An Interview with David A. Fennell, Author of “Tourism Ethics”

We recently published the second edition of Tourism Ethics by David A. Fennell. In this post David answers a few questions about the field of tourism ethics and his work within it.

How did you first become interested in studying tourism ethics and why do you believe it’s such an important field of study?

I would go to conferences in the early 1990s and colleagues would ask me if I thought ecotourism was the most ethical form of tourism. I would respond by saying “yes”, but these responses were based solely on intuition. At the time, we did not have any empirical or philosophical yardsticks from which to understand the place and value of ethics in tourism. I had some excellent conversations with my colleague, David Malloy, when I was at the University of Regina. David was studying sport ethics at the time. These conversations led to four publications on ecotourism and ethics with David during the mid-to-late 1990s, which provided the foundation for me to venture more deeply into the realm of ethics.

It’s been 11 years since we published the first edition of Tourism Ethics. What can we expect from the second edition?

The new edition has more of a focus on contemporary philosophers such as Virginia Held, Jürgen Habermas, and Emmanuel Levinas. Several dozen tourism papers and books were also summarized to bring the tourism studies component up-to-date. The book continues to focus on many deep theoretical contributions that range from biology to philosophy. It’s only through an appreciation of the importance of these works on human nature that we will begin to better understand the nature of tourism and of tourists, in my opinion.

Where do you see the field heading in future?

The tourism ethics sub-field is evolving quickly. Over the course of the last 11 years, I have seen much more of a focus on interpreting and contextualising the work of seminal philosophers in the tourism studies arena. The trick will be to determine how these important works translate into practical wisdom, as tourism is very much an applied field. So, areas such as responsible tourism, fair trade, sustainable tourism, and ecotourism may be enriched through the discourse on ethics. For too long we have focused on impacts in tourism studies to the exclusion of other worldviews. I see ethics as more of a proactive way of fixing tourism industry problems, and impacts as more reactive.

What’s the favourite place that you’ve travelled to in the course of your research?

Given my interests in nature, it’s hard not to pick New Zealand. For me it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I also really enjoy spending time in Croatia because of the mix of culture and nature.

Closer to home, I really enjoy the Haliburton Sustainable Forest (Ontario), which is Canada’s first certified forest. The HSF has a 100-year management plan to bring the forest back into a balanced ecological state. I don’t know too many companies, private or public, that look so far into the future.

What books – either for work or for pleasure – are you reading at the moment?

For work, I’m just finishing Bauer’s book on sustainability ethics. And for pleasure, I have The Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee on my Christmas list.

For more information about the second edition of Tourism Ethics, please see our website.

An Interview with Rodolfo Baggio, Co-author of “Quantitative Methods in Tourism: 2nd edition”

This month we are publishing the second edition of Quantitative Methods in Tourism by Rodolfo Baggio and Jane Klobas. In this post Rodolfo answers a few questions about the book and the work of a tourism academic.

It’s been six years since we published the first edition of Quantitative Methods in Tourism. What can we expect from the second edition?

First of all let me say that I’ve been quite surprised and amazed to see that our little work received so much attention as to deserve a second edition. We (my coauthors and I) are very grateful to the readers and to find out that our idea of providing a “practical” handbook has worked well. In this edition we have essentially done two things. One has been (rather obviously) to amend the little inaccuracies or errors that inevitably escape in a work like this one, even after a good number of checks. Then we have improved and updated examples and references and added some new materials on data screening and cleaning, the use of similarity and diversity indexes, path modelling and partial least squares, multi-group structural equation modelling, common method variance, and Big Data.

What is the collaborative process like between you both?

For this book (as for the previous edition), after having agreed on the topics to include, we split them based on our expertise and interests so that each one of us wrote the different pieces, then we swapped the chapters and cross checked all the materials.

What is the most rewarding and most difficult thing about writing a book?

The most rewarding thing is for sure the moment in which you get the book in your hands. The most difficult (probably better to say tedious, tiring or grim) comes when you have finished writing and you have to start checking, refining, correcting, reworking, etc.

As a tourism academic, what’s the favourite place that you’ve travelled to in the course of your research?

Contrary to what many might think, working in tourism, whether as an academic or industry practitioner, does not necessarily mean travelling. There are hotel employees that have never seen places different from their hotel or teachers that have never been in a city different from the one in which they give classes. I have been privileged and, due to personal attitude and life chances, have so far had an incredible number of possibilities to travel to many parts of this planet. I do not have a favourite place. All are interesting and exciting in one way or another. Probably my truly favourite place is one (and there are many) in which I have not yet been.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing books?

Well, not being a writer most of my life is spent NOT writing books, so I do what anyone else does. Personally I enjoy reading, walking around, listening to good music, travelling and so on. But I also very much enjoy studying and researching new avenues for the difficult work of understanding a complex and complicated domain such as the tourism one.

For more information about this book, please see our website.


Meet our new intern, Alice

In February we welcomed Alice to the Channel View/Multilingual Matters team as our publishing intern. In this post we find out a bit more about her and what she gets up to in the CVP/MM office.

