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Introduction

Jose Camacho, Guest Editor

This issue of Arachne includes three of the six presentations delivered at the 1st New Jersey Workshop on Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition, sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Rutgers College, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Amorrortu’s paper provides an up-to-date assessment of 30 years of  language planning in the Basque country. Noting the very positive signs of  revitalization of the language in the areas of government use, education policy and social acceptance of the language, Amorrortu also points out the remaining challenges in further extending the use of Basque.

Schmidt’s paper presents an analysis of bilingualism from the point of view of a political scientist, dissecting the opposing factors that affect a society’s acceptance of bilingual situations. This article provides a clearly articulated theoretical model that allows us to assess the role of different social agents in negotiating and accepting bilingual realities.

Tucker’s contribution provides a very clear overview of the state of research on bilingual education. Summarizing a very extensive body of literature, he outlines the main conclusions regarding the cognitive advantages of bilingual education, the different types of programs and methods that have been used, and what lessons can be learnt from existing experiences.

The participants in the workshop included:

Estibaliz Amorrortu, Universidad de Deusto

“Bilingual Education in the Basque Country: Achievements and Challenges after Four Decades of Acquisition Planning”

Pieter Muysken, Leiden University

“Modelling language contact”

Jorge Schmidt, Universidad de Puerto Rico-Mayagüez

“The political side of bilingual education: the undesirable becomes useful.”

Jacqueline Toribio, Pennsylvania State University

“The multiple competences of Spanish-speakers.”

Richard Tucker, Carnegie-Mellon University

“A Global Perspective on Bilingual Education: Implications for New Jersey Educators”

Madeleine Zúñiga, UNESCO

“Bilingual Education Policies in Peru: beyond the recognition of multilingualism”

 

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