All talks of the Multilingualism & Diversity Lectures are incluced below. If you like to have further information to each of the speakers you can access the single pages below or by using the navigation menu. For additional explanation for each of the talks, the key takeaways are stated below each video. 

Ofelia Garcia -Translanguaging

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  • Translanguaging is the use of the full linguistic repertoire “without regard for watchful adherence to the socially and politically defined boundaries of named languages”.
  • Oftentimes, it is assumed that bilinguals have one dominant language, and thus there is a hierarchical relationship between their known languages.
  • Bisection of the natural available meaning-making-system of a child (for bilinguals) should be encouraged.
  • A translanguaging classroom takes the student’s unitary linguistic system into account. It offers the opportunity to deploy the full linguistic repertoire.

Harald Clahsen – Multilingualism in the Individual: A Psycholinguistic Perspective

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  • From a global perspective, multilingualism is the norm; monolingualism is an exception.
  • From birth, children have a set of genetically given options, and they are not predetermined to a specific language.
  • Universal language options are lost after the acquisition of a particular language.
  • Modularity of language: effects of age of acquisition are subtle and selective.
  • Multilingualism is an asset in an individual’s life, so if possible, one should take advantage of sensitive periods of language development.
  • Multilingual education promotes multilingualism and does not necessarily lead to higher intelligence.

Jan D. ten Thije – Receptive Multilingualism

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  • Receptive Multilingualism: Interactants employ a language and/or language variety different from their partner’s. They understand each other without any additional lingua franca. The recipients activate knowledge of the language and/or variety of their interlocutor(s).
  • Occurrences of receptive multilingualism: Border regions, governmental communication, international workplaces, meetings, media & Internet, bilingual families, communication of migrants, educational settings.
  • Factors determining use: Exposure, proficiency, common ground, attitude, locations, language policy, status, age.

Michael Daller – Balanced Bilinguals and Language Dominance

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  • General idea of bilingualism influencing the probability of having cognitive advantages/disadvantages related to a specific age and level of proficiency in the respective languages.
  • Educational and political decisions have to take on the important role for support of L1.
  • The studies show that multilingual speakers rarely master their respective languages on an equal level. Moreover, the competence varies, even within each language in different areas.

Jeanine Treffers-Daller – Do balanced bilinguals exist?

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  • Any description of bilinguals should minimally involve a description of language proficiency (what a person can do) and language usage (what a person typically does).
  • Language dominance is a “global measure of relative frequency of use and proficiency in each language”.
  • Language dominance is clearly visible at the level of the lexicon in that bilinguals have words in one of their languages for concepts about which they talk in that language.
  • Multilingualism can not be considered as a simple addition of two different languages.