What attracted you to the internship initially?

Alice hard at work

I had been thinking a lot about academic publishing and was really keen to gain some experience and discover if it was for me. After spending a lot of time googling various companies and positions, and how I could get involved, I stumbled across the internship with Channel View. This seemed perfect for various reasons. Firstly, I loved that fact that it was with a small company, where I could hopefully gain a better understanding of how everything worked. The topics of publication also drew me in – especially as I am currently undertaking a TEFL course, which many of the books relate to. Furthermore, the company is based in my favourite city (Bristol), the role seemed varied and interesting, and I felt that the 6 month length would be sufficient to really get involved.

Is it what you expected? Has anything surprised you about publishing?

I’ve always found it hard to imagine how everything works in publishing, so it was difficult to know exactly what to expect. It’s so interesting to see how everything is run and to see each step from the proposal of a book, to its production, completion and marketing. One thing that I found surprising – or impressive – is how small the Channel View office is and yet how much seems to get done and so smoothly. I’m also amazed at how much travelling is involved – someone always seems to be jetting off somewhere exotic to a conference!

What does your day-to-day job involve?

The first and foremost thing that I do in my day is to check the info box and reply to any emails. This is the main email address for Channel View/Multilingual Matters and so it can receive a variety of emails from people all over the world. The most common emails that I receive are from lecturers requesting inspection copies of books to review for courses that they are running. In this case I check the information that they have sent and arrange for the inspection copy to be sent out to them.  Other emails range from queries from prospective authors, people asking to be added to our mailing list, questions about the website and order enquiries. Once I have seen to these, I move on to another task, which can vary depending on what is needed at the time. Examples of what I get up to include completing the CIP data (the bibliographic record created by the Library of Congress for a book prior to its publication) for books that are in production, adding contacts to our database, confirming orders that people have placed online and putting together contracts for authors/editors.

What’s your favourite part of the internship?

Perhaps my favourite thing is that I always seem to be learning and taking on new tasks. Even when responding to emails in the info box, the variety of requests and queries means that there’s often something I haven’t come across before! I especially appreciate being given more responsibility as time goes on, and getting an insight into everyone’s roles and how it all comes together.

Do you prefer ebooks or print books? What are you reading at the moment?

I definitely prefer print books – getting a used book out of the library is the best. At the moment I’m reading ‘A Wild Sheep Chase’ by Haruki Murakami – I find his writing style to be very unique and really enjoy all of his books.

What do you like to do when you’re not in the office?

One of Alice’s creations

I grew up in Dorset, going on walks with my parents and spending time by the sea, so I spend a lot of my time outdoors. This naturally fits in with my love of exploring and travelling – I’m always trying to get away to new places and see new things. When I’m not outside I am very happy to be spending my time cooking, seeing friends, felting, reading or doing yoga. I also work part time at a small pub, which is fun and sociable!

Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism: 6th Edition

This month we are very excited to be publishing the 6th edition of our international bestseller, Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism by Colin Baker and Wayne E. Wright. In this post we interview Colin and Wayne about where it all started, the collaborative process and what the future holds for Foundations…

 Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 6th EditionQ1: Colin, how does it feel to be handing over control of the book to Wayne?

It was a dream come true when Wayne agreed to work with me on the 6th edition of Foundations. Since the 1st edition in 1993, research and writing on bilingualism and bilingual education have mushroomed so much that revising the 2011 5th edition by myself made no sense at all.

Finding somebody with such an extensive knowledge of bilingualism, multilingualism and bilingual education, a broad and international understanding, totally sane and balanced, and much younger than myself was wonderful.

Wayne and I met in Bristol (UK) and instantly found we had very similar ideas about the future and contents of the Foundations book. A close academic and personal friendship became a wonderful part of my life. Within a few hours of meeting, I knew that the future of Foundations was in the best possible hands, and I am enormously grateful to Wayne for taking on this responsibility.

Q2: Wayne, how does it feel to be handed control of the book from Colin?

I read the 1st edition of Foundations as an undergraduate student, and the 2nd and 3rd editions in my graduate programs. Colin’s book inspired me throughout my career as a bilingual teacher, and was a key resource as I began conducting research. I’ve used the 4th and 5th editions in my own courses. I was thrilled when the 4th edition included citations to some of my work, and even more thrilled when I was invited to help update one of the chapters in the 5th edition. Foundations and many of Colin’s other excellent books and articles have been a guiding force for me and so many others in the field for a long time.

Needless to say, it has been a tremendous honor to join with such an esteemed and outstanding scholar as Colin as co-author of this 6th edition. Colin and I had friendly correspondence occasionally by e-mail for many years related to various academic tasks. It was a wonderful experience to finally get to meet him in person in Bristol to discuss our plans for this and future editions. I confess to feeling unworthy of such an important task, but Colin quickly put my fears to rest. Working closely with Colin on this edition has been one of the most enjoyable experiences in my academic career. Colin proved to be a great mentor and friend.

