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Becoming Multilingual

Language Learning and Language Policy between Attitudes and Identities

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Konrad Bergmeister and Cecilia Varcasia

Research into the complex phenomenon of multilingualism is rapidly increasing. This book looks at multilingualism through its interfaces with language policies, language attitudes and issues of language awareness and identity. The aim is to examine the dynamic processes that lead or hinder the development of such phenomena. One of the scopes of the volume is to represent the complexity of the multilingual speaker by shedding light on different multilingual settings in the world. The chapters of this volume tackle the topic from a sociolinguistic perspective by showing how multilingualism is dynamically constructed. They provide empirical research on language learning in different multilingual environments in the world as well as practical suggestions for the investigation of multilingualism and the improvement of its education.

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SILVIA MELO-PFEIFER - Researchers’ Multilingual Awareness in an International Research Team - 135

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SILVIA MELO-PFEIFER Researchers’ Multilingual Awareness in an International Research Team1 1. Introduction Addressing the theme of the multilingual awareness of researchers en- gaged in multilingual research is at the same time provocative and ne- cessary. Provocative in the sense that it encourages a mirror effect on those who are doing research in this area, publishing about the topic of language awareness and other related subjects, such as plurilingual competence or multiliteracies; necessary because it deals with impor- tant epistemological issues within the scope of Foreign Language Di- dactics2 such as the coherence between its different spheres: i) re- search practices; ii) teacher and citizen linguistic education and iii) linguistic policies which provide a framework for both theory and practice relating to the two previous domains. If it has been confirmed that teachers’ theories, practices and attitudes influence students’ due to the effect that education has on its target public (Castellotti/Moore 2002; Dabène 1997), we should, in a pyramid outcome, be aware of the fact that researchers, as educative actors and teacher trainers, also have a persuasive effect on how future teachers will (or will not) embrace the multilingual cause (and, as a result, on how pupils will do it too). 1 This research was supported by ‘Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia’ (Portugal), through a post-doctoral grant. The author would like to thank Ana Luísa Oliveira, Maria Helena Araújo and Mariana Bono for earlier discussions on this chapter and constant support during the writing...

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