Bilingual Education

Colin Baker

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Bilingual Education

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  • Linguistics
  • Language Acquisition
  • Sociolinguistics



Bilingual education is not just about education and bilingualism. There are dimensions to bilingual education that require a multidisciplinary understanding. It is not just about the use of two languages in the classroom. There are dimensions to bilingual education that involve economics, philosophy, history, sociolinguistics, and, not least, politics as well as language planning. For example, bilingual education is a means of language planning that sometimes seeks to assimilate indigenous and immigrant minorities, or to integrate newcomers or minority groups. At other times, bilingual education is a major plank in language revitalization and preservation. There is the viewpoint of language planners is one essential means of language maintenance, revitalization, and reversing language shift. The benefits of bilingual education are not self-apparent or intrinsically obvious. Therefore, the notion of bilingual education has to be marketed so that both the public and politicians are persuaded and convinced.

Keywords: education; bilingual education; bilingualism; multidisciplinary; philosophy; sociolinguistics; language revitalization; immigrant minorities

Article.  4097 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Language Acquisition ; Sociolinguistics

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