heritage in a tourism context, as well as a practical management perspective that encourages tourism professionals to delve deeply into the meanings, performances, protection, interpretation and management of heritage resources and the people who utilize them.

This second edition of Cultural Heritage and Tourism reflects current industry trends, the geometric growth of heritage tourism inquiry, and many of the global changes that are affecting all types of tourism, including heritage tourism. This new edition includes expanded perspectives on information and communications technology, including social media, GPS and mobile phone apps, and artificial intelligence. It delves into the effects of climate change and overtourism on heritage supply and demand, and sheds light on the world’s current geopolitical and economic challenges. It also highlights emerging heritage-relevant themes, such as political tourism, solidarity tourism, sport tourism, agritourism, Indigenous tourism and dark tourism, and tackles the important subjects of the role of Indigenous knowledge, co-creative visitor experiences, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the growth of the experiential economy. These enhanced perspectives, as well as updated empirical examples and pedagogical tools, make this new edition a valuable educational resource for students and instructors, and a foundational reference work for researchers of cultural and heritage tourism.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Archaeology and Tourism edited by Dallen J. Timothy and Lina G. Tahan.

What are Editors Looking for in a Proposal when Deciding Whether to Publish a Book or Not?

We recently held an online event with series editors and authors from our Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching series about publishing their books, with an opportunity for audience questions at the end. Here’s a taster of one of the questions that was discussed, answered by series editors Sarah Mercer and Stephen Ryan.

What are editors looking for in a proposal when deciding whether to publish a book or not?

Sarah Mercer
The key thing is a contribution that belongs in the series you’re submitting your proposal to, so in our case, it must be about the psychology of language learning and teaching. It should have something original to say and the authors need to show that they can identify the gap their research is filling.

Your proposal should be relevant for a global market – it can be researched at a local level but must be reflected on in global terms too. It must be professional in terms of writing and content and should be worthy of book-length treatment and not something that could be covered by an article. It should have a clear coherent thread running through it – something to watch out for especially with an edited collection.

Stephen Ryan
In the case of a proposal from an early-career academic, the initial question we are asking is along the lines of “Do we believe this person can deliver a first-class manuscript?” We only have a few pages on which to make that evaluation. We go to each proposal in a positive state of mind; we are looking to encourage publication, not prevent it. It may sound obvious, but a professional presentation of your proposal is important. Careless mistakes, such as errors with names or dates of works cited or clumsily copied chunks of text, start to raise red flags. Basic care and attention make a difference.

Once we start considering the content of a proposal, we are looking for a clear idea; what is the proposed book about and where does it fit within the existing literature? What is unique about the proposed book? Who is likely to be interested in the proposed book?

My own personal view is that reading academic works should not be an ordeal. Reading should be a pleasant, rewarding experience. Evidence of a clear, engaging writing style is always welcome.

You can watch the recording of the event and find out the answers to the rest of the audience questions here:

Christmas 2020

As a strange and difficult year draws to a close, the CVP/MM team are trying to think positive by reflecting on what they’re most looking forward to this Christmas.

Tommi

This year Christmas will no doubt feel very different to normal in many ways, but for me the most important part of Christmas will not have changed. Our family has always celebrated Christmas eve with a sauna and a nice meal of typical Finnish Christmas foods, and spending the evening quietly and peacefully together with those closest to us. It’s a really lovely opportunity to slow down for a while and just be together with no distractions.

 

Rose

Despite, or perhaps because of, the challenges 2020 has brought, I am particularly looking forward to Christmas. It will be a time to stop and take stock, and really appreciate what we have managed to achieve… primarily buying and moving into our first family home (and all during a lockdown!). As an Army family, we have moved A LOT, so, this year, watching our children hanging their stockings in the fireplace, choosing the perfect spot for the tree and decorating their bedrooms feels even more special, knowing this is the first of many Merry Christmases in our own home.

 

Flo

I’m usually fairly militant about Christmas and its traditions – everything has to be the same as it’s always been. So it’s strangely freeing this year to just accept that it’s not going to be! Roast dinner is my absolute favourite meal so I’m looking forward to a really good one after weeks (maybe even months) without. Otherwise it’ll just be lovely to spend a couple of days with my family (inside – how novel!) and see the back of 2020…

 

Sarah

I am looking forward to spending my Christmas matching my decorations to those on telly! Not really (but for all those non-His Dark Materials fans this is Hester the hare meeting Hester the daemon hare, such is lockdown entertainment) – I am most grateful and thankful that my family and friends are healthy and happy this Christmas. And I’m always very excited about turkey and bread sauce sandwiches – bring on all the Christmas food! 🎄✨🍗

 

Anna

As with everything this year, my Christmas will be much more Somerset-focused than usual. This December, Cheddar (it’s a real place!) is participating in Window Wanderland, for which people decorate their windows and light them up during the evening. My daughters wanted a Harry Potter theme, so here are our windows and our Christmas lights. We’ll be going on lots of evening walks to enjoy the window displays and the thousands of Christmas lights that have appeared this year.

