Mundos Virtuales, Educacion Conectada y Aprendizaje de Lenguas
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The Benefits of Multilingualism | Multilingual Living

The Benefits of Multilingualism | Multilingual Living | Mundos Virtuales, Educacion Conectada y Aprendizaje de Lenguas | Scoop.it
By Michał B. Paradowski Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw Photo Credit: Anthony Kelley To have another language is to possess a
Dr. Doris Molero's insight:

Children and older persons learning foreign languages have been demonstrated to:

+ have a keener awareness and sharper perception of language.

+ Foreign language learning “enhances children’s understanding of how language itself works and their ability to manipulate language in the service of thinking and problem solving” (Cummins 1981);

+ be more capable of separating meaning from form;

learn more rapidly in their native language (L1), e.g. to read, as well as display improved performance in other basic L1 skills, regardless of race, gender, or academic level;

+ be more efficient communicators in the L1;

+ be consistently better able to deal with distractions, which may help offset age-related declines in mental dexterity;

+ develop a markedly better language proficiency in, sensitivity to, and understanding of their mother tongue;develop a greater vocabulary size over age, including that in their L1;

+ have a better ear for listening and sharper memories;

+ be better language learners in institutionalized learning contexts because of more developed language-learning capacities owing to the more complex linguistic knowledge and higher language awareness;

+ have increased ability to apply more reading strategies effectively due to their greater experience in language learning and reading in two—or more—different languages;

+ develop not only better verbal, but also spatial abilities;

parcel up and categorize meanings in different ways;

display generally greater cognitive flexibility, better problem solving and higher-order thinking skills;

+ “a person who speaks multiple languages has a stereoscopic vision of the world from two or more perspectives, enabling them to be more flexible in their thinking, learn reading more easily. Multilinguals, therefore, are not restricted to a single world-view, but also have a better understanding that other outlooks are possible. Indeed, this has always been seen as one of the main educational advantages of language teaching” (Cook 2001);

+ multilinguals can expand their personal horizons and—being simultaneously insiders and outsiders—see their own culture from a new perspective not available to monoglots, enabling the comparison, contrast, and understanding of cultural concepts;

+ be better problem-solvers gaining multiple perspectives on issues at hand;

have improved critical thinking abilities;

+ better understand and appreciate people of other countries, thereby lessening racism, xenophobia, and intolerance, as the learning of a new language usually brings with it a revelation of a new culture;

 

+ learn further languages more quickly and efficiently than their hitherto monolingual peers;

+ to say nothing of the social and employment advantages of being bilingual – offering the student the ability to communicate with people s/he would otherwise not have the chance to interact with, and increasing job opportunities in many careers.

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The Common European Framework: Multilingualism & Plurilinguism

Dr. Doris Molero's insight:

Reading what the Common European Framework for English language teaching is.. I found out about their view of learning languages... They are moving from plurilingualism to Multilingualism. I find this really interesting and it shows how integrating technology in the English class is an open window to Plurilingualism.

 

"In recent years, the concept of plurilingualism has grown in importance in the Council of Europe’s approach to language learning. Plurilingualism differs from multilingualism, which is the knowledge of a number of languages, or the co-existence of different languages in a given society.Multilingualism may be attained by simply diversifying the languages on offer in a particular school or educational system, or by encouraging pupils to learn more than one foreign language, or reducing the dominant position of English in international communication.

 

Beyond this, the plurilingual approach emphasises the fact that as an individual person’s experience of language in its cultural contexts expands, from the language of the home to that of society at large and then to the languages of other peoples (whether learnt at school or college, or by direct experience), he or she does not keep these languages and cultures in strictly separated mental compartments, but rather builds up a communicative competence to which all knowledge and experience of language contributes and in which languages interrelate and interact. In different situations, a person can call flexibly upon different parts of this competence to achieve effective communication with a particular interlocutor.

 

For instance, partners may switch from one language or dialect to another, exploiting the ability of each to express themselves in one language and to understand the other; or a person may call upon the knowledge of a number of languages to make sense of a text, written or even spoken, in a previously ‘unknown’ language, recognising words from a common international store in a new guise. Those with some knowledge, even slight, may use it to help those with none to communicate by mediating between individuals with no common language. In the absence of a mediator, such individuals may nevertheless achieve some degree of communication by bringing the whole of their linguistic equipment into play experimenting with alternative forms of expression in different languages or dialects, exploiting paralinguistics (mime, gesture, facial expression, etc.) and radically simplifying their use of language."

 

I have seen this happen in online exchanges where people from different countries help each other understand by using phrases, words, audio, written text, images or different tools. Now, the language is not such a strong a barrier to comunication. When using social networks in the classroom, students are exposed to a plurilingual society. Connecting to the world using technology has changed the way we learn and teach languages by changing the way we look at languages. Vive le Plurilingualism!!!!

 

Keep on shining love and peace!

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