, Volume 23, Issue 3-4, pp 263-267
Date: 13 Oct 2009

Acquiring reading in two languages: an introduction to the special issue

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The concurrent acquisition of reading in more than one language has become a prevalent reality in many parts of the world and for an increasing number of children across the globe. This is due to the rapid expansion of societal bilingualism—the byproduct of economically motivated immigration and the pluralistic composition of certain regions. The dissemination of English as the world’s second language and the mostly learnt foreign language across the world has also contributed to the more or less simultaneous acquisition of reading in the indigenous language as well as in English. Added are inherently multilingual countries, like Luxembourg and many other European countries, where the concurrent acquisition of reading in multiple languages is an ordinary school enterprise. Such a widespread phenomenon warrants an in-depth analysis and understanding of the multi-faceted nature of the process of biliteracy acquisition.

Despite the pervasiveness of biliteracy as a linguistic reality of an ...