 

Elinor

I’m most looking forward to seeing my children’s excitement. They are at the age when Christmas is very magical and love all the lights and decorations. It’s also lovely to have a break from the usual routine and spend time as a family.

 

 

 

 

Alice

I’m most looking forward to being back in Dorset with my family and doing lots of baking, Christmas crafting, and playing ridiculous games.

 

 

 

 

 

Laura

We moved house last month and I am looking forward to having some time to spend working on it – for we have great plans for how we’ll make it our own. I shall enjoy learning new skills and taking out all the frustrations of 2020 on some walls which we’ll knock down! Our little Christmas tree is likely to get a dusting of debris rather than snow this year! And of course, I shall be doing plenty of Christmas baking to make sure we are well fuelled for all of this hard work.

We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happier and healthier 2021. 

Getting and Keeping Language Learners Engaged

This month we published Student Engagement in the Language Classroom edited by Phil Hiver, Ali H. Al-Hoorie and Sarah Mercer. In this post the editors explain how the book came about and why it’s important.

All three of us share an interest in the practicalities of getting learners engaged and keeping them engaged. As educators and researchers, we recognized for some years how this has become increasingly difficult in the face of the multitude of distractions competing for learners’ attention. In 2018, we met at the PLL3 conference in Japan. Sarah had already begun work with Zoltán Dörnyei exploring the notion of engagement in depth with a book aimed at educators concentrating on practical issues based on an underlying theoretical frame (Mercer & Dörnyei, 2020). However, all of us felt there was still a need for a greater research commitment to the construct of engagement in SLA. At PLL3, the inspiring relevant plenary by Richard Ryan sealed our resolve to bring such a collection of research papers together. Given its heritage, we are especially honored to have an introduction from Richard Ryan to preface the collection.

In our previous work, we had all seen that although learners may be motivated and want to learn, at the critical moment, their attention could be hijacked leaving them disengaged with the objectives of their learning despite their initial good intentions and motives. Clearly, motivation still has a role to play in understanding learning processes, but learner engagement seems to provide a critical link between learners’ intentions and their actions. What is the nature of engagement, how can it be fostered, and how does it connect with other key variables in language learning – these were some of the key questions driving our interest in compiling this exciting collection of papers.

To date, engagement in language learning has remained relatively unexplored apart from some notable pioneers who have conducted key studies in SLA. This book is intended to chart some of the territory of language learner engagement, pointing out the key areas that can be connected to and built upon but also new directions and avenues yet to be investigated. Engagement is a core foundation for successful learning. While motivation represents an intention to engage, engagement itself is the action state driving learning. Engagement is a complex, multifaceted construct comprised of affective, cognitive, social, and behavioural elements. It is closely interconnected with motivation but differs in its temporal and actional frame. It is a hugely important construct to comprehend, as without engagement, there will be no learning. We are excited to share this collection with you. We expect to continue to learn much more about engagement of different forms in the context of language learning and teaching in the years to come – our hope is that this collection can provide the impetus for that next wave of engagement research.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Contemporary Language Motivation Theory edited by Ali H. Al-Hoorie and Peter D. MacIntyre.

The Future of Wildlife Tourism

This month we published Wildlife Tourism Futures edited by Giovanna Bertella. In this post the editor explains how the idea for the book came about.

It was during one of my walks in the forest that I started wondering how wildlife might coexist with tourism in the future. Having witnessed the boom of whale watching in the Arctic, I had serious concerns about the possibility for a bright future. Was I too pessimistic? I might have a tendency to be too critical. Sometimes worries overshadow possibilities. While I was captured by such thoughts, my dog’s attention was captured by something else. A stuffed whale! Such a strange coincidence finding a stuffed whale in the forest while thinking about whale watching. Probably a toy forgotten by a child. Still, could it be a sort of sign? Could the future of whale watching be in the forest? Could tomorrow’s whale watching be very different from today’s whale watching?

A few days after this episode, I was invited by Channel View to submit a proposal for a book about the futures on wildlife tourism. The proposal soon turned into an invitation to colleagues passionate about wildlife and tourism. This invitation included two requirements: contributors had to use critical thinking and imagination to develop future scenarios that covered various aspects of the future of wildlife tourism, such the experiential dimension of wildlife encounters, the educational and managerial aspects, and the ethical implications. 17 exceptionally engaged authors answered my invitation and, together, we started to work at the first draft of the book Wildlife Tourism Futures.

