Study Objectives MEZ
While multilingualism has been cited as a disadvantage, there are also indications that it supports successful (language) learning. It was therefore our goal to obtain primary information on the language development of multilingual secondary school pupils in order to begin to clarify this question. We collected data on receptive reading skills and productive writing skills. Much research in this area measures reading skills only; our approach thus allowed us to reach conclusions on language abilities beyond a single skill set.
The project aims to provide fundamental and practice-based insights into the individual development of multilingual competencies. On a societal level, this includes the identification of the conditions required for the sustainable preservation of societal coherence in what is linguistically and culturally an increasingly heterogeneous population.
The project’s key questions are:
(1) Which language-based, personal and contextual conditions influence multilingual development positively or negatively?
(2) How do these conditions change over time, and in what relationship do they stand to each other?
(3) What is the relationship to other dimensions of educational success?
The answers we find to our research questions will enable the identification of alternative courses of action that highlight the positive effects of lebensweltliche Mehrsprachigkeit (everyday multilingualism), thereby improving educational opportunities, in particular for young migrants.
Study Objectives in MEZ-2
The first study of its kind, MEZ-2 aims to provide empirically substantiated findings on the relationship between language – especially multilingual – development and the initial steps toward professional integration taken by young people both with and without a migration background. The main research areas of the project are:
- Language development in the transition to career paths
- The development of language skills perceived to be relevant to professional training and the labour market
- Language development strategies and their influences during this transitional phase
MEZ-2 makes it possible to investigate relations between educational success, career-related knowledge, professional orientation and language (especially multilingual) skills, with relevant background and individual factors being controlled for.