Bilingualism or Not deals with multilingualism, particularly as it relates to migrant minorities and Indigenous peoples. People from linguistic minorities often have to become multilingual in order to cope in the larger society, while majority representatives may voluntarily become bilingual. The book analyses the problems migrants and Indigenous peoples face in a monolingual educational situation, often having to forego the use of their mother language. It also analyses controversies about their education and places them in the wider political context.
Among the topics covered are:
- the mother tongue, its development, significance ow it differs from languages learned later
- definitions and measurement of bilingualism
- different ways of becoming bilingual for different groups, in the school and the family
- bilingualism, cognitive development and school achievement
- guest worker policy and immigrant policy
- violence in minority education
The introduction to this South Asian edition by Ajit Mohanty of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi situates the book in the Indian subcontinent and its relevance in today’s globalized world.