Project management

Supervision: Prof. Dr. Thomas Studer

When asked about their goals, students learning a foreign language generally say they want to speak the language. Despite the value placed on speaking, however, various studies on the foreign language competence of Swiss school students reveal that many learners have difficulty in meeting the learning outcomes set for spoken language (Peyer et al. 2016, Wiedenkeller/Lenz 2019).

Language exchange activities are widely viewed as a means of promoting language and intercultural competence and as a way to motivate students to learn a foreign language. Indeed,  recently, educational policy has strengthened its commitment to advance and intensify language exchange.

Project management



Didactic partnership: Centres de Formation Professionnelle de l'Etat de Fribourg (CD-CFP) 

The aim of the DiCoi project is on the one hand to produce teaching material from recordings of authentic conversations (spoken language corpora) and on the other hand to describe the longitudinal development of interaction skills (over 2 years) from recordings of free interactions. Spoken language corpora can be used as a resource for foreign language teaching with the aim of providing exposure to the authentically produced but contextualised target language.


Bettina Blatter

The purpose of this project is to conduct a detailed analysis on language census issues in Switzerland since the 19th century and to better understand the role this tool plays in the Swiss political landscape. This project will also support the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) in developing future census tools. This will ensure that actual sociolinguistic facts are taken into account when designing thematic questionnaires on languages.

What Are the Best Forms and Necessary Conditions to Enable Exchange or Direct Contact for the Largest Number of School Children?

A study of the conditions for successful exchange based on perceptions and experiences for future teachers of foreign languages/cultures in compulsory schools
Project management

Susanne Wokusch, Rosanna Margonis-Pasinetti (HEP Vaud)

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 and preparation of exchange and contact opportunities requires a considerable amount of extra work on the part of teachers; for them to consent to taking on such an effort, strong convictions and high motivation as well as institutional support are required.

Project management

Seraina Paul-Frischknecht (PH St. Gallen)

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 primary level in Eastern and Western Switzerland. The focus is placed on the motivation to learn a foreign language as well as on changes in the productive language skills of the school children.

Swiss Federal Administration and the representation of language communities

An analysis of processes and strategies for recruiting personnel

In cooperation with the University of Zürich (UZH)

In Switzerland’s political dialogue, an adequate representation of Swiss language communities in the Federal Administration is considered to be a vital expression of multilingualism in Switzerland. Diverse legal bases and directives have been created and issued in the interest of reaching this goal.


Vera Prosdocimo, Julia Valle, Yohan Bühler

In collaboration with the Federal Statistical Office (FSO)

Italianità in the Internet: from cardboard suitcases to the web

A social history of the Italian language in German and French-speaking Switzerland
Project management

Sandro Cattacin, UniGE


Irene Pellegrini, Toni Ricciardi
Scientific partner: Bruno Moretti, UniBE

This project aims to present a socio-historical reconstruction of the processes, characteristics and modalities that the Italian language (in its varieties) has undergone in the context of its linguistic contact and integration with German and French-speaking Switzerland.