Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities - German in Multilingual Contexts

“Let’s Do Language” - ‘hood Goes Uni

A project funded within the “Denkwerk” programme of Robert Bosch Foundation

The project brings pupils to university while still at school, familiarises them with linguistic research, and introduces them to university studies in the humanities as a possible career path for them. 

Together with linguists from Potsdam University’s German Department, pupils from three schools in Berlin-Kreuzberg conduct their own research projects on linguistic topics they identify themselves, e.g., the myth of “double semilingualism” of young people with a migrant background, youth language in general, “Kiezdeutsch” (youth language in multiethnic urban neighbourhoods in Germany) in particular, and code switching or switching between linguistic varieties within one’s linguistic repertoire.

The cooperating schools have over 80% pupils with a heritage language other than German, so many of the participating pupils are multilingual. This additional qualification is used as an important resource for working on linguistic topics. An additional cooperating school is in Hattersheim, Hessia. The pupils there work in parallel with the Kreuzberg pupils on similar questions; at a later stage, both groups compare their results.

Pupils can use their research results for examinations during their school career (“Abitur” / university entrance diploma, “Mittlerer Schulabschluss” / intermediate school graduation). In their research, they get support from university students who serve as mentors and provide insights into university studies and university life in the course of pupils’ regular university visits.

Pupils present their projects as part of the annual “Long Night of Sciences Berlin/Potsdam” and at a range of other public events, for instance, at the Week of Language and Reading, in the Berlin Museum of Communication.

PIs: Heike Wiese, Christoph Schroeder

Assistants: Elena Becker, Inès Lamari