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Analyzing and assessing linguistic multicompetence


AALM's research centers on the concept of multicompetence. AALM’s definition of linguistic multicompetence builds on Franceschini (2011): Linguistic multicompetence (multicompetence for short), is the knowledge of more than one language in the mind of a language user. Multicompetence is part of the individual capacity of a person and is shaped by and develops in interaction with his or her social or educational environment. Multicompetent individuals make use of their total linguistic repertoire when interacting within a range of linguistic settings, including both multilingual and monolingual situations. Linguistic multicompetence, then, is dynamic and evolving, and is at the same time a tool and a state. It relates to the complex, flexible, integrative, and adaptable behaviour which multilingual individuals display. A multicompetent person is therefore an individual with knowledge of an extended and integrated linguistic repertoire who is able to use a range of linguistic varieties for the appropriate occasion (building on Franceschini, 2011: 351). Multicompetence is not a second language acquisition theory, but a perspective on the competence and use of more than one language, emphasizing that: - a multilingual individual possesses a dynamic competence which is more than the sum of his or her competence in L1s plus the competence in L2, L3 etc. - the different language competences in an individual work together and affect each other in creative ways. - an individual’s multicompetence does not imply equal proficiency in the different languages.