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Multilingual Competence of Philology Students: Results of a Case Study on Multilingualism as a Resource in German as a Foreign Language Lessons



The importance of promoting individual multilingualism is emphasized repeatedly around the world. Likewise, in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (2020), the prior knowledge of the learners and the networking of languages are pointed out. For this reason, the principles and methods of multilingual didactics with their positive effects occupy a prominent place in foreign language teaching, and the question of how individual differences between learners regarding their linguistic backgrounds can be considered in language teaching is increasingly being dealt with. This article examines the question of whether and how Lithuanian university students see their multilingual repertoire as a resource for learning German. For this purpose, a survey was carried out among the students at Vilnius University who are studying German as their major or German as an elective course. The aim of this study was to find out whether the previous knowledge of other languages helps the students to learn German or whether they see the influences of their mother language and other foreign languages as interference phenomena and judge them negatively. The data obtained from the survey present the students’ attitudes towards multilingualism, their multilingual skills, and language awareness as well as their language-related experience in acquiring German as a foreign language.