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The Circle U Multilingualism, Interculturality, and Language lab ( and the Open Campus are pleased to announce that the “Language in education research: ecological and mixed methods approaches” summer school  will take place from 7 to 10 August 2024 at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium).   


Aims of the summer school: 


In recent decades, mixed methods studies have emerged as valuable tools for capturing the multidimensional nature of language development. Furthermore, ecological approaches have been shown to be well suited for navigating the complexities inherent in authentic second (SL) and foreign language (FL) as well as content and language integrated learning (CLIL) classrooms. The integration of diverse research methods not only enhances ecological validity, but also facilitates the transferability of findings into educational practice. Undertaking ecologically framed mixed methods studies is both exhilarating and demanding. In addition to incorporating various data collection instruments, such as performance assessments, questionnaires, observations and interviews, it is crucial to develop a research project that recognizes the complexity and dynamics of language learning contexts in question. In fact, this requires ecologically meaningful planning, ensuring that each method contributes to the study's objectives, and systematic analysis that properly integrates qualitative and quantitative approaches to data material.


·       In what ways can I make my classroom-based study more ecologically valid?

·       How can I integrate qualitative and quantitative methods to achieve empirical convergence or identify divergence? How can I use “a mixed methods  way of thinking” to capture various voices and perspectives in my data?

·       How can I properly draw conclusions from my mixed methods dataset?

·       To what extent is teacher-researcher collaboration helpful for my study? How can I foster teacher-researcher collaboration when conducting mixed methods studies?




The summer school is designed to provide interested researchers in the field of applied SLA, instructed SLA and educational research. including PhD students, PostDocs, and language teachers, with a robust methodological foundation and a strong commitment to enhancing their research competencies through the exploration of ecological research designs. To this end, the workshop's program features a combination of informative talks highlighting the latest developments in the field and hands-on sessions covering various research methods and their integration into empirical studies. These sessions will require participants to apply these methods to their own research projects actively, regardless of how far their project has already progressed. 


The summer school will be held in English, but pedagogical applications for other foreign languages will be showcased. Researchers working on any foreign language are strongly encouraged to participate. 




Lisbeth M. Brevik (University of Oslo)

Ute Smit (University of Vienna)

Ferran Suñer (Catholic University of Louvain)

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