I feel a great sense of responsibility to ensure Colin’s original work remains an influential and beneficial resource for the current and next generations of students and scholars.

Colin and Wayne with Tommi in Clevedon, 2012
Colin and Wayne with Tommi in Clevedon, 2012

Q3: How did the collaborative process work with your being thousands of miles apart in very different time zones?

We both live almost 24/7 on email, and we both tend to answer each other’s emails very quickly. So communication has been highly efficient, focused and ever-friendly. It is also helped by Wayne getting up very early in the morning, and myself working quite late in the evening. So the time zone difference of 5 hours between Purdue and Bangor is hardly noticeable.

Q4: Wayne, was it difficult to take on Colin’s ‘voice’ and maintain the style of the previous editions?

Surprisingly no. Colin’s ‘voice’ is one of the things I have greatly enjoyed in the prior editions. Colin is very good at writing about complex issues in a way that is easy for readers to understand. So I was very accustomed to Colin’s engaging writing style and I suspect it has had a subliminal impact on my own over the years. I found I didn’t need to exert any particular effort to match our styles. In fact, when reviewing our final proofs it was sometimes hard for me to distinguish Colin’s original words from my own additions!

Q5: Did you disagree about anything along the way or did you both have the same ‘vision’ for the 6th edition?

It was really odd, but we always seemed to agree easily and rapidly, mostly because our vision, viewpoints and understandings are so similar. Also, we both have great respect for each other’s strengths, which are often complementary, and we both seem to be good at taking advice from each other and from the many experts who reviewed every chapter.

Q6: What is new in the 6th edition?

Since the 5th edition of 2011, there have been so many new publications and so much research, new ideas and evolving viewpoints that the 6th edition has been thoroughly revised and updated. With students in mind, the 6th edition provides an improved reading experience making a valuable resource for course instructors, professional development providers, study-group leaders and all readers.

Importantly, there are many new and more thoroughly covered topics including: translanguaging; dynamic bilingualism; transliteracy; multiliteracies; superdiversity; bilingual assessment; multilingualism; the nature of bilingual and multilingual identity; bilingualism and economic inequalities and advantages; digital tools for language revitalization; forces, mechanisms and counterweights in building bilingual education systems; recent developments in bilingualism and brain imaging research; bilingualism on the internet and in information technology. There is also a new or greater focus on a variety of instructional approaches and issues, as well as important policy developments in the US context.

To address the large number of citations and references that grew substantially with each edition, over 860 older and redundant citations have been removed. These have been replaced with over 350 citations to more recent research and current developments, most of which have been published after the 5th edition was published in 2011. All demographic and statistical information has been fully updated.

Figures, tables, and text boxes have been reformatted and are now numbered for easy reference. End of chapter recommended readings and study activities have been revised, plus discussion questions and many web resources have been added. We were especially pleased to include for the first time a comprehensive glossary with definitions for bolded key terms that appear throughout the book.

Q7: Which part of the book did you most enjoy working on?

Much has changed in terms of policy in the US and around the world. We enjoyed writing about the end of No Child Left Behind, the beginning of the transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act, and especially about current developments more favourable to bilingual and multilingual education such as the growing number of US states adopting the Seal of Biliteracy, California overturning Proposition 227 through the passage of Proposition 58, the expansion of CLIL across Europe, and developing nations around the world turning to multilingual education as a solution to challenges in providing a basic education for all children.

We also enjoyed revising and adding new end-of-chapter material, thinking of ways the contents of each chapter could be used to engage students in meaningful in-class or online discussions, providing practical ideas for short research activities, and connecting students with real-life examples via the internet.

The 1st edition of Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, published in 1993
The 1st edition of Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, published in 1993

Q8: Foundations has been hugely successful since the first edition was published in 1993. Why do you think it has been so popular and has continued to sell so well?

In 1993, there was no comprehensive introduction to bilingualism and bilingual education. Mike Grover, the founding father of Multilingual Matters, noticed that Colin’s 1988 book ‘Key Issues in Bilingualism and Bilingual Education’ was selling as a textbook even though it was not written for that purpose. Mike had the vision for an international textbook that was as comprehensive as possible. Colin took the challenge. Then, in the early 1990s, Ofelia García played a key role in broadening Colin’s understanding from the psychological and educational to the sociological and political. She has been central to reviewing the draft of every edition since 1993. The first edition of 1993 and the subsequent editions in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011, sold well particularly in the United States, but also with sales in almost every country of the world. Mike’s vision has been fulfilled.

Some very kind expert reviews have appeared over the years, particularly mentioning the multidisciplinary and international approach, the willingness to provide a balanced and critical view, the attempt to simplify the complexities without losing understanding, and the attempt to write in a relatively simple and straightforward style with international students in mind. These elements seem to be part of the character of the book and have made the book a bestseller.

Q9: Is the 2017 6th edition an ending or a beginning?

Multilingual Matters envisage that the book will go on from strength to strength to at least a dozen editions! Work on the 7th edition begins with the publication of this, the 6th edition. Wayne Wright is now in charge, and the authorship will naturally change to ‘Wright and Baker’.

