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Abstract

The Swiss Confederation is known for its historical multilingualism. The four national languages are, however, unequally distributed among its inhabitants. Individual foreign-language competence, including English, also varies strongly. The educational system reflects cantonal differences. The article distinguishes between strong, intermediate, and weak forms of trilingual education. The strong form can be found at university level, the intermediate form includes all bilingual models with a course in one additional language, and the weak form is found frequently, in particular, in secondary education. A new model of multilingualism emerges with two national languages, plus English. Research has thus far dealt mainly with the outcomes of bilingual education, but in the near future will focus more on the differences between second- and third-language learning and the outcomes of trilingual education.

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Thesis
This study aims to investigate the relationships between Erasmus program experience and theincrease of cultural intelligence (CQ), resilience and transversal skills. This study contributes to theunderstanding of “the cross-cultural learning process”, merging quantitative and qualitative data. Theresearch involved 170 Erasmus students and 52 college students who have never participated toErasmus program. These data were collected in two phases: for Erasmus students before departureand at re-entry and for control group with a time interval between the two administration of around 6months. Findings showed significant increases of cognitive CQ, resilience and transversal skills forthe Erasmus students’ sample, on contrary any significant change was found for the control group.Looking at ‘critical incident’ reports, qualitative data further clarify the role played by abroadexperience on the cross-cultural learning process. This study provides evidences about the Erasmusprogram value and seems to confirm expectation elaborated by Bologna process 2020.
Chapter
English in the German-Speaking World - edited by Raymond Hickey December 2019
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Switzerland is often referred to as a success story for handling its linguistic and cultural diversity. Traditionally four languages have been spoken in relatively homogeneous territories: German, French, Italian and Rhaeto- Romanic (Romansh). The first three have been national languages since the foundation of the Confederation in 1848; the fourth became a national language in 1938. In effect, The Law on Languages, in effect since 2010, has regulated the use and promotion of languages and enhanced the status of Romansh as one of the official languages since 2010. While Swiss language policy is determined at the federal level, it is in the actual practice a matter for cantonal implementation. Article 70 of the Swiss Federal Constitution, titled “Languages”, enshrines the principle of multilingualism. A recent project to create legislation to implement multilingualism across the cantons, however, has failed. Thus Switzerland remains de jure quadrilingual, but de facto bilingual at best, with only a handful of cantons recognizing more than one official language (Newman, 2006: 2). Cantonal borders are not based on language: the French-German language border runs across cantons during most of its course from north to south, and such is also the case for Italian.
Article
All speakers of Rumansch, the fourth Swiss national language, spoken only in the trilingual Grisons Canton (German, Rumansch, Italian), are at least bilingual. The schools which maintain Rumansch present the pattern of a transitional bilingual programme, as kindergarten starts in Rumansch, and German is gradually introduced from fourth grade on. In some villages Rumansch has become a minority language and parents no longer agree to send their children to an all-Rumansch school, especially because they want their children to have good competencies in German, which is the language of higher education and the economy. In Samedan, a pilot project launched in 1996 measures the impact of partly introducing German in kindergarten and reinforcing Rumansch at secondary level. French as L3 is introduced as compulsory subject in 7th grade (first year of secondary school). This study focuses on the attitudes and competencies in French in 8th grade. It is argued that the Samedan pupils, with their bi- or even plurilingual family, school and social background, with a Romance language as main school language and the geographical proximity of Italian have more positive attitudes toward French and better competencies than monolingual German-speaking peers from a German-speaking village located in the same canton.