Chapter 11. Accomplishing multilingualism through plurilingual activities
This chapter studies the dynamics between existing bilingualism and developing international agendas at two Catalan public universities. It explores multilingualism as illustrated in interaction, tracking links between plurilingual practices and knowledge construction. The data are primarily from L2-medium academic content classes (ELF or CLIL), although interactional data from other institutional settings are drawn on in portraying practices. The study follows qualitative and emic approaches; the field was constructed ethnographically, while conversation analytic procedures guide the analysis of interaction. The results demonstrate how, in non-classroom events, participants align with policies through their use of local languages and English – categorised as a tool for practising internationalisation. Other languages are also present, although they lack relevant status in policies. In these settings, the practices in a plurilingual mode allow local participants to achieve the goals of internationalisation and also create a pleasant social environment. Classroom data document the emergence of practices in a plurilingual mode, although these are less frequent in ELF than in CLIL classes. Plurilingual practices are traced mainly in dialogical sequences, while they also occur in students’ written notes. The data suggest that the plurilingual mode enhances student participation, allows members to achieve their goals, and creates a favourable framework for an in-depth processing of academic content. Plurilingual practices are not portrayed in official documents. Despite being revealed empirically to be an everyday reality, hybrid language uses or <i>plurilanguaging</i> are not promoted as a potential knowledge construction tool or as a key resource for ‘doing internationalisation’.