Extending understandings of bilingual and multilingual education

Ofelia GARCÍA, Mei Yi Angel LIN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Our traditional understandings of bilingual and multilingual education have been disrupted, as scholars in different parts of the world have questioned some of them. In this chapter we extend the definition of bilingual education to the use of diverse language practices to educate, and we identify the different ideologies that lead to diverse ways of doing bilingual education around the world. We show how bilingual education has to respond to the language practices of people, taking on a social justice purpose, and reinforcing the idea that language is used by people to communicate and participate in multiple contexts and societies.

This chapter brings some order to the differences in perspectives that follow in this volume, without negating them. We discuss some of the shared understandings of the authors—the goodness of bilingual education; its relationship to social, political and economic factors including the global neoliberal economy and the state; its relationship to power and advocacy; its engagement of families and communities; and its lack of material resources. And we summarize what some of the authors in this volume claim would be necessary for bilingual education to adapt to the changing world of the 21st century–going beyond named languages and going beyond traditional models and types of bilingual education. Copyright © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBilingual and multilingual education
EditorsOfelia GARCIA, Angel LIN, Stephen MAY
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)9783319023243
Publication statusPublished - 2016


García, O., & Lin, A. (2016). Extending understandings of bilingual and multilingual education. In O. Garcia, A. Lin, & S. May (Eds.), Bilingual and multilingual education. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02324-3_1-1


  • Bilingual education models
  • Families
  • “Named” languages
  • Neoliberal economy
  • Translanguaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Extending understandings of bilingual and multilingual education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.