Nationale Konferenz

Symposium: Multilingual discourse competence


As immigration and emigration increase around the world, the salience of multilingualism will intensify, including the need for multilingual writing abilities. In big European cities the numbers of students in primary and secondary schools with a multilingual background reach 40%. The vast majority of these children demonstrate high competency in L1 and L2 speaking abilities, however, they remain monolingual in the written medium. Specifically in Germany, only a smallpercentage of migrant children are offered the option to attend lessons in their heritage language in order to become biliterate.

To discuss the importance of multilingual writing skills and their impact on the language competence of bilinguals, the International Research Center for Multilingualism (IFM) and the Institute for German as a Foreign Language of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich organize a symposium on Multilingual Discourse Competence which takes place on 12 and 13 November 2014 in Munich.

The aim of the symposium is to explore different types of cross-linguistic influence:It will be discussed in which way written texts of bilingual individuals are influenced not only by the transfer of linguistic features (syntactic, semantic etc.) from one language to the other but also by the transfer of discourse strategies. We will have a closer look on how differences in discourse patterns may be expressed in diverse macro-structures, in the creative use of particular language patterns or in a different communication mode (conceptual oral vs. conceptual written). Moreover, we intend to detect educational and societal factors that might influence the discourse competence in both languages (e.g. different types of instruction, socio-economic and educational background of the parents, language attitudes).

The conference brings together internationally leading scientists who will provide insights into their current research projects:

The target audience of the symposium are faculty members, graduate students and students of German as a foreign and second language, linguistics, and teacher training programs. The symposium is also open to a general audience interested in this topic.

During a poster session doctoral students have the opportunity to present and discuss their current research projects. Please submit your abstract by July 1st, 2014 via email to The subject line of your email should read "Abstract Submission MLD - AUTHOR NAME(S)". The main body of your email should contain the following information:

  • Title of your presentation
  • Name(s) of author(s)
  • Affiliation
  • Email address for correspondence
  • 3-5 key words

When preparing your abstract, please note:

  • The abstract should be no longer than 300 words (plus references)
  • Please give your presentation a clear, descriptive title
  • Please keep figures and diagrams to a minimum
  • Please submit your abstract as a PDF file

Deadline for Poster abstracts: July 1st, 2014

Notification of acceptance: August 1st, 2014

The programme will be published by the end of August on our homepage:

Registration is not necessary.

Location: IBZ, Amalienstraße 38, 80799 München

Contact: Dr. Anne-Katharina Harr, Julia Meyer (M.A.) und Nikolas Koch

Julia Meyer M.A. Nikolas Koch

Internationale Forschungsstelle für Mehrsprachigkeit Institut für Deutsch als Fremdsprache

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität

Ludwigstraße 27, Raum G105 Ludwigstraße 27, Raum G105

80799 München 80799 München

Tel.: +49 (0)89 2180-6847 Tel.: +49 (0)89 2180-3201

Fax: +49 (0)89 2180-3999 Fax: +49 (0)89 2180-3999