The Difference Between Multilingualism and Plurilingualism, Simplified

February 20, 2018

Sarah Eaton - blog - iStock photoStudents sometimes ask me what the difference is between multilingualism and plurlingualism. Because these concepts are also linked to monolingualism and bilingualism, I’ll explain each one here.

Monolingualism – The ability to speak only one language proficiently.

Bilingualism – The ability to speak two languages proficiently (though not necessarily perfectly).

Multilingualism – The ability to speak many languages proficiently (though not necessarily perfectly).

Plurilingualism – The capacity and competence to learn more than one language, as well as the value of linguistic tolerance within individuals and countries. It is associated with intercultural competence and democratic citizenship. This term is often used to talk about language education and policy. (For more details, see Council of Europe source referenced below.)

When we talk about proficiency, we are usually talking about a person’s ability to communicate in a language. Sometimes people also call this fluency, though the two terms have different meaning to those with linguistic training.

Please note, linguists and those with training in second language acquisition may (rightfully) contend that these definitions are simplified. My objective here is to offer clear and straightforward explanations, without too much technical jargon. If you are interested in digging deeper into these concepts, I encourage you to explore some of the resources I have listed in the references.

References:

Boeckmann, K. B., Aalto, E., Abel, A., Atanasoska, T., & Lamb, T. (2011). Promoting plurilingualism – Majority language in multilingual settings  Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrea_Abel/publication/259507522_Promoting_plurilingualism_-_Majority_language_in_multilingual_settings/links/0deec52c5967de1a36000000.pdf

Council of Europe. (2007). From linguistic diveristy to plurilingual education: Guide for the development of language education policies in Europe. Retrieved from https://rm.coe.int/16802fc1c4

Psaltou-Joycey, A., & Kantaridou, Z. (2009). Plurilingualism, Language Learning Strategy Use and Learning Style Preferences. International Journal of Multilingualism, 6(4), 460-474.

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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.


Skype for Literacy and Language Learning: “How To” Tips and Best Practices for Teachers

February 21, 2012

Sarah Eaton, literacy, languages, language, ESL, EAL, keynote, speaker, presenter, Canada, Alberta, English, educationAfter doing a number of workshops and research on how to use Skype for literacy and international languages, I’ve put together a free, downloadable guide for teachers and tutors.

Here’s what is in the guide:

  • Introduction
    • Technical requirements
    • Thinking about a computer-to-computer call
    • Skype versus other technologies
    • Skype-enabled handsets
  • Set up your Skype account
  • Add Contacts
  • Make a Skype call
  • Advanced features
    • Conference calls
    • Instant messaging or chat
    • File sharing
    • Screen Sharing
  • Ideas on how you can use Skype
    • Personal use
    • Organizational use
    • Marketing your programs
    • Teaching
    • Tutoring
  • Conclusions
  • Bibliography (includes 22 citations)

Check out the guide and download it from Scribd:

View this document on Scribd

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Job Opportunity: Summer Research Assistant – Specialist in Second Languages

June 2, 2011

June 15, 2011 – Update – This position has been filled. Thanks for the many responses and queries!

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I have a project on the go that examines questions around second language education, L2 acquisition and language learning and pedagogy. I’m looking for a part-time research assistant / associate to collaborate on this project over the summer months. Here’s what I’m looking for:

Research Assistant / Associate (Term position)

Summary statement

The Research Assistant / Associate is responsible for assisting the Principal Investigator (PI) in the collection, formatting, analysis and reporting of information on topics relating to second and other language acquisition, language pedagogy and related topics.

Major Responsibilities

  • Plans, organizes and coordinates his or her own schedule to ensure that deliverables are met by due dates.
  • Liaises with the PI for the collection, formatting, analysis and reporting of information.
  • Conducts a literature review using primarily online academic, government and other databases.
  • Data entry of bibliographic information using Endnote.
  • Maintains electronic and hard copy data files and reports.
  • Maintains up-to-date documentation of work completed.
  • Produces written materials for research reports.
  • Proofreads and edits documents generated by the PI.
Meets with the PI on a regular basis to review the work in progress.
  • Deliver work completed on a weekly basis. These deliverables will generally consist of research articles, government reports, applied research articles and professional materials that can contribute to the research report.

Education

Post-secondary degree. Candidates who are currently enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program will be given preference.

A background in second language learning or second language education is highly desirable.

Experience and Skills

  • Experience working with electronic research databases.
  • Previous research experience (e.g. conducting a literature review) is desirable.
  • High levels of personal motivation, self-management and detail-orientation. The incumbent will have the ability to take responsibility to meet deadlines and make progress with minimal supervision.
  • Strong spoken and written communication skills.
  • Rigorous research methods.

Other qualifications

  • You have access to academic research databases through the library of an accredited institution.
  • Strong existing technology skills with MS Word (or Pages), Endnote and general Internet and electronic communications.
  • You are comfortable navigating the Internet to conduct research.
  • You are able to meet face-to-face in the Calgary area on a regular basis or via Skype if you are not located in the Calgary area.
  • You have access to your own computer and the Internet.
  • Must be legally entitled to work in Canada and have a valid Social Insurance Number.

Position Details

Start date: Monday, June 13, 2011
End date: Friday, August 5, 2011

Hours: Generally flexible hours – 5 to 15 hours per week, with a minimum of 5 hours per week.

Wage: $25 / hour, to a maximum of 80 hours ($2000) during the term of the project. Wages are subject to the usual CPP and EI deductions.

Work site: You will work from your own home, on campus or anywhere the work can be completed.

To apply send a brief resume and cover letter via e-mail to:

Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton
Eaton International Consulting Inc.
sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com

Applications are accepted until a suitable candidate is found.

Download a copy of this document for easy printing from:

View this document on Scribd

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