Language column: On the tip of my tongue | Looking for an accessible definition of plurilingualism

Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute
Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute
two girls looking at a phone
Plurilingualism aims to celebrate the variety of semiotic resources a person has without seeking to isolate, or even name, them.

Semiotic resources refer to the many tools humans use to communicate, such as words, images, actions, sounds and much more.

The idea is to highlight the fact that together, they form our communicative potential, which can include our knowledge of different registers, but also, different codes, languages and dialects. Thus, even people who only speak one language can be plurilingual if they have mastered different semiotic resources in that language.

Plurilingual competency refers to the understanding of both language and cultural codes, which allows individuals to communicate effectively and interact appropriately and effectively in different languages and cultures. That is, our competencies aren’t individual and separate from each other, but rather, they form a whole that we can use to communicate. So, do you consider yourself plurilingual?