We are always looking for ideas about new themes, so if you have suggestions, they are very welcome. You could influence the 7th edition and help us move this famous textbook into the next six editions.

For further information about this book, please see the video above and the book’s page on our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like The Assessment of Emergent Bilinguals by Kate Mahoney.

Goodbye (for now) to Elinor!

Today is a sad but exciting day in the Channel View office as we say goodbye (for now) and good luck to Elinor, who is going on maternity leave. Elinor has been working at Channel View for nearly 12 years and has, amongst many other duties, been responsible for managing this blog since its inception in 2011. In this post, we find out about the work she’s done at Channel View over the past 12 years and what she’s going to miss most about working here.

How has your job changed over time, from when you first started to now?

Elinor's early days at Channel View
Elinor’s early days at Channel View

I started in a 6 month maternity cover position in 2005 and my first role was PA to the sales and marketing department. My main jobs were answering the phone, sending out books and general admin. Over the years I have taken on more responsibilities and I became marketing manager and part of the management team in 2008. Since then Laura and Flo have joined the marketing team and between them will be handling all the marketing while I’m on maternity leave.

What’s your favourite part of your job now?

It’s always lovely to get positive feedback from an author when their book is published and they say how pleased they are with their book and how much they have enjoyed working with us. I also enjoy having personal contact with all of our authors throughout the process and working with them to market their book.

What are you happiest to be handing over?

I find the twice yearly catalogues quite time-consuming, especially if it’s a busy time of year, so I won’t miss working on those. I will also be happy not to be dealing with the daily deluge of emails which come flooding in!

Any top tips for a new marketeer?

It’s always great to encourage authors to get really involved with the marketing of their book. Some of our most successful titles are ones where the authors have had great ideas and utilised their own networks and contacts to market the book as well as using social media to get the word out to their colleagues. However, I’m sure that the marketing will be in capable hands with Laura and Flo while I’m away and that they don’t need any tips!

What will you miss most about the office?

I will miss our Friday lunches and all the gossip from the office! But hopefully I will manage to pop in and catch up with everyone while I’m on maternity leave. Some of us have worked together for over 11 years so it will be very odd not to see everyone every day. I will miss the conversations about The Archers, orienteering, Manchester United, the royal family, cake, netball, Disney films and Dawlish which are all important topics in the Channel View office!

We'll miss you!

We’ll miss you! Good luck and make sure you pop in to visit us soon!

While Elinor is on maternity leave, Laura and Flo will be covering her marketing responsibilities and Sarah will be acting commissioning editor for the Aspects of TourismAspects of Tourism Texts and Tourism Essentials series.

An Interview with Xiao-lei Wang, author of Maintaining Three Languages

This month we published Maintaining Three Languages by Xiao-lei Wang which explores her experience of bringing up teenagers multilingually. We asked Xiao-lei a few questions about her book.

Maintaining Three LanguagesWhat makes your book different from others that have been published before?

There are numerous ways in which my new book differs from other books currently on the market. Due to space limit, I will only mention a few here.

  • Unlike most parenting advice books, in which parents tend to be treated as passive readers and are rarely provided with access to original sources, this book takes a different approach by considering parents as active and intelligent readers. To this end, parents are provided with original research sources; references and further readings are suggested at the end of each chapter for those interested in pursuing the topics discussed. In the same vein, some jargon and technical terminologies regarding multilingualism are deliberately introduced to empower parents to access research literature directly if they wish to do so. When jargon and technical terms are introduced, they are explained in simpler language.
  • This book does not consider adolescents’ multilingual development as an isolated linguistic phenomenon; rather, it addresses multilingual development concurrently with other aspects of adolescent life such as biological, cognitive, and social development. The purpose is to encourage parents to consider taking a holistic approach that aims to cultivate a whole person rather than just a multilingual person.
  • This book addresses the impact of multilingual family welfare, a topic that has been largely neglected in the published literature. Parents from multilingual families often come from different cultural backgrounds. As a result, the multilingual childrearing process may affect the coherence and well-being of multilingual families. Practical strategies are provided to help parents be mindful of family well-being.
  • This book includes practical and easy-to-use language and literacy measures that parents can use to better understand their teen’s multilingual development of words, grammar and language production. By understanding their teen’s current heritage-language development levels, parents can focus on the areas in which their teen needs more support.
  • This book is written in a reader-friendly style with a balance of scholarly rigor and reader accessibility. To increase readers’ enjoyment, I have included many interesting and meaningful personal anecdotes. Parents will probably enjoy a book with real-life anecdotes more than a dry advice book that presents information out of context.

How will your readers find your book useful?

Readers may find my book useful in the following areas:

  • Because this book is rooted in my own child and adolescent rearing experiences in the everyday context, parents can easily relate to what I discussed in the book.
  • The practical strategies I proposed in the book can be implemented easily by parents. In addition, these strategies are based on research and personal practice.
  • This book provides parents a platform on which they can reflect on their own multilingual childrearing practice.
  • The book empowers parents by showing them that although multilingual childrearing is challenging, it is possible with the right strategies and support.

