From Publishers Weekly
Grosjean (Life with Two Languages
) breaks little new ground in his study of bilingualism, but he does succeed in his stated aim to demystify who bilinguals are and the psychological ramifications of possessing more than one language with which to process and articulate experience. His discussion zeros in on such behaviors as suppressing the knowledge of one language in order to communicate in another or the choice to resist using a language because of a trauma or, conversely, lack of emotional connection to it. He distinguishes between bilinguals and biculturals and the situations that arise in the case of their coincidence. While not quite a revelation on the ability or aptitude for bilingualism, the book is a clear and readable primer covering various linguistic idiosyncrasies, state attitudes toward bilingualism, how to encourage equal aptitude in both languages, and the challenges in raising bilingual children. Enlivening the text are Grosjean's anecdotes about growing up bilingual (he is the son of an English mother and French father) and studies on the intersection of language and politics—especially when bilingualism is explicitly nurtured, as in Navajo revival classes on reservations. (Apr.)
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What may not be apparent to the non-specialist is the extent to which Grosjean masters the entire body of scholarly literature on bilingualism produced during the past 100 years… It is worth having at one's fingertips the unpretentiously presented, solidly researched facts and figures in this gentle, humorous, civilized book. (Mela Sarkar Montreal Gazette
The personal dimension of the book contributes to its readability and vitality. Grosjean succeeds in impressing on his readers the need to demystify bilingualism and seek ways in which to encourage linguistic diversity. (Kerstin Hoge Times Literary Supplement
2010-07-16)Bilingual: Life and Reality
…is a readable, informative, and emotionally satisfying work… The book is a gift. (Barbara Zurer Pearson Language