Regional minorities, education and language revitalization

Authored by: Durk Gorter , Jasone Cenoz

The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism

Print publication date:  May  2012
Online publication date:  May  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415496476
eBook ISBN: 9780203154427
Adobe ISBN: 9781136578144


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Speakers of regional minority languages in Europe are almost by definition bilingual and increasingly multilingual. From a young age onwards they learn a regional minority language, a majority state language and in many cases an international language, predominately English. During much of the nineteenth and twentieth century, many regional minority languages underwent serious decline and most of them are seriously endangered. More recently several minority groups have undertaken efforts to revitalize their language. Some languages have obtained an official status and a degree of legal protection. However, the support is often symbolic and solid language policies have only developed in a few cases.

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