Publication details [#62994]

Hofer, Barbara. 2017. Emergent multicompetence at the primary level: a dynamic conception of multicompetence. Language Awareness 26 (2) : 96–112.
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This article looks at multicompetence aspects of multilingual learning and offers a novel conceptual framework for the debate of multicompetence. Taking Cook's multicompetence theory as point of departure, the article suggests a reconceptualisation thereof which is broader in scope and keyed to a dynamic systems and complexity theory viewpoint. The new concept construes multicompetence as a dynamic and multicomponential phenomenon resulting from the interplay of complex, non-linear and emergent processes. The article first sketches the theoretical foundations guiding the present debate and delineates the main tenets of a dynamic systems and complexity theory approach. Next, it proposes and explores selective qualitative data from an empirical study carried out at the primary level in South Tyrol and it debates young multilingual learners’ linguistic productions in relation to the notion of multicompetence as envisioned here. The article closes with an outlook on future directions by pointing to potential advantages of multicompetence approaches to teaching and learning and by proposing some modest alterations to current school policy provisions in South Tyrol.