The Assessment of Bilinguals

Issues in the Assessment of BilingualsThis month we are publishing Issues in the Assessment of Bilinguals and Solutions for the Assessment of Bilinguals by Virginia C. Mueller Gathercole. Here, her former colleague Colin Baker writes about why the books are so important to the field.

Ginny Gathercole has the well earned reputation as an outstanding researcher on language. Meticulous as a top academic, she has gained considerable applause on both side of the Atlantic for innovative and creative research and writing that pushes forward boundaries by a large leap rather than a short jump. As editor of these two books, she has gathered an outstanding set of chapters, meticulously compiled, and created two books that will transform our understanding of the assessment of bilinguals and multilinguals.

Solutions for the Assessment of BilingualsThese books on assessment are sorely needed. There is a dearth of authoritative books on the assessment of bilinguals and multilinguals, and the two books uniquely help fill the enormous gap in our knowledge.  This topic is complex as it includes children and adults with different cognitive, academic and socio-economic profiles. Yet the books cover such complexity and variety by both raising the issues, and then suggesting solutions.

These two books are likely to become classics in the understanding of assessment in bilinguals and multilinguals. Every library should buy a copy of both books, as they will stand the test of time, place and importance.

Both books are available on our website with a special discount of 30%. Click here to find out all the details.

CLIL in Higher Education

CLIL in Higher EducationEarlier this month we published CLIL in Higher Education by Inmaculada Fortanet-Gómez and we asked her to tell us a little about how she came to write the book and how it contributes to the field of research into multilingual education.

The first idea to write a book like CLIL in Higher Education: Towards a Multilingual Language Policy was due to the fact that almost everything that had been published up to that moment, four years ago, was related to primary and secondary education and it lacked a solid theoretical basis. I observed that the research on CLIL in Higher Education starting at that moment was focused on practical experiences and the literature reviews were often confusing and misleading. They were based on research carried out in North America or Canada, or on the few theory based studies on CLIL in pre-university education.

In Spain, however, CLIL is having a great influence at the moment in all stages of education although  most research is focused on secondary school experiences.

Thirdly, the intention of this book was to gather all the perspectives CLIL has taken in recent years especially around language as medium and as object of instruction, pedagogy and language policy. I think nobody up to this moment has taken such a wide perspective in a single authored volume.

This book tries to review what multilingualism and multilingual education means in several parts of the world, in order to provide a context to the situation of a bilingual community in Spain. Secondly, it provides the theoretical background for the several perspectives of CLIL: language, pedagogy and participants, and socio-historical context. Thirdly, it provides some proposals for a multilingual language policy for a university, Universitat Jaume I, taking into account all the factors described.

I hope this volume is of interest to students, researchers and policy makers interested in multilingualism in higher education from the perspective of the integration of language and content.

Multilingual Higher EducationIf you liked this book you might also like Multilingual Higher Education by Christa van der Walt.