Vol. 3:2 (2017) ► pp. 184–209
The multilingual turn in FL education
Investigating L3/Ln learners’ reading-writing
The study reported in this article aimed at exploring the impact of pluralistic pedagogy practices on L3/Ln learners’ reading and writing abilities in a multilingual classroom. Students attended an Intensive Elementary Italian course. The prerequisite to register for this course was knowledge of at least one other Romance Language or previous exposure to the Italian language. Specifically, the investigation examined whether and how the plurilingual system of these learners could affect the development of the language abilities mentioned above. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using questionnaires and more traditional tests: a writing test and a reading test with a gradual increase in complexity. The results showed that a plurilingual pedagogy facilitated positive interlingual transfers, and consequently the development of both language abilities, particularly writing. It also appeared that connections between reading and writing were established, that is, the improvement of students’ writing skills affected reading comprehension and not vice versa. The development of these language abilities also seemed to be affected by other variables such as the proficiency level of languages present in learners’ plurilingual repertoire. To conclude, possible implications for language teaching/learning are discussed.
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