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Extra resources for Building bridges: multilingual resources for children

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Single language books come from a variety of sources: mainstream and community publishers, projects which promote lesser-used languages, as well as book-shops which specialize in imported materials. Some imported books raise difficult questions. Teachers often complain that materials produced abroad, particularly in the Indian sub-continent, are not of comparable quality Page 19 to books produced in North America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand or Hong Kong. Are perceptions of 'quality' specific to a given culture, or are criteria for excellence more universal?

This has been the case especially in relation to materials published by community groups. We would like to apologize for not making contact, but hope that inclusion in our publication indicates the importance and value we attach to such materials. Page 11 1 Life with Many Languages Page 12 Life with Many Languages There is nothing strange or exotic about speaking more than one language. From a global perspective, multilingualism is the norm; even countries with one official language have a multilingual heritage.

It is necessary to cross the boundaries which traditionally have separated the various disciplines devoted to language phenomena. Fields as diverse as sociolinguistics, the comparative study of two or more languages, as well as typography and the analysis of literary texts - all have a contribution to make to the study of 'languages in contact and/or conflict'. The Multilingual Resources for Children Project can also claim to represent 'languages in contact' - interaction between mono- and bilingual children through speaking, listening, reading and writing.

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