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Benefits of multilingualism for Switzerland

Individuals and society at large (APSIS)
Project management
Team

Scientific partnership, regular consultation with: Federal Statistical Office (FSO); Institute for multilingualism (IOM)

Linguistic and cultural diversity is of particular importance to Switzerland and its residents, all the more because it is tightly bound with the long-term political, social and cultural history of the country. It is often referred to as an “asset” or even a “treasure”, with some going so far as to claim that it is essential to the very existence of the country.

Project management
Team

Scientific partner: Stefano Losa, Daniela Kappler, SUPSI-DFA

This research project performs a retrospective analysis of the challenges posed by Swiss multilingualism during the Covid-19 pandemic. Continuous communication with the population is necessary in times of crisis – indeed, communication is an essential aspect of crisis management, be it to provide information about the current situation, health issues and distancing rules, or to explain work-related rights and obligations, access to emergency financial aid, and even educational matters....

Evolution of patois in French-speaking Switzerland

Predictions regarding vitality, the linguistic system and language practices
Project management
In 2018, Switzerland recognized Franco-Provençal and Franc-Comtois (spoken in French-speaking Switzerland) as minority languages within the meaning of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Their varieties are designated under the term patois, up until now they have primarily been the subject of dialectological description.

Immersion and bilingual education programmes in Switzerland

A critical literature review and bibliographic database
In Switzerland, language immersion and bilingual education programmes have been both promoted and in demand for quite some time. The topic has also been the focus of numerous scholarly studies that, however, are not always known or accessible. In addition, there is a degree of uncertainty about which findings can be compared or generalised. This project aims to collect existing scholarly literature and documentation and to analyse the information according to theme.

Project management

Direction (ad int.): Center for Teachers’ Language Competences (PHSG, SUPSI, HEP VD, UNIL)

Team

In cooperation with PH FHNW, PH Luzern and PH St Gallen

The aim of this project is the empirically-based development of assessments to test the profession-specific language skills in teachers of French, English and Italian as a foreign language in primary and secondary schools.

Team

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.

Project management

Dieter Isler (PH Thurgau)

In the project “Multilingual Production by Children and Professionals in Playgroups” (Mehrsprachige Praktiken von Kindern und Fachpersonen in Spielgruppen, MePraS) a typology of multilingual practices will be developed and the conditions for successful production will be specified. Taking a focussed ethnographic or “videographic” approach, the everyday communicative productions in four playgroups with an average to high percentage of multilingual children will be examined. 

Swiss Federal Administration and the representation of language communities

An analysis of processes and strategies for recruiting personnel
Team

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.

Team

Vera Prosdocimo, Julia Valle, Yohan Bühler

In collaboration with the Federal Statistical Office (FSO)