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The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, 2nd Edition by William C. Ritchie, Tej K. Bhatia

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Bilingualism and Multilingualism: The Media, Education, Literacy, and the Law

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Bilingualism and Multilingualism in the Global Media and Advertising

TEJ K. BHATIA AND WILLIAM C. RITCHIE

The economic forces of globalization together with the rise of global media have set the stage for a dramatic, exponential rise in global bilingualism. Even now, worldwide language contact prompted by global advertising, internet communication, and other electronic media forms (e.g., social media forms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the multilingual internet, DVD and entertainment technology) is unprecedented in the history of human communication. Not only are the degree, scope and magnitude of language contact increasing at an astonishing pace, but the processes and the impact of such contact on global multilingualism call for a new examination and new approaches to the study of plurilingualism. This chapter focuses on the pattern of English-based plurilingualism as reflected primarily in global print and television advertising. Not only will the chapter discuss the role of English as a source of global plurilingualism and the changes it is undergoing in this role, but will also posit a long-neglected plurilingual approach to advertising media discourse which in turn sheds light on the processes and underlying reasons for the spread of English in global media.

The main reasons for the choice of advertising to illustrate the spread of plurilingualism worldwide are as follows: (i) in many ...

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