Dr Gabriela Meier
Senior Lecturer in Language Education
+44 (0) 1392 724865
Baring Court 106
Baring Court, University of Exeter St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
My research interest is in bilingual and multilingual education and how plurilingual repertoires that learners bring to school, or develop in schools, can affect social cohesion/social capital and/or teachers’ and learners’ identities. Recent publications include the co-authored book “The Multilingual Turn in Languages Education” (2014), and I’m the leader of the following MED modules: “bilingual and multilingual approaches to language teaching and learning” and “principles of language learning”.
I supervise Masters and Doctoral projects related to my research interests. I'm happy to hear from prospective students who wish to undertake PhD research related to bilingual/multilingual education, plurilingualism , especially those related to social cohesion, social networks or complex and dynamic identities.
Keywords: mulitlingual education, bilingual, plurilingual, social cohesion, multilingual turn, multilingual socialisation, complex identities
Meier, G. (2018). Multilingual socialisation in education: Introducing the M-SOC approach. In Language Education and Multilingualism: The Langscape Journal, Vol. 1, pp. 103-125.
Meier, G. (2017) The multilingual turn as a critical movement in education: assumptions, challenges and a need for reflection. Applied Linguistics Review. 8 (1): 131-161.
Book: Jean Conteh and Gabriela Meier (2014) The multilingual turn in languages education: opportunities and challenges. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Order for £15 instead of £34.95
Bilingual Immersion Education Network - www.bien.org.uk
MA and PhD European Studies, University of Exeter (UK)
PGCE University of Plymouth (UK)
BA Translation, Zurich University of Applied Sciences (Switzerland)
Research group links
My main research interests are sociological and socio-political understandings of multilingualism in education in contexts of linguistic diversity. Theoretically, I draw on the mulitlingual turn, multilingual socialisation and social cohesion perspectives to understand how individuals and groups use their languages to build relationships and identities.
My research interest was inspired by my own migratory and linguistic biography and expeirences, having studied, worked and lived in the Germ and and French part of Switzerland, Spain, and in the UK.
I'm interested in developing greater understanding of bilingual (immersion) education in the UK and in Europe. Thus, I set up a website to link people interested in bilingual immersion education: www.bien.org.uk
2017 - Together with Anita Wood, we have designed a survey and self-study unit based on a multilingual socialisation framework M-SOC Self-Study Unit and Survey We invite educators who work with multilingual learners to participate or use the survey for professional development.
Self-study unit for teachers/lecturers worldwide (all levels/disciplines): We have developed a self-study unit that provides a structure to reflect on experience, practice and contexts, as well as to raise awareness of challenges and opportunities. At the end of the unit, answers and a list of resources can be downloaded as a PDF. Please allow 30-60 minutes to complete this unit.
Research Project: This self-study unit was developed by Gabriela Meier and Anita Wood (University of Exeter, UK). It has the additional purpose of collecting anonymous information from teacher colleagues that will help us understand what educators do and what their needs are. We plan to develop a follow-on research project to work with colleagues like you to develop further ideas related to practice.
Resource for teacher educators and for in-service training: PDFs generated by the survey can be used for group discussions as part of pre-service and in-service training. However, participation should always be voluntary. The survey is based on an article that can act as alternative self-study material: Meier (2018).
What survey users say:
- “Wow, what an interesting unit! I really enjoyed it and it got me thinking.” (teacher educator, UK)
- “Very simple to use and a great audit tool.” (primary teacher, UK)
- “It really made me want to give multilingualism more/a space in my lessons”. (English teacher, vocational college, Switzerland)
2017- Togehter with Simone Smala (University of Queensland) and Helen Lawson (University of Exeter) I devleop a systematic literature review to theorise in what way multilingualism can be associated with social cohesion or social division. (Publication in progress)
2016- Together with Emese Hall (University of Exeter) and a group of postgraduate researchers (University of Exeter), we have developed and trialled collaborative drawing for literacy engagement and identity affirmation in multilingual settings and developed some guidance for practice and research. (Publication in progress)
2017-2018 I conducted a theoretical review of publications related to monolingual norms and alternative multilingual approaches to understanding learning, to establish a framework to help reflect and develop multilingual socialisation approaches. (see Meier, 2018).
2016-2017 I conducted a documentary analysis of 21 book chapters to establish assumptions about language, language learners and languag elearning inherent in the 'multilingual turn'. (see Meier 2017).
2015-16 Together with Birgit Schumacher, I conducted a documentary analysis to understand the conditions that led to and enable the institutionalisation of the Berlin State-Europe Schools (Staatliche Europa-Schule Berlin) that offers bilingual education in nine different language combinations. (see Meier and Schumacher, 2016)
(2011-12) I conducted research in an English-French bilingual school project in London. This study was funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. I was interested in the cooperation between two school systems (French independent and English state school), the language communities, and the implications of this for learners and their school. See www.bien.org.uk and Meier, 2012).
(2009-10) Assessment of the year abroad in modern language degrees. This included a survey among students and tutors at the University of Bath with the aim to review the assessment process of this particular largley autonomous learning experience. Based on one of my recommendations, I was involved in the follow-on debriefing pilot project (see Meier and Daniels, 2013) .
(2005-2009) I have conducted research in Berlin (Staatliche Europa-Schule) where about 6000 children and young people are taught in German and one other language throughout their schooling (13 years). These other languages are locally spoken languages, namely English, French, Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish. I found that this school system for instance benefits group cohesion and conflict resolution skills, and that it could serve as a model for other multilingual parts of Europe, including the UK. (See Meier 2009, 2010, 2014).
Langscape - A European network of academics interested in plurlilingualism and identity in language education.
BAAL - British Association of Applied Linguistics
UACES - University Association of Contemporary European Studies
EEPN - European Education Policy Network
ALL - Association for Language Learning
- 2012 University of Exeter Foundation
This grant enables setting up a website: Bilingual Immersion Education Network (www.bien.org.uk) that brings together stakeholders who would like to learn more about this type of bilingual education in the UK, and to raise awareness of this potentially effective method of learning additional languages. It complements the project funded by Esm�e Fairbairn.
- 2011 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
This is an evaluation of a bilingual (English-French) two-way immersion project in London. This is the first such model in England. Data collection is based on observations, and research with children, staff and parents. It comprises quantitative and qualitative methods. The project outcomes will be impact-oriented, and will include a workshop and setting up a network for stakeholders in the UK and ultimately in Europe. Thus, I'd be interested to hear about any other two-way bilingual projects in the UK and in Europe.
Publications by category
Publications by year
I'm the module leader for:
EFPM266 Principles of Language Learning
Supervision of postgraduate research
I'm interested in supervising research projects (MEd, EdD, PhD) in the following areas:
- bilingual education (two-way immersion, CLIL, one-way immersion education etc.)
- multilingual teaching and learning
- plurilingualism and education
- language education and society (especially social cohesion or social capital)
- EFPM266 - Principles of Language Learning for TESOL
- EFPM292 - Bilingual and Multilingual Perspectives on Language Learning and Teaching