Foundations for Multlingualism in Education: From Principles to Practice (Paperback)

Foundations for Multlingualism in Education: From Principles to Practice By Ester J. de Jong Cover Image

Foundations for Multlingualism in Education: From Principles to Practice (Paperback)

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Foundations for Multilingualism in Education: from Principles to Practice equips pre-service and in-service educators with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about educating English language learners (ELLs)/bilingual learners in bilingual education and general education contexts, with an emphasis on promoting bi/multilingualism creatively and effectively in diverse settings. De Jong also highlights the role of teacher as decision maker, and shows multiple pathways for teacher advocacy at the classroom, program, school, and policy levels.

A note on terminology. The terms "multilingualism in education" and "multilingual schools" refer to schools with students from two or more language backgrounds, including (a) bilingual eduction programs serving bilingual communities, (b) general education programs that include ELLs/bilingual learners from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, and (c) educational programs that aim for multilingualism as a goal and anticipated outcome for students. This comprehensive text supports an important move in educating ELLs/bilingual learners: All educators, not just those who work in bilingual education programs, need to be prepared to look at educating ELLs/bilingual learners from a bilingual perspective.

This foundational text shows bilingual education and general education teachers how to look critically at theory, research, policy, and practice on educating ELLs/bilingual learners from a dynamic, pluralist, multilingual perspective. De Jong also includes and expands on traditional discussions of bilingual (e.g., transitional, one-way and two-way dual language) and general education (e.g., structured English immersion, English as a second language/English language development) program models by presenting four key principles found in quality programs for ELLs/bilingual learners in any setting:
  1. Striving for Educational Equity
  2. Affirming Identities
  3. Promoting Additive Bi/Multilingualism
  4. Structuring for Integration

Using rich examples from classrooms and schools, de Jong clearly shows how these four principles are enacted and reflected differently in bilingual education and general education contexts. She also invites teachers to apply these principles to their own practice, and to use their findings to inform their own advocacy efforts.

Key Features
  • Guiding questions and key terms preview major concepts
  • Tables, figures, U.S. and international examples, glossary, and index make chapter content accessible and practical
  • Critical issues questions, application and reflection activities, and recommended readings at the end of each chapter extend student learning

Ester J. de Jong is a professor of English as a second language (ESL)/bilingual education and the Director of the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Originally from the Netherlands, she earned her doctoral degree in bilingual education from Boston University and worked for five years as the assistant director for bilingual education/ESL in Framingham, MA. Her research focuses on two-way bilingual education, language-in-education policy, and preparing mainstream teachers for educating bilingual students.
Product Details ISBN: 9781934000069
ISBN-10: 193400006X
Publisher: Caslon Publishing
Publication Date: April 30th, 2011
Pages: 304
Language: English
Yvonne and David Freeman

University of Texas at Brownsville


In Foundations for Multilingualism in Education: From Principles to Practice, Ester De Jong brings together her thorough knowledge of the field of bilingual and multilingual education and her passion for equity for all students learning in two or more languages. De Jong provides her readers with a detailed overview of theory, research, and policy and then suggests four key principles for working effectively with multilingual learners in schools. This foundational book is a must for all educators in our multilingual global society.


Kathryn Lindholm-Leary, Ph.D.

San Jose State University


A compelling, comprehensive, and intellectually rich case for bi/multilingualism in education that students, educators, parents, policymakers and more experienced researchers will find invaluable. De Jong provides a multi-layered social, economic, political, legal, and educational rationale for multilingualism along with visions for successful practice and policy.


Fred Genesee

McGill University


Much has been written about educating English language learners, but Ester de Jong provides a unique perspective that is extensively supported by research and richly illustrated with useful examples. This is an excellent distillation of the most recent research and thinking on bilingualism in education.


Christian Faltis

University of California, Davis


This book is the most contemporary and solid treatment of the foundations of multilingualism and their application to educational settings. The book contains rich examples of what schools can do to promote multilingualism holistically, so that expressing meaning, emotion, and thoughts in two or more languages not only benefits multicultural societies, but also affirms individual learners’ identities within such societies. De Jong’s book should be required reading in all teacher education programs, so that new teachers learn deeply about the multilingual worlds of the students they are likely to teach.


Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala

Colorado State University


In recognition of the rapidly growing need for understanding multilingualism, multilingual development, and the diversity of multilingual settings, together with the imperative need to go beyond the discussion and exploration of bilingualism and bilingual development, Foundations for Multilingualism in Education: From Principles to Practice...