Was it difficult writing about your own children?

Not at all! On the contrary, I found that writing about my children has been the most enjoyable writing experience in my academic career. When writing other books or research articles, I can, once in a while, feel bored. This never happened when I wrote about my own children. In a way, this is natural: what can be more engaging when a mother writes about her own children, who are such an important part of her life?

What’s the most important advice you would offer to parents of multilingual teenagers?

To support adolescent multilingual development, I consider the following strategies crucial:

  • Raising a happy teen is more important than raising a multilingual teen. Thus, taking a holistic approach in promoting teens’ social, cognitive, and identity development should be a priority.
  • Parents need to change their roles from manager of their children’s lives to their consultants.
  • Set up realistic and achievable goals together with your teens about their multilingual development. Empower them by letting them be a part of the decision-making process involving their own multilingual development.

What are the advantages of growing up multilingual?

Research has shown that there are more advantages than disadvantages to being multilingual.

Cognitive and Academic Advantages

  • Multilinguals tend to be better at problem solving, because tackling a problem successfully requires focusing on some aspects of the information and ignoring the others (selective attention).
  • Multilinguals may possess an added mental flexibility and creativity because they regularly switch between different languages (mental flexibility).
  • Multilinguals tend to have more than one set of cultural tools with which to interpret the world. These tools can foster competent behaviors in multiple cultures. For instance, an individual who has extensive knowledge and experiences in cultures A and B may be able to retrieve ideas from cultures A and B spontaneously, place them in juxtaposition, and integrate the two into a novel idea through creative insight. This process is referred to as novel conceptual combination.
  • Multilinguals have an advantage in knowledge transfer from their different languages. Compared with monolinguals, multilinguals can benefit greatly from knowledge acquired in their multiple languages to enrich their learning and understanding.
  • Proficiency in more than one language has been shown to be associated with high academic achievement. Individuals who have the ability to switch between two or more languages also exhibit higher cognitive functioning than those who abandon one of their heritage languages. Research shows that when children were encouraged to further develop their home language, the skills they built in that language helped their mainstream language literacy development. In fact, the longer children receive reinforcement in their home language, the better they learn their mainstream language.

Linguistic Advantages

  • Multilingual individuals tend to have a metalinguistic advantage when compared to their monolingual counterparts. They are more sanative about the language phenomenon in their ambient languages.
  • They have more linguistic resources available to them.
  • The multilingual faculty also facilitates new language learning. This is perhaps because multilinguals are more experienced language learners who have potentially developed more language learning strategies than monolinguals and have a larger linguistic and intercultural repertoire at their disposal.

Other Advantages

  • In having knowledge about their heritage language(s), children and adolescents have an advantage in accessing their heritage culture and communicating with their heritage family. Research suggests that children who speak their parents’ heritage language(s) enjoy better relationships with their families and are less likely to be alienated from their parents and relatives.
  • Multilinguals have the privilege of accessing different sources of information and they can read books and newspapers, as well as watch news and films, in several languages. This makes them more versatile and helps them to approach things from multiple perspectives.
  • Moreover, multilingualism can increase a person’s social circle to include friends from many parts of the world. When travelling to another country, being able to speak the language really helps bring people together and facilitates communication, exchange and socialization.
  • Being multilingual has career advantages as well. In the increasingly globalized world, multilinguals have a competitive advantage in the job market.
  • Research has shown that people who are proficient in their heritage language tend to have higher self-esteem, are more confident in achieving goals, feel they have more control over their lives, and have more ambitious plans for the future.

Given all the advantages mentioned above and many others that I have not mentioned, it is definitely worthwhile to raise multilingual children and adolescents. As Stephen Krashen, an expert in second language learning, commented, “Heritage language development appears to be an excellent investment. For a small effort…the payoffs are enormous.” Another well-known multilingual expert, Colin Baker, also echoed that multilingualism has more advantages than drawbacks.

However, I would like to caution that multilingualism affects individuals differently. Some multilinguals may develop particularly strong intellectual and linguistic abilities as a byproduct of multiple language leaning and use. Other multilinguals may have relatively weaker abilities in their respective languages because input in or exposure to each language is not evenly distributed. It is important to have a realistic view of multilingual effects and understand that there is no guarantee that being multilingual will result in benefits that are associated with multilingualism as described above, nor does it suggest that multilingualism is the cause of all the problems. Thus, not all multilinguals will function superbly or equally well; rather, the multilingual effects on an individual depend on many complex factors, including the individual child or adolescent’s sociolinguistic environments, parental support, aptitude, motivation and personality.

What is your next research project?

I have several projects in progress. For example,

  • Multilingual children’s figurative language development (such as idioms)
  • Multilingual children’s syncretic language use
  • In addition, I plan to write a comprehensive handbook on multilingual children and adolescents, tentatively titled Everything You Want to Know about Bilingual and Multilingual Childrearing.

