Prof. Thomas Studer

© Alan Humerose

Member of the Board of Directors

Full Professor for German as a Foreign Language/German as a Second Language at the University of Fribourg

Research interests

  • Corpus-based language acquisition research (cf. SWIKO - multilingual Swiss learner corpus, web application under development: )
  • Research on language teaching and learning, main focus on research methods
  • Foreign language and multilingualism didactics with special emphasis on German as a foreign language and German as a second language, main focus: Task-based language learning and teaching (TBLT), data-driven learning (DDL), cultural studies and language learning, German as pluricentric language
  • Language testing, main focus: Standardised and teaching-oriented assessment of linguistic and cultural competences (primarly in school settings), test development and validation, evaluation of teaching and classroom practices.

Research projects (direction)


03.2016 - 12.2024

SWIKO is a multilingual learner corpus describing learner language according to principles of corpus-linguistics. The corpus is an umbrella project developed during the 2016–2019 research period and being further developed in the 2021–2024...


01.2018 - 09.2024

The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) planned to verify how well students are mastering the Basic Competences (educational standards) in foreign languages for the second time in spring 2020. Due to the covid-19 pandemic,...



Further development and applications of the Swiss learner corpus SWIKO


07.2021 - 07.2024

In line with the strong presence of usage-based approaches to language description and research in language acquisition, research in corpus linguistics has intensified and diversified in recent years. This applies equally to corpus-based...


01.2018 - 12.2023

Literacy courses designed for adult migrants have been offered for decades in countries experiencing significant immigration. The recent past has seen an increase in research on the teaching and learning processes that are involved in successful...


Competences in French as a foreign language in the Passepartout region

A systematic evaluation of current studies on the use of Mille feuilles und Clin d'oeil


09.2019 - 12.2019

The basis of this report, commissioned by the association BERNbilingue, is a systematic evaluation of current studies on French as a foreign language lessons at primary and secondary schools that use the Mille feuilles and Clin d'oeil learning...


01.2018 - 12.2019

The main goal of this project is to compile an inventory of existing corpora containing productions of learners of German and French as a foreign language; a further objective is defining gaps and needs in this area.  


Learning Spanish as a minority language in the french speaking and swiss-german speaking part of Switzerland

A study of writing competences of children with Spanish speaking origins


01.2015 - 12.2016

The aim of this project is to study the linguistic competences of bilingual children when producing written texts in Spanish. The participant children attend heritage language and culture (HLC) courses. The main research question is: How...


01.2011 - 12.2014

Swiss National Science Foundation, project funding, Project no. 135407 The aim of this project is to develop basic standards for the languages taught at schools where Rhaeto-Romanic is spoken (i.e. Rumantsch Grischun (RG) and German). The...


Multilingual sequences in history lessons

Processes used to solve intercomprehension tasks and appropriate learner profiles


01.2012 - 12.2014

The goal of the project "Multilingual sequences in history lessons: processes to solve intercomprehension tasks and appropriate learner profiles" was twofold: First, the project adjusted worksheets designed in the context of materials development...


01.2002 - 12.2010

The three German-speaking countries in Europe have developed a cooperation to revise and develop international diplomas for German as a foreign or second language – a very interesting topic for and in Switzerland. The University of Fribourg...



From 2006 to 2009, an official proposal for Swiss educational standards was formulated within the framework of the project HarmoS of the EDK. After concluding the political consultations, the standards required finalisation. To do so, the...


05.2008 - 06.2009

In this project, commissioned by NWEDK, EDK Ost and BKZ, suitable lingualevel test packages were compiled to test the levels of the foreign languages French and English in public schools in the German-speaking cantons, years 6 through 9....


International foreign language certificate

Zertifikat Deutsch für Jugendliche (ZD j)/German certificate for young people at Swiss public schools: Innovation and evaluation


06.2006 - 12.2008

This practical research project, commissioned by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK), grants interested Swiss schools access to the internationally recognised certificate Deutsch for Jugendliche ZD j (German for...

Research projects (collaboration)


01.2018 - 12.2024

The aim of this project is the empirically-based development of assessments to test the profession-specific language skills in teachers of French, English and Italian as a foreign language in primary and secondary schools. The main starting...