Project - English version
MARE stands for Multiliteracy as a Labour Market Resource. Social acquisition conditions of multiliteral competence and their transformability into economic capital. It is the research program of a junior research group based at the University of Hamburg, Faculty of Education, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the funding line "Junior Research Groups in Empirical Educational Research" (duration: 05/2021-04/2026, funding amount: 1.5 million euros).
The research program MARE aims to develop empirical knowledge about multilingualism as a labor market resource in educational biographies. Multiliteracy is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct of literacy skills (skills and knowledge) functional for structural integration. Multiliteracy as a multidimensional competence model, its empirical measurement, employment conditions, and effectiveness as a labor market resource will be examined. Secondary analyses of existing large-scale data sets from the studies Multilingualism Development over Time (MEZ, MEZ-2) and the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) will be conducted. A special feature of MARE is that multilingualism is empirically modeled as a multidimensional competence through objective test data on analog and digital reading and writing in German (majority language), Russian and Turkish (heritage languages), English and French (school foreign languages).
Equal life chances can only be achieved by decoupling social background and educational success. Educational practice faces the challenge that literacy is a key competence in educational societies, but people have unequal prerequisites for acquiring this cultural ability. It is the task of educational practice to have a balancing effect here. This can be achieved by promoting literacy throughout the entire educational biography, using all the linguistic resources of the individuals, if possible. A prerequisite for this is knowledge about multilingualism as competence and its acquisition conditions.
The education system should provide skills and attitudes that empower adolescents to take responsibility for their well-being and to participate in society. Educational opportunities should be independent of social status, ethnicity or language, gender, or sexual orientation. In the course of globalization, international mobility, and digitalization, the demands on education are changing. MARE contributes to mastering the challenges posed by increased linguistic, cultural, and social diversity.
The central working hypothesis is: In the context of globalization and digitalization, social welfare production increasingly requires literacy skills in multiple languages and analog and digital modalities. The goal of MARE has empirically supported knowledge that helps to adapt the education system to these developments and to decouple individual life chances from social origin.
Work objectives: To develop basic knowledge about (1) the structure of multilingualism as a multidimensional competence, (2) its social conditions of acquisition, and (3) its effectiveness as a labor market resource. This is to be used as transfer knowledge to (4) improve the training/continuing education of teachers, (5) serve the scientifically sound design of education and language policy, and (6) respond to the demand of state employment services for adequate diagnostics for the identification of labor market resources.
Junior research groups are supported in their research by experienced scientists as mentors. We are very pleased to have gained two outstanding personalities for this.
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Ingrid Gogolin
She is Senior Professor for International Comparative and Intercultural Educational Research at the University of Hamburg. Her research focuses on multilingualism and educational migration research. She is the spokesperson of the research group "Literacy in Diversity Settings (LiDS)" at the University of Hamburg.
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Nauck
He was a founding professor of the Faculty of Sociology at Chemnitz University of Technology, of which he is still a member. He currently works as an associate research professor at the Department of Intercultural and International Comparative Education at the University of Hamburg. His research interests include cultural comparisons, family sociology, demography, migration and ethnic (educational) inequality.
Collaboration with cooperation partners and other experts takes place in all phases of MARE. The aim is a continuous coordination between scientific research questions and the needs of practice.
Prof. Dr. Ingrid Piller acts as linguistic advisor in the research programme. She is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University, Sydney and researches multilingualism in the context of migration and globalisation. Her focus is on the role of multilingualism in social participation. Her involvement expands the view of multiliteracy to include a sociolinguistic and international perspective on multilingualism. A stay in Germany is planned for her during the project period.
Sönke Fock is a cooperation partner from the field. He is a presiding member of the management board of the Employment Agency Hamburg and contributes practical knowledge about the labour market's demand for multilingual skills and the needs of employment agencies for measuring multilingual skills of job seekers. The aim of the cooperation is to develop a practical instrument for measuring multilingual skills relevant to the labour market, especially for new immigrants, which will support job placement in the medium term.