Audio description and plurilingual competence: new allies in language learning?



audiovisual translation, audio description, plurilingual and pluricultural competence, PPC, language learning, PluriTAV


The CEFR (Council of Europe, 2001) and its companion volumes (Council of Europe, 2018, 2020) highlight the development of plurilingual and pluricultural competence (PPC) as one of the main objectives of language teaching and learning. Within this context, the plurilingual approach in education has placed translation in a prominent situation, with authors such as Cummins (2007) observing how it promotes not only the acquisition of foreign languages (FL) and the consolidation of L1s, but also biliteracy development and identity affirmation. Within translation, audiovisual translation (AVT) has proven to be particularly effective in language learning (cf. Lertola, 2019). The polysemiotic nature of audiovisual texts incorporates elements that require the activation of specific forms of mediation that cannot always be found in general translation. This article sets out to reflect on the influence that linguistic and semiotic transfer in AVT can exert on PPC (Author, 2021), drawing on the results of a quasi-experimental research undertaken within the PluriTAV project (cf. Martínez-Sierra, 2021). This specific study was aimed at assessing the development of PPC through audio description (AD) in BA English undergraduate students, who were organised into an experimental and a control group, with only the former using AD as a didactic tool. Although results do not reveal a statistically significant improvement in PPC acquisition, they enable the formulation of hypotheses to be tested in further research. In addition, the experimental group showed some progress in the development of specific plurilingual and pluricultural skills, which suggests that the use of AD in the FL classroom can improve learners’ plurilingual and pluricultural repertoire.


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How to Cite

Torralba, G., Baños-Piñero, R., & Marzà, A. (2022). Audio description and plurilingual competence: new allies in language learning?. Revista De Lenguas Para Fines Específicos, 28(2), 165–180. Retrieved from



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