By Sari Pietikäinen, FinlandAlexandra Jaffe, Long BeachHelen Kelly-Holmes, and Nikolas Coupland
Sociolinguistics from the Periphery "presents a fascinating book about change: shifting political, economic and cultural conditions; ephemeral, sometimes even seasonal, multilingualism; and altered imaginaries for minority and indigenous languages and their users."
This book provides comprehensive coverage of language contact in classroom settings. A thorough analysis of the sources and implications of social “disadvantage” is presented first, since the nonstandard dialects that children bring with them to school – and the unfavourable perceptions of these dialects – have traditionally given rise to educational difficulties. The persistence of these perceptions is particularly highlighted. More general issues surrounding the range and implications of language attitudes are dealt with, as is the important “test case” of Black English. The book also discusses foreign-language teaching and learning, as well as the assumptions and intentions underpinning bilingual and multicultural education. Given its breadth and its style, this book should be of interest and value to all teachers, as well as to students and researchers concerned with any aspect of the social life of language.