Areas we work on in the focal point “multilingualism” include the analysis of multilingual children’s language skills, research topics concerning multilingualism and the integration of refugees into university structures.

Projects: Research & Practice

Sprachbildungsprofis in mehrsprachigen Kitas – SprabiPiKs

funded by the BMBF (Förderkennzeichen 01NV1804A), Förderrichtlinie Qualitätsentwicklung für gute Bildung in der frühen Kindheit, Schwerpunkt Weiterentwicklung der Interaktionsqualität des pädagogischen Personals – Umgang mit heterogenen Voraussetzungen der Kinder

Supervisor (SUH): Prof. Dr. Elke Montanari

Bei dem BMBF-Verbundprojekt „Sprachbildungsprofis in mehrsprachigen Kitas – SprabiPiKs“ handelt es sich um ein qualitatives Forschungsprojekt der Stiftung Universität Hildesheim (SUH) und der Universität Hamburg (UHH). Es wird in sechs Hamburger Kitas mit einem Anteil von Kindern mit Migrationshintergrund von über 40 Prozent durchgeführt.

Untersucht wird aus linguistischer (SUH) und interkulturell-erziehungswissenschaftlicher (UHH) Perspektive,

  • wie frühpädagogische Fachkräfte mit hoher Sprachförderkompetenz Interaktionen mit ein- und mehrsprachigen Kindern gestalten und
  • welche Qualität die Interaktionen im Hinblick auf sprachliche Bildung aufweisen.

Betrachtet werden ferner das Wissen der Fachkräfte, ihre Wahrnehmungs-, Deutungs- und Handlungsplanungskompetenz und ihre Orientierungen sowie die Bedingungen in den jeweiligen Einrichtungen und Sozialräumen.

Ziel ist es, bezogen auf die einzelne Kita und Kita-übergreifend qualitativ zu rekonstruieren, wie die Kompetenzen der Fachkräfte und die Bedingungen in den Einrichtungen und ihrem Umfeld mit der Qualität der Interaktionen zusammenhängen.

Erwartet wird, hiermit einen Beitrag zur Erforschung des komplexen Qualitätsgefüges, in dem frühpädagogische Fachkräfte handeln, zu leisten. Auch soll hiermit zur Weiterentwicklung der Interaktionsqualität des pädagogischen Personals im Hinblick auf unterschiedliche sprachliche Voraussetzungen von Kindern beigetragen werden.


14th Workshop „German as a Second Language, Migration and Multilingualism“, November 23th/24th 2018

Language Acquisition in Asylum Camps 

Duration: ongoing

Consultant: Prof. Dr. Elke Montanari

Since winter semester 2015/2016 we have been qualifying students of the University of Hildesheim for language training for refugee children, young people and young adults. The project provides refugee children and young people with support in language acquisition and integration into school, everyday life and the working environment.

<link fb3/institute/idsl/mitglieder/prof-dr-phil-elke-montanari/beschulung-quereinsteiger/>Inclusive and separate schooling for L2-learners</link>

Duration: 1 November 2016 - 30 April 2017

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Elke Monatari

The objective of this pilot study was to determine which form of schooling is distinctively suitable for newly immigrated pupils without sufficient knowledge of German. In particular, the study aims to provide recommendations for action and discussion approaches for the training of these pupils in education policy. 

The project has been completed.


SHAPING CHANGE (I & II). Language promotion and language training as an integral part of innovative teacher training in Lower Saxony

During the first stage of the project SHAPING CHANGE. Language promotion and language training as an integral part of innovative teacher training in Lower Saxony (referred to below as Change I2), a structured qualification programme in the areas of language training and German as a Second Language for teacher training students of all subjects was devised, tailored to different types of school. The program is intended to be taken throughout university as an obligatory qualification programme. Emphasis was placed on teaching the skills required to be able to discuss topics in the relevant subject (Goschler/Montanari 2015). The project partners developed core content for the whole of Lower Saxony, as well as concepts and materials for the consultation, further training and continuing education of university lecturers and teaching staff at schools.

