MultiLing Summer School 2018: Experimental approaches to multilingualism

The MultiLing Summer School 2018 will take place from 10–14 September 2018. This year, we will explore experimental approaches to multilingualism. Instructors will be Janet van Hell (Pennsylvania State University) and Barbara Mertins (Dortmund Technical University).

PhD course participants

(Photo: Nadia Frantsen/UiO)

The world’s linguistic map is rapidly changing because of demographic trends, new technologies, and international communication. One of the consequences is that the majority of people now speak more than one language. The recognition that more of the world’s speakers are bilingual rather than monolingual has led to a dramatic increase in research on second language learning and bilingual language processing. This course will focus on the use of different methods for investigating these topics in the field of experimental (psycho)linguistics. Two renowned and experienced researchers within the field will present opportunities and challenges of different experimental methods such as eye-tracking and Event-Related brain Potentials (ERPs), with examples from their own empirical research.

Professor Barbara Mertins will start by addressing more general questions related to empirical research such as what pitfalls one may come across when designing an experimental study or what makes an empirical study ecologically valid. She will also introduce a system for classifying empirical methods and look into their overall advantages and disadvantages. Finally, she will also have a more informal workshop in which the participants can bring up their own practical questions concerning their own empirical work.

Professor Janet van Hell will discuss experimental methods to study second language (L2) learning and bilingual/multilingual language processing. She will specifically focus on the use of electrophysiological techniques, such as ERPs, and how these techniques are used to study the timing and degree of neural activation associated with vocabulary learning, lexical processing, sentence processing, and codeswitching in L2 learners and bilinguals/multilinguals.


Janet van Hell (Pennsylvania State University) (external link)

Barbara Mertins (Technical University of Dortmund) (external link)


The program can be found here.

Reading list:

A reading list will be available soon. The curriculum will consist of approx. 400 pages of research articles on experimental methods.


Paper on own methodological choices (5 pages), and oral presentation (10 min.). The recommended credits for the course is 5 ECTS.


The participants must be enrolled in a PhD program in linguistics or a related field of study. Due to limited space we only accept applications from PhD students, and not postdocs. There is no course fee, but participants will have to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses.


The application deadline was 29 June.

Please note that in addition to the application form we also require that your supervisor sends us a brief recommendation for your attendance at the summer school. This should be emailed to Malene Bøyum ( by the application deadline.


Published May 23, 2018 9:12 AM - Last modified Mar. 8, 2019 11:28 AM