Specialization I: Literacy in Life Trajectories
The research in this area of focus seeks to clarify the problem of basic language education in the context of diversity. The guiding question here is, What minimum level of language education makes social participation possible? The researchers focus on multilingualism using perspectives from language acquisition theory and teaching-learning theory, because it acts as a prerequisite and influencing factor of the acquisition of the relevant skills. They also draw upon a sociotheoretical perspective, because the chance to participate is also influenced by the social evaluation of a skill. The research in this area of focus is examplified with entry into and positioning in the labor market. The researchers investigate what type of linguistic skills (in German and in other languages) are required for access to the professions, for professional careers, and for job satisfaction—that is, those that bring about distinctive gains in adults’ professional lives.
The research in this area of focus builds on third-party-funded preliminary work that poses the question about language-development mechanisms in later learning and later life.
While the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and LEO are cross-sectional studies that seek to identify trends, MEZ is a long-term study with a total of 6 measurement points.