A Journey in Languages and Cultures: The Life of a Bicultural Bilingual

ISBN : 9780198754947

Francois Grosjean
192 ページ
135 x 216 mm

This book explores the life and experiences of one of the world's most renowned and well-respected experts in bilingualism. Francois Grosjean takes us through his life, from his monolingual childhood in a small village outside Paris to the long periods of time he spent in Switzerland, England, France, and the United States, becoming bilingual and bicultural in the process. During his life, his dominant language has changed many times between English and French, and he has also acquired, and subsequently lost, other languages, including American Sign Language. Throughout the book, he combines his personal accounts and anecdotes with insights from and reflections on his extensive scholarly research in bilingualism and biculturalism, which has, in turn, been heavily influenced by his own experiences. Written in an engaging and accessible style, the book will appeal to general readers interested in bilingualism and language contact, educators and parents of bilingual children, researchers working on bilingualism, and to bilinguals themselves.


1 Roger and Sallie
2 My early monolingual years
3 Becoming bilingual
4 Culture shock
5 Returning to my first culture
6 May 68 and Vincennes
7 A new life in the United States
8 Discovering sign language
9 Life with Two Languages
10 The children become bilingual
11 Reflections on the bilingual and the bicultural person
12 A difficult choice
13 Living and working in a fourth culture
14 Delving further into the bilingual person
15 A life in danger
16 A quieter life


Francois Grosjean is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Language and Speech Processing Laboratory at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland. He has worked at Northeastern University, Boston, was a Research Affiliate at MIT, and has lectured at the universities of Basel, Zurich, and Oxford. His research interests include bilingualism and biculturalism, the perception, comprehension, and production of speech, sign language and the bilingualism of the Deaf, the evaluation of speech comprehension in aphasic patients, and the modelling of language processing. He is the author of several books on bilingualism, including Studying Bilinguals (OUP, 2008), Bilingual: Life and Reality (Harvard University Press, 2010), The Psycholinguistics of Bilingualism (with Ping Li; Wiley Blackwell, 2013), and The Listening Bilingual (with Krista Byers-Heinlein; Wiley Blackwell, 2018).