Back to the list

Research Unit in the Field of Multilingualism, University of Teacher Education of the Valais (PHVS)

Research Unit in the Field of Multilingualism, University of Teacher Education of the Valais (PHVS)
University of Teacher Education of the Valais (PHVS)
Research unit „Languages“
Alte Simplonstrasse 33
CH-3900 Brig (Oberwallis)
18, Av. du Simplon
CH-1890 St-Maurice (Unterwallis)
T: +41 (0)27 606 96 90
Dr. Alain Metry, alain.metry@phvs.ch
Access to Website

On a national and international level, the Research Unit in the Field of Multilingualism at the University of Teacher Education of the Valais has the advantage to work in a very rare structure due to its location in two different places that are 100km apart from each other and situated in the two most important linguistic regions of Switzerland (French in St. Maurice near lake Geneva, German in Brig near the Italian border). The university’s teachers and researchers are ‘native speaking’ pedagogues originating from the German and French speaking parts. Thanks to a cooperation treaty among the other alpine teacher education institutions, such as the one in Ticino (DFA/SUPSI) and the other in Chur (PHGR), all the national languages are covered. Since 2000, the research unit of the PHVS collaborates with the UFM/CURP of the University of Bern. From June 2012 on, the different fields of operation of the UFM should be integrated in the PHVS.

Research areas

  • Despite its title as a “research unit”, the field of operation encompasses both sections „R&D“ as well as „services“ (scientific, educational and cultural tasks); support of language projects (English, dialects in the upper and lower Valais, languages of migration)
  • Application oriented research, initiation and support of scientific work and projects, implementation of results and findings of scientific studies in the everyday at school
  • Elaboration of instruments to analyse and develop language skills, to prepare (cantonal) exams and certificates which account for language skills regarding their profession, scientific supervision / support services in further training in the field of languages (as actually in the project of Passepartout) in order to measure the effects to make sure of the sustainability of this training
  • Responsibility regarding the offer and the conduct of further training opportunities in the field of languages (such as a CAS in integrative language pedagogy, immersion or bilingual teaching)
  • Intensification of the integration and use of the language portfolio at each level (Portfolino, ELP I, II, III, Higher Education, adults)
  • Mandatary of projects of communities, schools, enterprises; conducting of researches commissioned by the canton; evaluation of the bilingual teaching, language skills and expertises
  • Analysis and development of multilingual models (including the languages of migration, linguistic background of allophone students); making teachers aware for the bi- and intercultural competencies


Multilingual education, Teacher training, Teaching research, Application-oriented research, Didactics of multilingualism, Evaluation of language programs, Evaluation of foreign-language competencies