University of Erfurt

Language Acquisition and Multilingualism


New team member

We welcome Friederike Schütte to our team! She is our new research assistant for both the English-German and the Polish-German projects.

Interview with the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Dr. De Houwer for an interesting article on raising children with three languages. You can read it here.

Interview for WDR 5

German radio (WDR5) broadcast a piece on early bilingualism in August 2016. Both Dr. De Houwer and Dr. Byers-Heinlein (Concordia University in Canada) were interviewed for this 10 minute piece. You can listen to the podcast here.

Frühe Mehrsprachigkeit - Chancen und Perspektiven im Blick: Presentation by Dr. De Houwer

At the invitation of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, Dr. De Houwer gave a well received opening talk at a one-day conference for early child care providers and practitioners in Stuttgart. You can find part of her (German) presentation (sadly without the many supporting pictures that accompanied it) here.

New team member

We welcome Tanja Mlynczak to our team! She is our new research assistant working on the Polish-German project.

Interview in an Erfurt “street journal”

Because of the many newly arrived refugees in Erfurt and Thuringia, there is an increased interest from the local public in bilingualism and language learning. The local glossy magazine sold on the streets of Erfurt, the Brücke, recently interviewed Dr. De Houwer on these topics. You can find the interview (in German) here. The Brücke is a great publication made by volunteers and won the Thuringia journalist award.

New Team members

We are very happy to welcome 4 new team members this month! Welcome to Ms. Herschleb, Ms. Trinh Do, Ms. Xu, and Ms. Zhou!

Dr. He Sun at the National Institute of Education in Singapore

Dr. He Sun has taken up a position at the prestigious National Institute of Education in Singapore but will continue to collaborate with Dr. De Houwer on a project on early Chinese-German bilingualism.

Dr. De Houwer at the University of Essex in the new Distinguished Speaker Series (2016)

On Monday April 25, 2016, Dr. De Houwer was invited to speak in the Distinguished Speaker Series at the University of Essex's Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan. She addressed the question whether it is really true that learning languages early in life leads to success in language learning.

In addition, Dr. De Houwer was invited to hold a Keynote speech the next day at the Essex workshop on The role of interaction in language development and loss throughout the lifespan. There she spoke on input and interaction in early bilingual development.

The story of a myth: the one person, one language strategy in bilingual families

Many people think that early bilingualism can only succeed if everybody speaks just a single language to children, rather than that one and the same person addresses children in two languages. Dr. De Houwer's research has shown that this one person, one language (1P/1L) strategy does not work any better than the bilingual family language use strategy whereby both parents address children in two languages. In his blog, Dr. François Grosjean reviews this work (thanks, François!) and sketches the history of the 1P/1L idea, which turns out to stem from the personal opinion of a scholar with no direct experience of early bilingualism.

ISB Conference in the USA (2015)

Dr. De Houwer attended the 10th International Symposium on Bilingualism in 2015. Her presentation schedule there started with a paper on narrative development in bilingual and monolingual children (co-authored with Drs. Marc Bornstein and Diane Putnick), followed by her organization of a thematic session on Early Bilingual Development and Well-Being: Insights from a New Subfield of Research. This session was very well attended and received a lot of positive response. She concluded with a poster co-authored with Drs. Groba, Obrig and Rossi (click here for the abstract).









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