General interest books (for anyone with an interest in languages)
- Bilingual – Life and Reality, by François Grosjean, Harvard University Press, 2010.
- Multilingualism: Understanding Linguistic Diversity, by John Edwards, Continuum, 2012.
Books on raising bilingual children (for parents, carers, and guardians)
Parents can often feel pressured into buying every book on the topic of bilingualism, but for almost all families, one or two of these books will provide sufficient guidance.
Remember that every family is different – no particular book or combination of books will be able to answer every single question that you have. Our advice is to pick one of the following books to provide some general guidance, and supplement it with information from teachers, the internet, and your own experience.
Don’t forget that your local library may be able to order some of these books in for you.
- Growing up with three languages. Birth to Eleven, by Xiao-Lei Wang, Multilingualism Matters, 2008.
- A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism, by Colin Baker, Multilingualism Matters, 3rd Edition, 2007.
- The Bilingual Family: A Handbook for Parents, by Edith Harding & Philip Riley, Cambridge University Press, 2003.
- Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children, by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, 2001.
- Growing Up with Two Languages: A Practical Guide, by Una Cunningham-Andersson & Staffan Andersson, 2nd edition, 2004.
- Bilingual Children: a guide for parents and carers, by Foufou Savitzky, London Language and Literacy Unit, South Bank University, 1994.
- Raising a Bilingual Child, by Barbara Zurer Pearson, Random House 2008.
Books on teaching bilingual students and EAL (aimed at teachers and educators)
A quick online search reveals an intimidatingly large number of titles in this field. The NALDIC website has an excellent review section to help you find the right book for you: EAL book reviews.
In our experience, some of the most useful books for non-EAL specialists are:
- English as an Additional Language: Meeting the Challenge in the Classroom by Liz Haslam, Yvonne Wilkin & Edith Kellet, Taylor & Francis, 2006.
- Teaching Bilingual and EAL Learners in Primary Schools by Jean Conteh, Learning Matters, 2012.
- Promoting Learning for Bilingual Pupils 3-11: Opening Doors to Success, edited by Jean Conteh, 2006.
And for early years practitioners:
- Bilingualism in the Early Years: A Resourceful Guide to Theory and Practice publication by the Pre-School Learning Alliance.
Academic books on bilingualism and bilingual language processing
The following books provide an overview of our current knowledge into the nature of bilingualism. They are written with a primarily academic audience in mind – thorough, but rather dry.
- Mirror of Language: The Debate on Bilingualism, by Kenji Hakuta, 1986.
- One Mind, Two Languages: Bilingual Language Processing, edited by Janet Nicol, 2001.
- In Other Words: The Science and Psychology of Second-Language Acquisition, by Ellen Bialystok, Kenji Hakuta, 1994.
- Language Processing in Bilingual Children, edited by Ellen Bialystok,1991.
- Bilingualism across the lifespan: Aspects of acquisition, maturity, and loss, edited by Kenneth Hyltenstam and Loraine K. Obler, 1994.
- Bilinguality and bilingualism, by Josiane F. Hamers & Michel H. Blanc, 2nd edition, 2003.
Academic books on bilingual education
A more “academic” (i.e., less accessible) overview of bilingual education. Mostly written from a US perspective, concentrating on bilingual populations (e.g. English-Hispanic) rather than EAL.
- Negotiating Identities: Education for Empowerment in a Diverse Society, by Jim. Cummins, 1996.
- Language, Power, and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossfire, by Jim. Cummins, 2000.
- Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, by Colin Baker, 5th edition, 2011.
- Bilingualism: Beyond basic Principles, edited by Jean-Marc Dewaele, Alex Housen & Li Wei, 2003.
- Home pages: Literacy links for bilingual children, by Charmian Kenner, 2000.
- Multilingual Learning: Stories from Schools and Communities in Britain, edited by Jean Conteh, Peter Martin, Leena H. Robertson, 2007.
- Educating Second Language Children: The Whole Child, the Whole Curriculum, the Whole Community, edited by Fred Genesee, 1994.
Journals dealing specifically with bilingualism. Most articles require a log in to provide access (either paid, or through an institution such as a university).
- Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
- International Journal of Bilingualism
- Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
- International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Language book shops
Reading is a great way to help your child keep up their bilingualism. The following sites are given for information only and do not represent an endorsement. Remember to ask your local library about non-English language books as well.
- Young Linguists Resources aimed at language learners up to age 16
- European Bookshop Language learning and literature in a range of languages
- Manta Language Dual language children’s books in English + range of other languages
- Mommies Tongue Books and toys in a range of languages
- The Language Hub New and second-hand bookshop based in Glasgow ad online