• Is a welcome comprehensive resource for researchers that encompasses what is traditionally known regarding bilingualism and multilingualism, and the most current concepts found in the available research. It systematically and clearly identifies areas in need of further research.

• Offers a comprehensive and in-depth resource for educators and students seeking to acquire a solid theoretical base on issues related to bilingual and multilingual development to be in a better position to advocate on behalf of their bilingual/multilingual learners in schools.

• Provides questions to encourage reflective and critical thinking on the part of readers, stimulating ideas for further inquiry and research on the various topics.

• Assists readers in building or solidifying the linguistic repertoire needed to access research in the areas of bilingualism and multilingualism through the presentation of key terms, guiding questions, ideas for discussion, stimulating activities, and recommended readings found at the beginning and end of the chapters.


Guofang Li

Michigan State University


Foundations for Multilingualism in Education: From Principles to Practice is a must-have text for anyone who is interested in issues around bilingual and multilingual education and globalization. This is one of the much needed books that bring together theories, practices, and resources on multilingualism in the context of globalization. The topics covered are comprehensive, timely, and assessable to a wide variety of readers including undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, administrators and even parents of culturally diverse backgrounds.


Socorro Herrera

Kansas State University


DeJong offers a new perspective on multilingualism that is contextual, pluralistic, reflective, and well grounded in principles of best practice. This book succeeds in guiding educators through capacity building that emphasizes the student’s outlook on culture and language. DeJong specifically addresses programming and policy from a new perspective, moving the field forward. A must read for ALL educators!


Diane J. Tedick

University of Minnesota


With clarity and insight, de Jong invites readers to explore the complex and fascinating world of multilingualism in education. Weaving together research conducted in the U.S. and a multitude of international contexts, this volume provides a comprehensive account of the issues, paradoxes, and challenges that face educators who strive to prepare today’s learners to thrive in multilingual and multicultural contexts. Through the introduction and exemplification of four key principles for putting language policy into practice in educational settings, de Jong brilliantly illustrates how all schools can provide educational equity and embrace multilingualism and multiculturalism for all learners. This is an invaluable resource for preservice and inservice teachers and administrators as well as researchers—essential reading for all those interested in promoting multilingualism and equity in education.


Donna Christian

Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington DC


This volume offers a comprehensive, insightful, and practical guide to quality education for students in multilingual and multicultural contexts. Based on a sound and transparent research base, its refreshing perspective focuses on creating conditions that will foster multilingual development and school success, and it gives useful advice about policies and practices that are principled but flexible and contextually appropriate. The result is a book that should be a key resource for all educators –and that will be especially appreciated by those who directly serve multilingual populations.


Ofelia García

The Graduate Center, City University of New York


In the multilingual classrooms of today, teachers and administrators need to understand how students can engage in the plural discourses of a global world. Written with the practitioner in mind, this book will enable educators to understand the principles of multilingualism in education, as well as develop the educational practices and expertise that will result in more multilingual citizens for the 21st century. It is a must read for all educators today.


María Torres-Guzman

Teachers College, Columbia University


In De Jong’s Foundations for Multilingualism in Education: From Principles to Practice, she plots the sociohistorical trajectory and discourse of bilingual education, defining/(re)defining and elucidating many core concepts using theoretically-bounded practical examples. Moving through the complex maze of literature on language ideology, language pedagogy, language planning and more, while guided by the principles of equity, identity, multilingualism and integration, De Jong helps the reader emerge with a sense of how to move forward in the different realms of decision making within schools, advocacy work, and policy making at local, national, and international levels. She moves the conversation one step further in the direction of maintenance of minoritized group languages while promoting multilingualism for all children.


Virginia Collier

George Mason University


Very well written and referenced, this book takes the next steps needed in our field as we reflect on language use and policies in schools around the world. Dr. de Jong's thoughtful analyses make the strong case for understanding research on multilingualism and following guiding principles based on the research for program, curricular, instructional, and assessment decisions in schools.



Maria Estela Brisk

Boston College


DeJong’s book is a breath of fresh air in the tedious debate about the effectiveness of models to educate bilingual learners. Within a holistic view of bilingualism, she argues for a principled approach to policy and practice. Such view is more likely to result in school level successful experiences for bilingual learners.