Multilingualism and third language acquisition: Learning and teaching trends

Jorge Pinto   Nélia Alexandre  


The purpose of this book is to present recent studies in the field of multilingualism and L3, bringing together contributions from an international group of specialists from Austria, Canada, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and United States. The main focuses of the articles are three: language acquisition, language learning and teaching.

A collection of theoretical and empirical articles from scholars of multilingualism and language acquisition makes the book a significant resource as the papers present a wide perspective from main theories to current issues, reflecting new trends in the field.

The authors focus on the heterogeneity and complexity that characterize third language acquisition, multilingual learning and teaching. As the issues addressed in this book intersect, it represents an asset and therefore the texts will be of great relevance for the scientific community.

Part I presents different topics of L3 acquisition, such as syntax, phonology, working memory and selective attention, and lexicon. Part II comprises texts that show how the research on language acquisition informs pedagogical issues. For instance, the role of the knowledge of previous languages in the teaching of L3, the attitudes of multilingual teachers to plurilingual approaches, and the benefits of crosslinguistic pedagogy versus classroom monolingual bias. In sequence, Part III consists of texts on individual learning strategies, such as motivation and attitudes, crosslinguistic awareness, and students’ perceptions about teachers’ “plurilingual nonnativism”.

All these chapters include several different languages in contact in an acquisition/learning context: Basque, English, French, German, Italian, Ladin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.


  • Preface
    Jorge Pinto, Nélia Alexandre
  • Cognitive processes and interpreting expertise
    Autonomous exercise of master’s students
    Serena Ghiselli
  • On the acquisition of European Portuguese liquid consonants by L1-Mandarin learners
    Chao Zhou, Maria João Freitas, Adelina Castelo
  • A close look at how context of acquisition of previous languages influences third language pedagogy
    Does one model fit all?
    Ana Carvalho
  • Multilingual teachers, plurilingual approach and L3 acquisition
    Interviews with multilingual teachers and their L3/L3+ students
    Emel Kucukali
  • Debunking student teachers’ beliefs regarding the target-language-only rule
    Pierre-Luc Paquet, Nina Woll
  • Training teachers for the challenges of multilingual education
    Julia Barnes, Margareta Almgren
  • Exploring learner attitudes in multilingual contexts
    An empirical investigation at the primary school level
    Barbara Hofer
  • Building bridges between languages
    How students develop crosslinguistic awareness in multilingual learning settings
    Gisela Mayr
  • Students’ perceptions of plurilingual nonnative teachers in higher education
    An added or a mudded value?
    Patchareerat Yanaprasart, Sílvia Melo-Pfeifer



Jorge Pinto

Jorge Pinto is an Assistant Professor at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon, where he teaches, develop his research in the area of foreign language teaching and acquisition of Portuguese as an L2 or L3/Ln, and coordinates courses of Portuguese as foreign language, at the Institute of Culture and Portuguese Language. He is a member of the Center of Linguistics of the University of Lisbon, where he collaborates in different projects related to Portuguese foreign language teaching and learning, and to language testing. He has participated in several conferences presenting papers on didactics of Portuguese foreign language, and acquisition of L2 and L3/Ln. He is also a member at large (co-opted member) of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Multilingualism.

Nélia Alexandre

Nélia Alexandre is an Assistant Professor at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon, where she teaches and develops her research in the area of multilingualism and geopolitics of Portuguese; Portuguese in contact in Africa and L2 acquisition. She obtained her PhD in Cape Verdean Creole Syntax, in 2009, and is a member of the Center of Linguistics of the University of Lisbon, where she collaborates in several national and international research projects related to Portuguese in Africa and L2 learning and acquisition of Portuguese as a foreign language (PFL). She is the head of the Center of Assessment and Certification of Portuguese as a Foreign (CAPLE) and is pedagogically responsible for the contents of the online PFL course O meu Português, a partnership of the School of Arts and Humanities with the private company Distance Learning Consulting. Currently, she is the president of the Association of Portuguese and Spanish-based Creoles.

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January 20, 2021
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Pinto, Jorge & Alexandre, Nélia (eds.). 2021. Multilingualism and third language acquisition: Learning and teaching trends. (Contact and Multilingualism 2). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4449726


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