It is our great honor at Multilingual Living to publish this series of extracts from Professor François Grosjean’s new book Bilingual: Life and Reality, which has been nominated for the Edward Sapir Book Prize 2010. Prof. Grosjean knows intimately what he writes about: not only is he “one of the grand old men of research on bilingualism” but is himself bilingual.
Over the course of the next eight weeks, we will be presenting extracts from the introductory chapter as well as six chapters on childhood bilingualism. The information presented is intended to dispel the myriad of myths that abound about bilingualism as well as give us a glimpse into the life of someone who has spent a lifetime living and researching the life of bilinguals.
In addition, we encourage readers to read Prof. Grosjean’s Q & A series as his answers are packed with information and wisdom. For more information about Prof. Francois Grosjean, please visit his website as well as his Psychology Today blog.
You may want to start with the first posts in this series:
- Extracts from Bilingual: Life and Reality – Introduction
- Extracts from Bilingual: Life and Reality – Introduction, Part Two
- Extracts from Bilingual: Life and Reality – Chapter 14
- Extract from Bilingual: Life and Reality – Chapter 15
- Extract from Bilingual: Life and Reality – Chapter 16
- Extract from Bilingual: Life and Reality – Chapter 17
- Extract from Bilingual: Life and Reality – Chapter 18
- Extract from Bilingual: Life and Reality – Chapter 19
Extracts from Bilingual: Life and Reality, by François Grosjean
– Short Conclusion-
Corey Heller has kindly asked me whether I would like to write a few words to conclude the series of extracts from my latest book, Bilingual: Life and Reality, and it is with pleasure that I do so.
I would like to start by thanking all those who have read these extracts. I realize that they were very short and that we had to leave many things out – most notably examples of real life situations – but we had rather strict length limitations set by the publisher.
What better way of concluding the series than to give two short quotes from the book’s Conclusion:
“Although I have tackled in this book some fifteen myths about (bilingualism and biculturalism), I am the first to acknowledge that some still have a long life ahead of them. That said, it is worth repeating over and over again that there are probably more bilinguals on the earth today than monolinguals and that, in this age of global communication and travel, the number will surely increase.”
“……. Despite the myths I am optimistic. An increasing number of children and adolescents in the process of becoming bilingual, bicultural, and, for some, biliterate are receiving the attention they require precisely because they are bilingual and bicultural. As I have said, there are bound to be times when the going is difficult and frustration occurs. It is crucial, therefore, that all receive encouragement and assistance…… Caring and informed adults must accompany them (many already do) and ease their passage from one stage to the next. I dream of the moment when these young people and, later, adults will all be proud of their languages and cultures, and be accepted for who they are—bilingual and bicultural individuals, quite simply.”
The readers of Multilingual Living are definitely among the “caring and informed adults” I had in mind when I was writing the Conclusion and I wish them all the best in nurturing the bilingualism and biculturalism of their children.
And all my thanks to Corey Heller for having hosted these extracts on Multilingual Living; I am most grateful to her.
Allow me to end by saying to all of you, “Au revoir / goodbye”!
Electronically reproduced by permission of the publisher from BILINGUAL: LIFE AND REALITY by François Grosjean, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, Copyright © 2010 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.