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Current projects

Multilingualism in individuals

This area of research deals with the simultaneous or successive acquisition of several languages (first, second and third languages) in various age groups and in varying demographic sectors – including the immigrant population. Through longitudinal empirical studies, researchers will shed light on the factors that influence the development of individual language competence.

Direction: Prof. Raphael Berthele

Swiss National Science Foundation, project funding, project no. 176338

Languages have different means of linking consecutive events in a narrative structure while also highlighting...

The potential to learn foreign languages varies from one individual to the next and has been investigated by many researchers as of the early 1950s. Individuals’ ability...

This research overview focuses on differences between individuals when it comes to results in learning foreign languages in school. The aim is to identify and discuss...

In the project “Multilingual Production by Children and Professionals in Playgroups” (Mehrsprachige Praktiken von Kindern und Fachpersonen in Spielgruppen, MePraS) a typology of multilingual...

This project aims to investigate how listeners grow accustomed to non-native varieties of their native language.

While most extant research on adaptation to regional and non-native...

The overarching goal of this project is to investigate how knowledge of a substandard variety of the first language (e.g., a local dialect) affects the learning of another language.

The...

Teaching and learning languages, assessing and evaluating language skills

Research in this area focuses on developing, diagnosing and guiding multilingual and pluricultural competences. It addresses three main issues: first, language acquisition in its non-guided, guided (classroom) and autonomous forms; second, the didactics of second languages and multilingualism including key aspects such as teaching and learning objectives, curricula and syllabuses as well as methods of teaching and learning languages; and third, the assessment of language competence and the evaluation of language programmes.

Direction: Prof. Thomas Studer, Prof. Anita Thomas

The purpose of this project is to study the ‟comprehension‟ aspect of oral interaction competence. More specifically, this involves studying the linguistic and cultural characteristics of...

This project explores language as an instrument to promote self-regulated learning processes.

On the one hand, completed tasks are used to ascertain to what degree the conditions for this...

The aim of this project is the empirically-based development of assessments to test the profession-specific language skills in teachers of French, English and Italian as a foreign language in...

This project will culminate in a book in four languages that is designed for the general public. In the book, roughly 40 expressions in Rhaeto-Romanic (all idioms), Italian, German (including...

The main goal of this project is to compile an inventory of existing corpora containing productions of learners of German and French as a foreign language; a further objective is defining gaps and...

The project looks at learning and teaching German as a Foreign Language in Israel, where after 1945 the German language was looked down upon and where learning German still does not seem self-...

Literacy courses designed for adult migrants have been offered for decades in countries experiencing significant immigration. The recent past has seen an increase in research on the teaching and...

Current approaches to foreign language teaching and learning focus strongly on language in use. The overarching aim is communicative competence, a consequence of, mainly...

This project aims at documenting and discussing the conditions for implementing bilingual teaching at primary school level based on two main issues:

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This project aimed to gain empirical knowledge about how learners deal with multilingual teaching approaches in the foreign language classroom and to acquire a better understanding of the...

The aim of the current project it to evaluate the learning impact of an age-appropriate, feasible exchange setting (two short, direct interactions embedded in contact via e-mail and video) at the...

Financed by Fond d’Innovation de la Faculté des lettres, University of Fribourg

The aim of this project is to test the use of the digital collaborative writing tool FRAMAPAD...

If the aim is to measure how well learners can actually use a foreign language, then competence-oriented testing with near-authentic tasks is the method of choice. There is, however, a need for...

Despite the acknowledged benefit of language (and cultural) exchange at all school levels, the promotion of this instrument has had limited impact on exchanges actually conducted. The organisation...

The project deals with the linguistic diversity of German as a foreign language from a theoretical as well as practical point of view.

The empirical study sheds light on the question of how...

Multilingualism in institutions and society

This area addresses social and institutional issues in multilingualism. Investigation focuses on schools, the workplace, cultural and political institutions, language policy and the law. Adopting a sociological and anthropological approach, the research examines societal processes of valorising or devaluing certain languages and their speakers as well as power issues in linguistic communities, social inequalities and the impact of globalisation on multilingual practices.

Direction: Prof. Alexandre Duchêne

The Cold Rush project examines the transforming Arctic North as an expanding hotspot at the juncture of economic development and cultural transformation, focusing on the ways in which language and...

This collaborative project aims at moving beyond common and acritical assumptions about capitalism and language that tend to take them for granted, without sufficiently interrogating their...

How can inequalities (in terms of social class, language, ability, race, gender) be addressed in the classroom by focussing on social processes and encouraging students to reflect on possible ways...

This project aims to present a socio-historical reconstruction of the processes, characteristics and modalities that the Italian language (in its varieties) has undergone...

Swiss National Science Foundation, project funding, project no. 159852

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The aim of this research project is to highlight the emergence and development of the Esperantist discourse and movement in Switzerland, in connection with its characteristic sociopolitical and...