Language repertoire is a term used to refer to all the languages you have learned and use in your daily life, hobbies, work, and possible further studies. Your language repertoire consists of the languages and dialects you speak at home as well as those you learn at school and in your free time. It also includes the languages you use with your family, friends, and other social circles.
The term plurilingual does not refer only to people with bilingual or multilingual childhoods. Plurilingualism can also be regarded as knowledge of languages that are learned throughout life, be they home languages, dialects, languages learned at school or outside of school, at any point in time. Even the slightest knowledge of a language is valuable.
- 2. My language repertoire
Different languages are used in different ways, in different situations and with different people. You use some languages at home with your family, some with your relatives, and some when playing, reading, or engaging in other activities. Language use may refer to, for example, speaking, listening, and reading, and your choice of language can vary depending on the situation or the person with whom you are engaging in conversation. In the following task, think about where and with whom you use the languages you listed in the previous task.
- 3. Using languages in different contexts
Language skills also refer to the ability to vary and adapt language(s) in different situations and for different purposes. For example, when communicating on social media, responding to work emails, or when writing answers to exam questions, the context of language use is very different depending on the situation. Attention should also be paid to the objective of language use: is the objective to give a neutral summary of an online piece of news, or is it to influence readers’ opinions with a blog post on the subject, characterized by your subjective views on the matter?
- 4. Language in social media
Studying languages is inherently connected to building cultural competence. Languages and cultures are intertwined, and it is worth remembering that they know no national borders. For example, English, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Farsi are spoken in many different parts of the world, as first languages, second languages, and foreign languages. At the heart of cultural competence is an understanding of the diversity of cultures and an open and respectful approach to diversity.
Language and culture are discussed in more detail in the section on Language, culture, and internationalisation.