The book developed in a strange time, the COVID-19 crisis. Critically imagining the future of wildlife tourism while the world was in the middle of a pandemic derived from a zoonosis added an extra dimension to the project. Many times, I found myself wondering how close we should be to wildlife at all. Discussing challenges and future possibilities with the book chapter authors helped me to reflect deeper on what I wish and what I fear about how we approach wildlife.

Eventually, the book took the shape of a journey into Terra Incognita, the unknown land that symbolises our future. The book is now finished and we would like you to join this adventurous journey. The authors will be your guides and will show to you how the futures of wildlife tourism might be. Exploring alternative futures, you will find yourself questioning the present, pondering your beliefs, and evaluating the choices you have today in order to influence your and others’ tomorrow. Some of the futures you will visit are inhabited by caring tourists, professional and responsible operators, and include technological solutions to protect the wildlife and enable a sort of inter-species fellowship. Other futures are definitely dark, dominated by unsustainable practices that leave little or no space to wildlife. The book will not provide you with any definitive answer, suggesting that, ultimately, each of us, in our roles as students, practitioners, scholars and tourists, can contribute to build the future.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism Ethics by David A. Fennell.

How Do You Prepare a Successful Proposal as an Early Career Academic? 

Last month we held an online event with series editors and authors from our Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching series about publishing their books, with an opportunity for audience questions at the end. Here’s a taster of one of the questions that was discussed, answered by series editors Sarah Mercer and Stephen Ryan.

How do you prepare a successful proposal as an early career academic? 

Sarah Mercer and Stephen Ryan

Perhaps the biggest challenge in preparing a book proposal is adapting your research to a very different kind of audience than that of a PhD. As an early-career academic, your potential audience is likely to be unfamiliar with you or your work. That potential audience needs to be persuaded to engage with your work and needs to be persuaded quickly. This means that the scope and purpose of your book must be clear and you must ensure that the findings are relevant beyond the immediate local setting – they must have something to say globally.

When preparing your proposal, it may be a useful strategy to formulate a very brief explanation of your book and why someone should read it – an elevator pitch, if you like. Once you have this in mind, you can use it as a guide for writing the proposal; make sure your proposal does not divert too far from these central ideas.

The proposal should be professionally presented and follow the template provided on the website by Multilingual Matters. It needs to be offering something fresh and appealing to a global audience, so the proposal should make clear what gap it is filling. We would recommend giving your proposal to colleagues for feedback and getting them to ask you questions about it. If you can get hold of examples of past successful proposals, that can help to give you an idea of what is expected.

Take time to get the proposal right, which means getting clarity in your own mind about what exactly you intend and what your main message is. In many respects, a proposal is a unique genre of writing: your task is to present complicated and nuanced ideas clearly and briefly. It is a very difficult balance. When struggling with that balance it is probably better to lean towards the side of clarity and brevity, but a little careful wording can help show that you aware of complexities.

One more point worth thinking about is your title. An attractive, memorable title can go a long way to getting the prospective reader to engage with your work.

You can watch the recording of the event and find out the answers to the rest of the audience questions here:

The Space Tourism Industry and Sustainability

We recently published Sustainable Space Tourism by Annette Toivonen. In this post the author explains the background to the book.

For generations commercial space exploration was simply a distant dream, only accessible through Hollywood space movies and virtual gaming. Lately the space field has become dominated by the different operations of the new space economy, including increased numbers of new satellite constellations, also fuelling the space race between billionaire “space barons” competing for the status of pioneers in human space expeditions. In addition, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional airline industry appears to be taking steps towards future supersonic travel via space. Simultaneously, consumer trends in travel have shifted towards more sustainable practices, supported by the IPCC (2018) report’s concerns regarding climate change and the factors surrounding it. Undeniably all types of space tourism will produce high emissions, which will raise concerns about environmental issues linked to the emergence of the commercial space tourism industry.

Sustainable Space Tourism captures the exciting anticipation of space tourism, while at the same time highlighting the many different future challenges from natural, social and political perspectives likely to be encountered in the harnessing of space travel as the ultimate tourist activity. The book is the first to investigate the megatrend of sustainability in the emerging space tourism industry through different case study examples and empirical research. It introduces space tourism as a new sector of aviation as well as the new space economy and defines the typology for different space tourism activities. As the notion of sustainability in tourism has received critical attention in recent decades, the sustainable development discourse is investigated in this book through different global phenomena. This is followed by an interpretation of future directions and an introduction to new forecasting models related to space tourism future scenario planning and development. Various other contextually important aspects, such as the local impacts of space ports, space reusability economics, ethical considerations and legislation are also explored. The book concludes that the risks caused by creating a “non-sustainable” image of the future space tourism industry must be mitigated from the start by rigorously introducing sustainability into different operational practices, achieved through understanding the psychology of new types of tourism behaviour as well as global regulations. The book will be of interest to all readers interested in new space activities in general as well as students, researchers and professionals in the fields of tourism, sustainability and futures forecasting.