Growing up with Three LanguagesIf you found this interesting you might also like Xiao-lei’s other books: Growing up with Three Languages and Learning to Read and Write in the Multilingual Family. Information about all her books can be found on our website.

An Interview with Tej Vir Singh, editor of Challenges in Tourism Research

This month we published Challenges in Tourism Research, a comprehensive volume in which renowned scholars discuss contemporary debates within the field of tourism studies. The book is based on ‘Research Probes’ originally published in the journal Tourism Recreation Research. In this post the editor of the book, Tej Vir Singh, answers a few questions about the book.

Critical Debates in TourismWhat makes the ‘Research Probe’ format of this book so unique?
Intelligent use of collective wisdom of known multi-disciplinary scholars, strategic application of elenctic approach (debates, discussions and discourse), quintessential knowledge at one place, interesting readability, and direction for future research.

How does this book complement the previous volume Critical Debates in Tourism?
It complements Critical Debates in Tourism by identifying leftover problems (vast tourism cannot be confined to one volume) – more, it meets the needs of freshers and juniors.

What is your next research project?
Ah!! Next project? Possibly a magnum opus of tourism….

What do you find rewarding about editing books?
The joy of creation and dissemination of knowledge plus scholars’ satisfaction with the book.

What advice would you offer to other academics editing their first book?
They should identify the demand of the curricula and market needs; it might be better that they undertake a preliminary training course in editing.

How would you compare the experiences of writing a book and writing a journal article?
Almost the same – just like writing story or a drama.

Do you find that the role of books in the tourism research community has changed over the years? Are they valued more or less today than they were a decade ago?
Can’t say precisely, but I can speak about tourism, where books are more valued than the journals, specially in the Third World.

9781845413415For more information about the book please see our website. You might also be interested in Critical Debates in Tourism.

An Interview with Philip L. Pearce and Anja Pabel, authors of “Tourism and Humour”

Earlier this month we published Tourism and Humour by Philip L. Pearce and Anja Pabel. We asked them a few questions to find out more about the background to the book.

What inspired you to study tourism and humour?

Anja: My primary PhD supervisor, Prof Philip Pearce aka “Prof”, pointed me into the direction of tourism and humour. During a pre-PhD meeting, I remember quite clearly that we talked about three potential PhD topics: social media use in tourism, poverty alleviation and tourism and humour in tourism. When I heard about the humour topic, my alarm bells went ringing: “Ding ding ding, this is so going to be my topic!” The rest is already history.

Tourism and HumourPhilip: Erik Cohen and I discussed humour at the 2007 Academy of Tourism conference and at a number of subsequent meetings in Thailand. I then systematically explored some well-known situations in an early Annals of Tourism Research paper. I do recognise nationality differences, but the way humour enlivens many human interactions has always been of interest to me and its role in tourism interactions was not formally appreciated. The choice of the topic is consistent with identifying key facets of tourist behaviour which have defined some of our earlier work at James Cook University

What insights have you gained from writing the book?

Anja: The research for the PhD and the book made me realise just what a multifaceted phenomenon humour actually is. It is something so nebulous because it is a personal and subjective experience. The research shows that tour guides who are successful in using humour during tourism experiences contribute to the tourists’ comfort, connection and concentration levels. Overall it can be said that humour may not apply to all tourism settings but this research has shown that is it likely to contribute to making many tourists’ experiences more enjoyable.

Philip: The breadth and depth of scholarship relating to humour has now given me the ability to identify common humour styles and patterns in tourism humour. For example, I recently visited the United Kingdom and witnessed many of the identical techniques identified in tourist–guide humour in our chapters. Guides who gently mock their audience and interpreters who build their stories with humour and turn the humour against themselves can be richly entertaining for many in the audience. But it is not just about guides. Humorous promotion and humorous post travel storytelling are very important links in the humour-tourism nexus.

How did the two of you come to collaborate on this book?

Anja: Prof was my PhD supervisor and having some of my PhD findings published in a book was a great opportunity. I enjoyed working on this book with Prof and the Channel View Publications team.

Philip: From my interest and from Anja’s PhD there seemed to be much to say in a book. Importantly, co-writing with a consistently happy, fun seeking but high quality graduate student with supportive Channel View staff was always going to be a great choice of working colleagues and friends.

What’s the favourite place that you’ve travelled to in the course of your research?

Anja: To collect data for the PhD and ultimately the book, I travelled to some of my favourite places in Far North Queensland such as the Atherton Tablelands and Cape Tribulation. It was very insightful to see tour guides using humour to engage with tourists during different tourism activities and to observe what effect it had on the tourists’ experience.

Philip: My first studies of humour in Hawaii and New Zealand captured my appreciation of how good humour use adds to beautiful environments and fun activities. These great places were made better for tourists by very entertaining, humorous, culture presenters and fun loving, adventure tourism staff.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing books?

Anja: I enjoy travelling, walking my dog, paddle boarding and reading.

