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Language is at the very core of the educational process, both as a medium for the transmission of knowledge and as a cognitive tool. The learning and use of second languages has often been associated with purely instrumental views of education. But the importance of the socio-cultural dimension of language learning is increasingly acknowledged as the need to educate children for life in multilingual and multicultural societies becomes compelling, and as new technologies transform communication. Second-language education is a well-established and flourishing area of research and study in the Anglophone world, and increasingly too in China and other Asian countries. It is also a complex and contested sphere in which many learning theories and pedagogies compete for attention. This new five-volume collection from Routledge's acclaimed Major Themes in Education series meets the need for an authoritative, up-to-date, and comprehensive reference work to make sense of the area's voluminous literature. Indeed, the dizzying scale of the research output-and the breadth of the field-makes this new Routledge title especially welcome. It provides a one-stop collection of classic and contemporary contributions to facilitate ready access to the most influential and important scholarship. Fully indexed and with an introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context, Second-Language Educationis an essential work of reference. It is destined to be valued by L2 specialists and scholars working in related areas-as well as by educational policy-makers and professionals-as a vital research tool.