The effect of multilingual pedagogies on language aptitude: A study on lower secondary school students based on the LLAMA test




Multilingual pedagogies, Translanguaging, Language aptitude, Metalinguistic awareness


The paper presents an explorative study regarding the relation between multilingual pedagogies and language aptitude, a complex construct associated with metalinguistic awareness and cognitive processes, which predict the capacity of learning a foreign language. We administered the LLAMA test to 67 lower secondary school students in Italy, divided into two groups: the target group had been regularly exposed to éveil aux langues (awakening to languages) and translanguaging practices, with explicit focuses on crosslinguistic reflection, for the prior four years; the control group has been exposed to regular monolingual instruction. Results show that the target group achieved a better score in two LLAMA sub-tests (sound-symbol correspondence task and grammatical inferencing task). A composite pattern of correlations and predictors regarding the influence of Italian competence and English competence are also analysed and disentangled. Finally, the paper discusses the implications of these results in terms of research and educational perspectives.

Author Biography

Valentina Carbonara, Università per Stranieri di Siena, Italia

Valentina Carbonara completed her PhD in linguistics and second language acquisition in 2017 at the Università per Stranieri di Siena. She taught Italian as a second language in different schools in Italy and abroad. As a post doctoral scholar, she collaborates with Bilingualism Matters (Siena branch), and with her colleague, Andrea Scibetta, she coordinates the project, "L'AltRoparlante: translanguaging educational practices for the management of the superdiversity in class." Her research interests are teaching Italian as a second language, early language education, CLIL, bilingualism, and translanguaging


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How to Cite

Carbonara, V. (2022). The effect of multilingual pedagogies on language aptitude: A study on lower secondary school students based on the LLAMA test. EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages, 9(2), 1–16.



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