L1 attrition's stance within multicompetence: translingual and trans-semiotic flows in educational contexts

ELIA, Estudios de lingüística inglesa aplicada

All multilinguals are subjected to alteration in their L1 oral production,because they do not use it or due to the influence of other dominant languages.Besides, the language acquisition trajectory is featured by segregation,especially in educational contexts, where due to globalization, the foreignlanguage is increasingly gaining relevance. This also provokes reservationsabout the danger of multilinguals not attaining adequate communicativeskills in the L1. Moreover, the construction of meaning seems to becharacterised by the interchange of different modes that flow in socialintercommunication.The present review of previous research on translanguaging andmultimodality makes us comprehend the relationship between the twoconcepts within the multicompetence perspective. This describes languageas a multisensory and multimodal semiotic system associated with otherrecognizable cognitive systems that cannot be separated.The concept of translanguaging suggests the integration of variouslanguages in discourse. Furthermore, from the multicompetenceperspective, the use of different languages is understood as anacculturation process. This fact, together with the impact of otherlanguages on the L1, may underlie attrition. The supposition thatmultilingualism relates to the speakers’ whole mind explains howdevelopment also occurs within their entire linguistic repertoire. Thus,translanguaging can be understood as a benefit for minoritised languagesnot isolating them from others.The present study tries to shed light on how our translingual instinct aspart of multimodality, within the multicompetence perspective, may endowthe teaching and learning processes, and in particular L1 communicativeskills, with the richness of the whole communicative repertoire.