This volume approaches contemporary multilingualism as a new linguistic dispensation, in urgent need of research-led, reflective scrutiny. The book addresses the emergent global and local patterns of multingual use and acquisition across the world and explores the major trends that characterize today's multilingualism. It is divided into three parts on the basis of the broad themes: education (including multilingual learning in its general, theoretical aspects), sociolinguistic dimensions and language policy. The book's fifteen chapters, written by renowned international experts, discuss a range of issues relating to the quintessential and unique properties of multilingual situations– issues relevant to the challenges faced in different ways by researcher and practitioners alike. All the contributions share a focus on currently operative patterns of interaction between contexts, events and processes.