Language education and multilingualism

Kinder schauen gemeinsam mit einer Lehrkraft auf den Bildschirm eines Laptop

Adobe Stock/Robert Kneschke

Call for proposals: 10/10/2012
Funding period: 2013–2022
Fields of action: ‘Educational equity’ and ‘Diversity and social cohesion’

Objectives of the funding measure
Almost every second child in German cities is born into a family with a migrant background. Above all, children whose language of origin is not German must have the opportunity to acquire the German language as early as possible and at the same time to develop and further use their language skills in their language of origin. In Germany, however, not only is language diversity growing due to migration, but the Internet and the increasing mobility of workers in the European single market are also promoting multilingualism. The cultural and economic potential of this development is enormous. Therefore, it is the task of education policymakers to understand this new reality for learning in schools and kindergartens and to create favourable conditions for children to grow up and live with more than one language. Comprehending and using multilingualism as an opportunity requires a scientific understanding of multilingualism, which covers a broad spectrum of childhood development in schooling and the family. Through its funding of research on language education and multilingualism, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is focusing its attention on the potential of individual and social multilingualism. The aim is to develop actionable knowledge on the learning success of multilingual children and young people for educational practice and policy. This knowledge should be used to further improve language education in educational institutions, to foster successful learning of multiple languages, and in this process to support the transfer of language learning experiences.

Link to funding directive:

Link to projects in the Topic Finder

Coordinating agency of the research priority
The coordinating agency is headed by Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Ingrid Gogolin, University of Hamburg.

Contact persons:
Antje Hansen
Tel. +49 (0) 40 42838-9184
Dr Sarah McMonagle
Tel. +49 (0) 40 42838-2943
Website: ‘Multilingualism’ – University of Hamburg