Philip: Meeting new people overseas, travelling, looking after my three dogs and enjoying watching and, if possible, participating in sport.

What is the most humorous experience you’ve had as a tourist?

Anja: I remember a funny situation in Penang, Malaysia where my mother and I went for dinner at the restaurant of the hotel where we were staying. This particular restaurant was very quiet that evening. In fact only one other table had diners. The food was fantastic but the funny part was the huge amount of attention we received from the restaurant employees. Four different waiters, the maître d’ and then the actual chef who cooked our meals came to our table to enquire how everything was. First my mother and I were a bit uncomfortable by all this attention, but then we just started laughing whenever someone new approached our table. In the end we were in stitches but I guess you had to be there to see the funny side of all this. My mum and I still laugh when we remember this dining experience.

Philip: One or two are in the book. Please enjoy them.

What is your next research project?

Anja: Prof and I are still working on some humour related projects but apart from that anything is possible.

Philip: Helping to make tourists behave more patiently and intelligently, understanding non-returning visitors, the world learning to interact with Asian tourists.

For more information on the book please see our website.

Tourism and Trails

In December we published Tourism and Trails by Dallen J. Timothy and Stephen W. Boyd. We asked them a few questions to find out more about the background to the book.

Tourism and TrailsWhat inspired you to write a book about tourism and trails?
Since our youth, we have had personal interests in trails. Dallen has fond memories of utilizing nature trails during primary school field trips and his family using them during Easter egg hunts. He also grew up enjoying trails in some of Utah’s most spectacular national parks. Since that time he has become especially interested in researching long-distance heritage trails, including religious-oriented pilgrimage paths and trade routes. Stephen has fond memories as a child of lots of walking on family holidays over the traditional beach holiday and so nowadays when he visits new destinations he is keen to explore the landscape using formal and informal trails of varying scales and importance.  From a scholastic point of view both of us realize the importance of trails and routes in connecting disparate parts of regions for economic development and developing broader tourism products, yet few people have systematically examined them from a holistic perspective. There are many studies about the recreational impacts of trails, but we saw a need to treat linear resources more comprehensively from tourism and recreation standpoints.

How did the two of you come to collaborate on this book?
We have known each other since graduate school in Canada, where we shared many personal and professional interests in nature-based and cultural heritage-based tourism. In 1999, based upon our own experiences and our emerging professional interests in the management of linear tourism resources, we co-wrote and presented a conference paper conceptualizing trails as management mechanisms. Since then we have maintained our common research interests in trails and spent much time visiting and researching, largely from a policy perspective, many trails and routes in the UK, Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. We are planning to carry out much more empirical collaborative work on tourism trails in the near future.

What makes your book different from others that have been published before?
Well, honestly, there are no other scholarly books out there that deal with recreational and tourism trails, let alone one that delves into the management, conservation, supply and demand and experiential elements of linear resources. The book consolidates a disparate range of literatures and concepts into a volume that is accessible to researchers and students. It provides in-depth analysis of the current trends, issues and implications of routes and trails as crucial resources for tourism and recreation.

Which other academics in your field do you particularly admire and how have they influenced your own research?
There are far too many to mention individually, although Richard Butler comes to mind first. He was Stephen’s PhD supervisor and one of Dallen’s master’s mentors. His pioneering work in tourism studies influenced us in many ways during our formative years as emerging academics, and we will forever be grateful for his mentorship. Geoff Wall, Dallen’s PhD advisor, is another tourism pioneer who taught us much and who has led the field for decades; it was Geoff’s simple typology of classifying tourism attractions as points, lines and areas that started our thinking that there is a lack of attention by tourism scholars to study linear attraction with the one exception of linear coastal resort development.

As a tourism academic you must get to travel to some exotic locations. Where is the most unusual or interesting place you have travelled to for work?
Dallen’s preferred places are where most mass tourists don’t go. For him, in this regard the most interesting locales have been Greenland, Lebanon, Mongolia, remote parts of Myanmar, North Korea and Bhutan. Stephen has visited many locations often to present at conferences; some of the most interesting over the years have been Singapore, North Cyprus, Brisbane, Vancouver; others have been more remote like Umea, Sweden and Valapariso, Chile where he experienced a student riot when entering the city!

What are your next research projects?
We are planning a new book on heritage tourism and technology, and we will continue our research on pilgrimage trails in Ireland and other parts of Europe. We are also exploring an edited book on political tourism which is around concepts and issues as opposed to case studies. Stephen is looking to undertake research on the Wild Atlantic Way; one of the largest coastal touring routes that takes you on a journey around the south and west coast of Ireland, linking to some of the touring routes along Northern Ireland’s coastline.

For more information about the book please see our website.

The Bilingual Advantage

Next month we are publishing Rebecca Callahan and Patricia Gándara’s book The Bilingual Advantage. Here, we have a short interview with Rebecca and Patricia which gives further insight to the themes of their book.

Why did you feel this was an important book to write?

We were driven by two very strong interests: what we perceived to be a strong need to revisit the existing research on bilingualism in the labor market, and if that research yielded new findings, to frame it in such as way that it might capture the attention of policymakers.

