The influence of foreign language teaching methodology on the ability of adult immigrants to acquire language skills in low-threshold language courses

Responsibility: Prof. Thomas Studer and Peter Lenz (RCM); research assistants: Malgorzata Barras, Fabienne Manz and Dr. Evelyne Pochon-Berger (RCM); 2012-2014

In the area of second language teaching for adult immigrants, there is very little verified or empirically sound information on how language courses can be optimally designed with respect to essential aspects (e.g. vocabulary) for the target audience generally found in so-called "low-threshold" language courses. The particular goal of this project is to integrate promising didactic elements in a course design for immigrants without an educational background, and then to perform an empirical study comparing this practice with a more conventional course design. The project will use an experimental approach to determine whether diverging didactic parameters also lead to diverging results – and, above all, whether the learning outcome is particularly good or bad. Should there be clear, qualitative differences, it would be possible to make well-founded didactic recommendations for the type of course under investigation.