Change II / Hildesheim captured a wide audience. There were several common issues that were addressed on a larger scale than at the university level. Online media offer the ideal opportunity for presenting developments in Lower Saxony on a national and international arena.

Duration: 1 March 2014 - 28 February 2017

Head of project: Prof. Dr. Elke Montanari

The following three projects were part of SHAPING CHANGE I & II:

Duration: 1.11.2016 – 30.10.2017.

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Elke Montanari, Griesbaum

In a lecture series entitled Multilingualism and Diversity Lectures, internationally renowned researchers will talk about the current state of knowledge of fundamental issues concerning language training and language promotion. The series of lectures will be prepared for publication on the web and in social media, and are available here .

The project has been completed. 

  • Language Education and language Training as an Integral Part of Teacher Training

Duration: 1.3.2014 – 31.5.2017.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Elke Montanari

The project has been completed.

  • Pilot project "Qualifying Students for Language Training with Refugees"

Duration: 1.1.2016 – 31.12.2016 

Supervisor Hildesheim: Prof. Dr. Viola B. Georgi

The universities of Göttingen, Hildesheim and Lüneburg aim to develop common standards for qualification in the field of language promotion by means of digital courses. The results are to be made available to all teacher training colleges in Lower Saxony and enable them to prepare their students even better for their engagement in refugee work. 

The project has been completed. 


MLex: Multilingual Vocabulary Acquisition 

 The project was funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (MWK) (Pro*Niedersachsen Programme)

Head of project: Prof. Dr. Elke Montanari

Duration: 1 December 2013 – 30 November 2016

The following two projects were part of MLex.

  • Multilingual Vocabulary Acquisition of Pupils with an Migration Background and German as a Second Language at Primary Schools in Lower Saxony 

Duration: 01.12.2013 – 28.02.2017

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Elke Montanari

The project has been completed.

  • Research Workshop Inclusive Multilingualism

Duration: 01.04.2016-31.12.2016

Supervisors: Barbara Graßer, M.A. & Lilia Tschudinovski, M.A.

The aim of the MLex research focus is to gain insights into the scope and organization of the multilingual mental lexicon in children aged 6 to 10 years. For this purpose, bilingual Russian-German and bilingual Turkish-German pupils that acquire German either as a second language or as an (early) second language, are investigated at primary schools in Lower Saxony. Using a combination of standardised language tests, student and parent questionnaires and elicited and spontaneous surveys (oral/written), we examine whether and how the vocabulary of multilingual pupils differs in width and depth from that of monolingual pupils. In addition, the differentiated recording of lexical skills in the individual grades shows which areas of vocabulary are particularly difficult to acquire and how rankings and gaps change in the four years of primary school - in other words, whether school teaching leads to a reduction in any differences in the mental lexicon. 

The project has been completed.


KEA Multilingual assistance

Kea is a concept for language education and support on an elementary level. It is carried out by the city and the district of Hildesheim. Educational staff, pedagogical supervisors and parents benefit from a wide range of complementary training options.

 The project has been completed.


Spring School – German language diploma for lateral entrants

In cooperation with Niedersächsisches Landesinstitut für Qualitätsentwicklung NLQ (Lower Saxony State Institute for School Quality Development), Walter-Gropius-Schule Hildesheim.

During the 2015 summer semester, young people who came to Germany just a year before prepare for the German language diploma. The preparation courses are organised by Walter-Gropius-School Hildesheim and held by students under the supervision of Elke Montanari and Ralina Lutter. The compact seminar is focused on the subject “Presentations” which will be part of the exam later on. This German pilot project is designed to establish an internationally valid exam in order to provide the new classmates with a certificate for successful language acquisition.

Head of project: Prof. Dr. Elke Montanari

The project has been completed.