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Multilingualism

Research on multilingualism has been growing over the past two decades in the field of applied linguistics. It is now a widely used term that describes the use of more than one language by an individual or a specific community. In a broad sense, the term can be understood to refer to the language that a social group or community uses as a habitual communication code, with regional languages, minority languages, migrant languages, sign languages, and dialects included.

Multilingual competence is the subject of this entry, which will define a variety of terms related to the concept, discuss changing attitudes related to the capacity of multilinguals to code shift, and, finally, connect intercultural competence to multilingualism.

Monolingualism, or the ability to use only one language, was once ...

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