In this contribution, I focus on the concept of “appropriateness” in the usage, the learning and the teaching of foreign languages. Using a participant-based\ud emic perspective, I investigate multilinguals’ perceptions of appropriateness in their foreign languages. Referring to the existing literature, and using previously unpublished material collected through a web questionnaire (Dewaele\ud and Pavlenko 2001–2003), I will show that multilinguals develop their judgements of appropriateness, a crucial aspect of sociopragmatic and sociocultural competence, as part of their socialisation in a new language/culture. However, their ability to judge appropriateness accurately does not imply that they will always act “appropriately”. Indeed, the presence of conflicting norms in their\ud other languages may contribute to conscious or unconscious divergence from the “appropriate” norm in a particular language. Some implications for foreign language teaching will be considered
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