Cultural Globalization and Language Education

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B. Kumaravadivelu

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We live in a globalized and globalizing world that is marked by the twin processes of economic globalization and cultural globalization. In this thought-provoking book, Kumaravadivelu explores the impact of cultural globalization on second- and foreign-language education.

Kumaravadivelu examines in detail how the cultural component of second- and foreign-language education has been informed by the Western notions of cultural assimilation, cultural pluralism, and cultural hybridity. Drawing insights from international and interdisciplinary sources, he argues that they have only a limited and limiting relevance to language education in the era of cultural globalization.

Grounded in Western as well as non-Western perspectives, and written in an easily accessible style that combines personal narrative and academic genre, this book is indispensable for graduate students, practicing teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and others who are interested in exploring the complexity of cultural globalization and language education.

B. Kumaravadivelu is professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL at San José State University. His previous book, Beyond Methods: Macrostrategies for Language Teaching, was published by Yale University Press in 2002.

"There is a definite need for a work of this kind for use in 'language education.'"—Robert Philipson

"Kumaravadivelu makes a new and necessary contribution to our knowledge of intercultural issues. In an unprecedented manner, the nature of culture and its place in language education is set against the complex politics of cultural globalization. He succeeds in presenting a powerful critique of the standard ways in which the language teaching profession has reduced the foreign Other. A broadly inter-disciplinary approach and the use of his personal experience as a multicultural migrant enables him to put aside the narrow definitions that have inhibited true cultural sensitivity." —Adrian Holliday, Canterbury Church University, Canterbury, England

"Cultural Globalization and Language Education, by B. Kumaravadivelu, develops an informed, comprehensive discussion of the impact of globalization on language education. Through detailed descriptions and personal experiences, Kumaravadivelu offers a compelling and sophisticated examination of how Western notions of cultural assimilation, cultural pluralism, and cultural hybridity influence language education. The book is an essential read for those involved in reconfiguring foreign language programs that emphasize the acquisition of both language and culture. The book successfully distinguishes itself from other books on this topic by offering practical suggestions for language practitioners and researchers who want to further explore the sophisticated nature of cultural globalization and language education."—Kenneth W. Mildenberger Prize selection committee

"This work could be extremely useful for graduate students in making sense of culture in an era of globalization as well as scholars looking for useful summaries and illuminating synthesis of a range of theories relevant to culture and globalization."—Mary Jane Curry, Studies in Second Language Acquisition

"[T]his volume is a must read for serious language instructors who aspire to give their students better tools with which to understand the increasingly globalized world in which we live."—Rosemary Sands, The NECTFL Review

Winner of the 2008 Kenneth W. Mildenberger Prize, given by the Modern Language Association.
ISBN: 9780300111101
Publication Date: August 28, 2007
288 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
8 b/w illus.

Sales Restrictions: World Chinese (simplified rights) sold to Beijing Language and Culture University Press for sale in chinae and the chinese (simplified characters) langauge market throughout the world