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 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
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
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