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European Journal of Applied Linguistics

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Editor-in-Chief: Bührig, Kristin / ten Thije, Jan D.


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Inclusive Multilingualism: Concept, Modes and Implications

Ad Backus / Durk Gorter / Karlfried Knapp / Rosita Schjerve-Rindler (†) / Jos Swanenberg / Jan D. ten Thije / Eva Vetter
Published Online: 2013-11-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/eujal-2013-0010

Abstract

Departing from a critical discussion of the mothertongue plus two language policy of the EU, which because of its focus on learning standard languages is shown to fail the intended goals, this paper rejects an “English only” approach as a possible solution for the problems of European multilingualism and develops the concept of “Inclusive Multilingualism” as a more viable and realistic policy alternative. Therefore, firstly, this concept is defined as including interactive strategies or communicative modes to overcome the limitations of foreign language competence, justified theoretically and related to similar concepts like plurilingualism. Five modes (the use of English as a lingua franca, regional linguae francae, lingua receptiva, codeswitching and translation and interpretation) are then described as well-researched constituents of Inclusive Multilingualism. Finally, implications for a wider concept of communicative competence and language teaching are outlined as well as perspectives for future research.

Zusammenfassung

Ausgehend von einer kritischen Diskussion der als Muttersprache plus zwei bekannten Sprachenpolitik der EU, die wegen ihrer Fokussierung auf das Erlernen von Standardsprachen ihre Ziele nicht erreichen kann, verwirft dieser Beitrag zunächst Vorschläge, „English only“ als Lösung der Probleme der europäischen Mehrsprachigkeit zu wählen, und entwickelt dann das Konzept einer „Inklusiven Mehrsprachigkeit“ als brauchbarere und realistischere Alternative. Dafür wird dieses Konzept zunächst definiert als die Beherrschung interaktiver Strategien bzw. kommunikativer Modi, mit denen Beschränkungen sprachlicher Kompetenz überwunden werden können, ferner theoretisch begründet und in Relation gesetzt zu ähnlichen Konzepten wie Plurilingualismus. Anschließend werden fünf Modi (der Gebrauch von Englisch als Lingua Franca, regionalen Linguae Francae, Lingua Rezeptiva, Codeswitching sowie Übersetzen und Dolmetschen) als gut erforschte Hauptkomponenten von Inklusiver Mehrsprachigkeit beschrieben. Abschließend werden die Konsequenzen für ein weiter gefasstes Konzept von kommunikativer Kompetenz und den Sprachunterricht und ebenso Perspektiven für zukünftige Forschung aufgezeigt.

Resumen

Se parte de un análisis crítico de la política lingüística de la UE de lengua materna más dos, que debido a su enfoque en el aprendizaje de idiomas estándar ha fracasado al no alcanzar los objetivos previstos. En este artículo se rechaza inicialmente un enfoque de “Inglés solamente” como una posible solución para los problemas del multilingüismo europeo y, a continuación, se desarrolla el concepto de “Multilingüismo Inclusivo” como una alternativa política más viable y más realista. Por lo tanto, en primer lugar, este concepto se define como inclusivo de estrategias interactivas o modos de comunicación para superar las limitaciones de la competencia en lengua extranjera, después se justifica teóricamente y se relaciona con conceptos similares como el plurilingüismo. A continuación se describen cinco modalidades (el uso de Inglés como lengua franca, regional linguae francae, lengua receptiva, codeswitching y la traducción e interpretación) como componentes principales que han sido objeto de múltiples investigaciones de Multilingüismo Inclusivo. Por último, se exponen las consecuencias para un concepto más amplio de la competencia comunicativa y la enseñanza de idiomas, así como las perspectivas para futuras investigaciones.

Resumptie

Na een kritische discussie van het Moedertaal plus twee-taalbeleid van de EU, dat vanwege zijn focus op het leren van standaardtalen zijn doelstellingen niet zal kunnen bereiken, verwerpt dit paper eerst „English only“ als een oplossing voor de problemen van de Europese meertaligheid en ontwikkelt het vervolgens het concept „Inclusieve Meertaligheid“ als een meer praktisch en realistisch alternatief. Daartoe wordt dit concept gedefinieerd als de beschikking over interactieve strategieën en communicatieve modi om te kunnen omgaan met de beperkingen van de beheersing van een vreemde taal, wordt het verder theoretisch verantwoord en wordt het in verband gebracht met vergelijkbare concepten als plurilingualisme. Aansluitend worden vijf modi (het gebruik van Engels als lingua franca, regionale linguae francae, lingua receptiva, codeswitching, en vertalen en tolken) beschreven als goed onderzochte hoofdonderdelen van Inclusieve Meertaligheid. Tot slot worden de implicaties voor een breder concept van communicatieve competentie, de gevolgen voor het taalonderwijs alsook de perspectieven voor toekomstig onderzoek verder uiteengezet.

Keywords: communicative competence,; Europe,; language policy,; multilingualism,; plurilingualism,; inclusive multilingualism

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About the article

Ad Backus

Durk Gorter

Karlfried Knapp

Rosita Schjerve-Rindler (†)

Jos Swanenberg

Jan D. ten Thije

Eva Vetter


Published Online: 2013-11-01

Published in Print: 2013-11-01


Citation Information: European Journal of Applied Linguistics, Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 179–215, ISSN (Online) 2192-953X, ISSN (Print) 2192-9521, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/eujal-2013-0010.

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