Study Abroad for Multilingualism (SAM)
Institute Institute for Language Teacher Education
Head Dr. Sybille Heinzmann (PHSG and PH FHNW)

Robert Hilbe, Lukas Bleichenbacher, Kristina Ehrsam

Duration 2018 - 2023
Financing Swiss National Science Foundation (SNFS)

Study abroad for multilingualism (SAM)

SAM investigates student mobility, which is still thought of and investigated in terms of a primarily monolingual focus on the TL as spoken natively, from a multilingual perspective.

For decades, student mobility has been enjoying increasing demand due to growing international connectedness.  More recent research suggests that stays abroad cannot always meet the high expectations regarding “immersion” in the target language. In many cases, social contacts with speakers of the target language are less numerous than hoped for and language use more multilingual than anticipated, which can lead to disappointment among study abroad students. Too little attention is paid to the learning affordances of multilingual interactions and the use of English as a lingua franca. 

The primary aim of this mixed-method longitudinal study is to explore the relationship between students’ language attitudes, their social relations and language use while abroad and to find out

a)    how effective different patterns of social relations and language use are for linguistic development and 
b)    what role students’ language attitudes play for the development of their social relations and linguistic skills.
The insights from the study will benefit the (further) education of teachers, particularly with regard to the planning and targeted use of student mobility.

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Sekretariat Institut Sprachliche und Literarische Bildung

Pädagogische Hochschule St.Gallen
Hochschulgebäude Hadwig
Notkerstrasse 27
9000 St.Gallen

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