We were both aware that the literature to date has shown that there is no real advantage to bilingualism in the US labor market, and in certain cases even a bilingual penalty, something that is counter-intuitive to most people, especially in an increasingly globalized world. This raised questions in our own minds about whether past research may have suffered from data and analytical problems, or if looking at the issue with younger cohorts, or in different geographic areas might yield different results. The studies in the The Bilingual Advantage draw on relatively new data, on longitudinal samples of young people, and attempt to more carefully define balanced bilingualism. And, indeed, we find very different outcomes for young balanced bilinguals, both in the labor market and in education.

If there are so many advantages to bilingualism, and if many of the young people in the US today who are most likely and able to achieve bilingualism are also those individuals who have little access to the rigorous schooling that would support biliteracy development, it seems that policy makers should be re-thinking these counterproductive education policies. However, we have seen that the research on the cognitive and social advantages of bilingualism has not been sufficiently compelling to motivate change in educational policies. It occurred to us that perhaps the economic arguments would be more compelling and bring the world of business in as allies in attempting to re-fashion policy.

The Bilingual AdvantageHow did the two of you come to collaborate on this book?

We had both discussed the importance of bilingualism, and the disconnect between what we saw as the value of bilingualism and the research suggesting there was little labor market advantage to mastering two languages. With the Civil Rights Project, Patricia had commissioned a series of studies to investigate the value of bilingualism. Once we decided that we wanted to do a book, Rebecca immediately came to mind as the ideal person to lead the shepherding of this set of studies toward a coherent volume.  She was familiar with the methods and datasets, she knew the area substantively, and had published in this area. Her background and interest in the value of bilingualism helped to shape the arguments at the core of The Bilingual Advantage.

Who do you hope will find your book interesting/useful?

Everyone from monolingual and bilingual parents and community members, to classroom educators and educational policy makers. The Bilingual Advantage is important to consider in the many decisions we make about how to educate the growing language minority, or more specifically, emergent bilingual population, as well as all other students who should be prepared for a global economy. To date, the educational policy that governs the instruction of this growing population is not aligned with the research.

What are three main points you hope readers of your book come away with?

Policy: There is a cost to not maintaining this national resource. An established base of effective instructional practices and programs exists to guide the successful education of the emergent bilingual population; failure to take advantage of the linguistic resources these students bring with them to the classroom will cost the national economy greatly in the long run.

Research: These studies make it clear that researchers in the field must carefully consider how they define ‘bilingualism’; most available data are not designed to answer questions about literacy and language proficiency in one, much less two languages. Lack of data in this area results in conclusions that may be inaccurate. Determining the true value of balanced bilingualism in the labor market is as much a question of measurement and empirical methods, as it is of the economy. Additionally, these studies point up the fact that the demographic changes occurring so rapidly in the US require that we revisit research findings based on data that reflect a different population in our schools and in the society.

Conventional wisdom: As we enter into a new era, the generations that have grown up in the information age are acutely aware of the new global economy. In this realm, everyone’s child really can benefit from proficiency in two or more languages.

Have you gained any surprising or unexpected insights from writing the book?

The impact of the methods was astonishing. Using appropriate measures, Santibañez and Zárate were able to show that balanced bilinguals were more likely to go to a four-year college, and were less likely to drop out compared to monolinguals. In addition, it was striking to note how clearly employers’ preferences drive the economic effects – which we see very clearly in the Porras chapter, but is also hinted at in the Alarcón chapters which allude to a muffled advantage, tempered by a context historically defined by its racial stratification. Also, Agirdag’s thesis that rather than just asking about economic advantages to bilingualism one should actually consider the costs of not educating students bilingually caused us to think of this issue in a whole different way!

What do you find rewarding about authoring and editing books?

Contribution to the larger field—shaping how we ask questions and having the opportunity to move the field forward. In addition, the whole process of getting to know other colleagues’ work intimately; forming what are really very lovely relationships with colleagues.

What other books on bilingualism have you enjoyed recently?

I really enjoyed Bialystok’s Bilingualism in Development, and we use Baker’s Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism in our graduate and undergraduate courses. I repeatedly draw on and refer students to Menken’s English Learners Left Behind, her seminal work investigating how standardized testing has resulted in a de facto language policy in K-12 schools. Some books you read once, others you go back to over and over. The Education of Language Minority Immigrants in the United States, edited by Wiley, Lee, and Rumberger, is one of those books. I recently re-read several chapters. The selection of works for that volume is exceptional.

What is your next research project?

Rebecca will be working on two projects, one which investigates the role of science efficacy in EL students’ middle to high school transition, and the other teachers’ use of an innovative engineering curriculum in the elementary age classroom. Patricia is working on bilingual, multinational open access secondary math curriculum to facilitate immigrant students’ high school completion and is about to launch a national survey on what teachers of English learners know, have been trained to do, and need support in doing to effectively educate EL/emergent bilingual students.

If you would like more information about this book please see our website.