Annette Toivonen

For more information about this book please see our website.

Representing Ethnographic Research as Drama

This month we published Interpretations – An Ethnographic Drama by Adrian Blackledge and Angela Creese. In this post the authors explain why they chose to present their research as a play script.

Interpretations – An Ethnographic Drama is an outcome of a large, team linguistic ethnographic research project, Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities (TLANG). As part of the research project we conducted ethnographic observations in an Advice and Advocacy service in a Chinese community centre in a city in the Midlands of England. We were interested in people’s communicative practices in a context where clients needed help to negotiate bureaucratic systems related to welfare benefits, health, education, insurance, immigration status, and so on.

Following comprehensive analysis of data, we produced a rich, detailed research report. However, we were not convinced that academic writing alone was adequate for the task of representation of social practice. Although we are thoroughly invested in the tradition of writing ethnography, we recognise a need to reach beyond its limitations. With this in mind, we chose to represent the life of the Advice and Advocacy service as Interpretations – An Ethnographic Drama, which takes an arts-based approach to the representation of research outcomes.

In linguistic ethnography we typically observe, and ultimately explain, the lives of others. But we wanted to move beyond explanation of cultural life, which can be reductive. We chose to represent the social practices of the Chinese community centre as ethnographic drama because it is a form which by definition resists explanation. It was not our intention to explain or make meaningful the lives of Chinese or Chinese-heritage people in the UK. We were instead concerned with all aspects of communication.

The community centre proved to be a rich site at which to observe the communicative practices with which advice workers render the world more just for their clients. We peered into the hidden spaces where, day after day, mediation, translation, and interpretation enable those with limited capital to gain access to resources which are otherwise elusive, and often out of reach. Through ethnographic drama we did not attempt to explain these cultural practices, but we made them visible.

Ethnographic drama enables us to show the complexities of interactions in which Advice and Advocacy workers are essential figures who keep the city moving. Beyond making social space more habitable, they have the potential to make life better for those who come to them for help. In our observation of the advisors’ practice, more than anything we see people concerned to improve the lives of their clients. In the nooks and crannies of social life they keep the superdiverse city moving. In showing the world rather than telling it, ethnographic drama offers a representation of social life that has the potential to enhance, heighten, and expand understanding, and to bring ethnography to wider audiences.

We are very grateful to Mutlilingual Matters for their generosity and vision in enabling us to take off creatively, turning field notes, transcripts, and other ethnographic material into drama that shows communicative practice in an often-concealed part of social life in the superdiverse city.

For more information about this book please see our website

If you found this interesting, you might also like the authors’ previous book, Voices of a City Market

The Importance of Giving and Receiving in the Tourism Industry in a Covid-19 World

This month we published Philosophies of Hospitality and Tourism by Prokopis A. Christou. In this post the author explains the importance of the book’s central topics of ‘giving and receiving’ in the Covid-19 era.

In an era of numerous challenges for the tourism industry this book aims to remind travel, tourism and hospitality professionals and students of some of the core rudiments of the tourism and hospitality domain. The acquisition and channeling of certain notions and practices, such as care for the well-being of our guests are deemed crucial at an organisational and societal level. In a COVID-19 world, our guests trust that we will convey them safely to their loved ones, accommodate, feed, and guide them, while taking care of their health and well-being.

Crises like the recent pandemic lead us to reflect on our actions and behaviour towards our employees and guests. Professionalism and quality-driven service provision are vital for the sector’s success. Nonetheless, the cultivation and circulation of virtues such as care, kindness and patience are of the utmost importance if destinations, hotels and restaurants are to be associated by their guests with terms such as “genuine care”, “extraordinary experience”, “anthropocentric-driven”, “unexpected treatment”, “quality” and “satisfaction”.  

This book moves beyond the very basics of what is the professional way to greet a guest, serve a dish, answer a phone, or deal with a complaint. It provides hotel managers, tourism stakeholders, students and other readers with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of some of the most important and core aspects of tourism and hospitality, such as how to nurture a caring and anthropocentric organisational culture, how to contribute towards the well-being of people, how to cultivate genuine and personalised hospitality, philoxenia and philanthropy, how to trigger certain “emotions”, fulfil and satisfy the “senses”, and create “memorable experiences”.

By reading this book, tourism and hospitality professionals will better understand tourists, how and why they behave in certain ways, what they expect from them, and how the managers’ actions (towards tourists, employees, the environment and the community) may negatively or positively affect their organisation. Tourism stakeholders, such as tourism planners and regional authorities will understand how tourism development and uncontrolled tourism activity may impact on the socio-natural environment of their destination. Idiosyncratic niche forms of tourism and associated ethical issues are also covered in this book, including “dark tourism” and “religious/spiritual tourism”.     

For more information about this book please see our website

If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism Ethics by David A. Fennell.