Multilingual awareness in multilingual learning and teaching: A DMM perspective

Talk by professor Ulrike Jessner (Universität Innsbruck) in the Digital series of talks on plurilingualism and interculturality.

In research on third language acquisition and multilingualism metalinguistic awareness has been discussed in a number of studies as a cognitive advantage. The domains of the multilingual system in which metalinguistic ability and awareness play a crucial role are linguistic development in general, the development of cognitive, metacognitive and information-processing abilities and the development of literacy skills.

In the Dynamic Model of Multilingualism (Herdina & Jessner 2002) it features as an emergent property and core component of the so-called M(ultilingualism)-Factor, that is in contrast to bi- and monolingual learners multilingual learners develop new, emergent skills and abilities comprising enhanced meta- and cross-linguistic awareness, heightened monitor functions and special language learning, language management and language maintenance skills as a function of their multilingualism.

In a number of studies of the DyME (Dynamics of Multilingualism with English) – group at Innsbruck University the role of multilingual awareness in a variety of language learning scenarios ranging from kindergarten to secondary schools in Austria and Italy (South Tyrol) has been focused on. It has been evidenced that language experience matters in both multilingual learning and teaching.

Ulrike Jessner has kindly given permission to record her presentation and share her PowerPoint presentation.