Institute of Multilingualism

The Institute of Multilingualism was founded in 2008 as a joint institute of the University of Fribourg and the University of Teacher Education, Fribourg. Its activities include carrying out research projects in the area of multilingualism, supporting teaching at all levels of higher education (Bachelor, Masters, Doctoral, continuing education), collaborating with various stakeholders on a regional, national as well as international level, sharing knowledge gained with the world of science and the general public, carrying out academic events, managing services and information.

The Institute of Multilingualism is committed to researching multilingualism and its linguistic, social, political, economic and educational aspects. Major areas of research include multilingualism in education, human migration and the workplace as well as the evaluation of language competence. The Institute of Multilingualism pursues its own research projects and participates in national and international projects. In addition, the Institute assumes external mandates in research and development.

The Institute of Multilingualism cultivates contact to and co-operation with diverse institutions:

The Institute of Multilingualism is interconnected to a number of partner institutions and works closely with other Swiss and foreign universities.

The Institute of Multilingualism is financed in large by the Adolphe Merkle Foundation and the Foundation for Research and Development of Multilingualism of the Canton of Fribourg.

Council and board of directors

The institute’s council and the board of directors are the governing bodies at the Institute of Multilingualism:


  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt (president), vice-rector University of Fribourg
  • Prof. Pascale Marro (vice president), Rector University of Teacher Education Fribourg
  • Dr. Sylvie Jeanneret, University of Fribourg
  • Prof. Winfried Kronig, University of Fribourg
  • Dr. Lukas Lehmann, University of Teacher Education Fribourg
  • Prof. Didier Maillat, University of Fribourg
  • Elisabeth Mauron-Hemmer, University of Teacher Education Fribourg
  • NN, University of Teacher Education Fribourg, ETUCOM

Board of directors:

  • Prof. Dr. Raphael Berthele, (director), University of Fribourg
  • Prof. Dr. Alexandre Duchêne, University of Teacher Education Fribourg
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Studer, University of Fribourg
  • Prof. Dr. Anita Thomas, University of Fribourg
  • Susanne Obermayer, Institute of Multilingualism


Associated members

Multilingual competence and language contact

Language acquisition, teaching, testing and evaluation

Society, institutions and politics

Research Centre on Multilingualism

On 4 June 2010, the Federal Council has adopted the by-law on national languages. At this occasion, the Institute of Multilingualism Fribourg has been nominated as the national Research Centre on Multilingualism. The Institute’s board of directors is very pleased about the decision and is honored to assume this responsibility.

The Federal Office of culture (German and French) and the Institute of Multilingualism have concluded a contract on the tasks and activities of the Research Centre.

Statutes and annual reports


Guiding values and principles

Teaching foreign languages: science, mission and politics (German, French)


 Annual reports: