Language and education


Children and adults acquire language through exposure and interaction, in their first language (L1) as well as in a second or foreign language (L2). Instructed language learning in education takes place in a similar way, through meaningful exposure and interaction. However, the time available for exposure and interaction in education is usually limited. Therefore, language learning in education needs to be facilitated pedagogically by effective curricular programs, tasks, instruction and feedback. 

The Language and Education research group focuses on effective facilitation of language development and language use in educational contexts, taking into account the quality and quantity of exposure and interaction. Effective pedagogy for the acquisition of L1 reading and writing and for L2 acquisition is studied empirically, through effect studies and design-based research. We also focus on language development and use in non-language classes (i.e. in other school subjects), as language plays an essential role in any content teaching and learning. 

Furthermore, we study the role of language in teaching and learning in a variety of other contexts. Some examples: 

  • The role and use of different home languages in literacy development in multilingual classrooms 
  • The use of computer mediated communication tools to facilitate the interaction between L2 learners and native speakers 
  • The use of receptive multilingual modes in professional and academic communication and learning. 


  • literacy and academic language use (reading and writing) 
  • instructed second language acquisition 
  • foreign language pedagogy in primary and secondary education 
  • bilingual education 
  • content and language integrated learning 
  • multilingualism in education 
  • computer mediated communication and language acquisition 
  • receptive multilingualism in higher education 


Stay posted on our activities and the latest information about our research (including a detailed self-assessment over 2012-2017).