RCM conducts applied research to benefit the academic community, professional practice and public administration. RCM pursues the following research priorities:
- Investigating how multilingualism in institutions and society impacts the political sphere, the economy and (public) administration, under consideration of social inequalities
- Multilingual competence and simultaneous or consecutive language acquisition at different ages and in different sectors of the populations, including the migrant population
- The relationship between language learning and pedagogical approaches in various target groups and learning contexts, with the focus on foreign languages learning in compulsory schooling and new approaches to foreign language education and multilingual didactics
- Formal and informal testing of linguistic and cultural competences
Research projects at RCM pursue a wide range of objectives: establishing foundational knowledge or providing a basis for decisions; preparing synthesis reports on the state of research in selected areas; evaluating programmes and/or materials; or the research-based development of (teaching) materials. To realise these projects, RCM collaborates with research partners from all language regions in Switzerland.
To promote academic collaboration and exchange, RCM regularly invites researchers to talks and discussions and is active in professional associations.
RCM also provides services: the staff compile and document academic findings and materials on the topic of multilingualism, and are a point of contact for persons seeking information on multilingualism. RCM documentation is available online or available on site in the Library of foreign languages and multilingualism of the University of Fribourg.
RCM pursues its research activities in consultation with the Swiss Confederation, which finances the Centre on the basis of the Federal Languages Act. The individual research projects are specified in long-term performance agreements with the Federal Office of Culture.
RCM is supported by an advisory committee whose members are appointed by the Swiss government. The committee is made up of representatives from relevant federal offices and the Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, and is charged with assessing RCM’s research programme. In addition, RCM is advised by an international academic advisory board that regularly evaluates the Centre’s research activities.
RCM is operated by the Institute of Multilingualism on the basis of a federal mandate.
RCM works with the following institutions:
- Federal Statistical Office
- Centre for Foreign Language Didactics CeDiLE
- Forum für die Zweisprachigkeit Biel/Bienne
- Gesellschaft für angewandte Linguistik
- Vaud University of Teacher Education
- St. Gallen University of Teacher Education
- Graubünden University of Teacher Education
- Thurgau University of Teacher Education
- Zug University of Teacher Education
- Zürich University of Teacher Education
- University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland SUPSI, Dipartimento formazione e apprendimento
- University of Bern, Center for the Study of Language and Society
- University of Fribourg, Department of Multilingualism and Foreign Language Education
- University of Geneva, Departement für Deutsche Sprache und Literatur und Observatoire ÉLF
- University of Neuchâtel, Glossaire des patois de la Suisse romande
- Verband Fremdsprachendidaktik Schweiz ADLES
- Association Babylonia Switzerland
- Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau ZDA