Postdoctoral Researcher

Ada Bier

Oraingo lanpostua / Puesto actual

As from November 1st 2021, I will be affiliated at the Facultad de Letras (Centros de Araba, Departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana) as a Marie-Skłodowska Curie Research Fellow.

Nire Europako proiektua / Mi proyecto europeo

The project’s acronym is FURLEUS (FURLan + EUSkara) and its full title is “Promoting Friulian within Multilingual Education: A cross-country, cross-stage, cross-level comparison of Friulian and Basque teachers’ language attitudes and motivation in search of best practices”.  It is funded under the H2020—Marie-Skłodowska Curie Actions—European Individual Fellowship Scheme. This project will allow a cross-country (Basque Autonomous Community BAC in Spain vs. Friuli-Venezia Giulia FVG in Italy), cross-stage (pre-service vs. in-service), cross-level (primary vs. secondary school) comparison of teachers’ attitudes with respect to the languages they are in contact with. Moreover, it aims at identifying examples of best practices of multilingual education, wherein the minority language is used and promoted together with other languages (e.g., the national language, Spanish and Italian respectively, English as an international language, and any other languages), so that such successful practices can be disseminated and made known.

Formakuntza eta ikerketa-ibilbidea/Formación académica y trayectoria investigadora

I am a Subject expert (“Cultrice della materia”) in Educational Linguistics both at the Dept. of Languages and Literatures, Communication, Education and Society at the University of Udine/Universitât dal Friûl (Italy), and at the Dept. of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy). In both Universities, I have recently worked as a Post-Doc Research Fellow and completed three research projects so far. The first project (Ca’ Foscari, 2017/18) aimed at exploring the language-teaching methodology interface in lecturing through English in academic settings. The second one (Ca’ Foscari, 2018/19) was within the European Interreg Italy-Slovenia Project Eduka2 For a cross-border governance of education, aimed at promoting the Friulian minority language in education by means of production of teaching materials and creation, delivery and monitoring of a teacher training MOOC; for this project, a close collaboration with the Friulian Philological Society of Udine was set up. The third project (University of Udine/Universitât dal Friûl, 2020) was aimed at inquiring into perceptions on languages (i.e. Italian, Friulian, English) and interactions between language selves in plurilingual elders and young adults living in the Friulian-speaking area in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, with a view to drawing useful implications for language teaching within an intergenerational perspective.

In addition to the above mentioned three projects, while working in Venice I also took part in the project Transition from Secondary CLIL to Tertiary EMI with the British Council and the University of Oxford. Such project was aimed at inquiring into the transition phase between higher secondary school CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and English Medium Instruction (EMI) at BA level, in Italy.

I carried out my academic studies at IULM University of Milan (BA in 2008) and at Ca’ Foscari Venice (MA in 2013, PhD in 2017). My main research interests include psychological aspects related to teaching and learning through foreign/second/minority languages in multilingual environments, plurilingualism and multilingual education, pragmatic competence and language awareness in academic teaching in EMI settings. I am also deeply interested in innovative research methods in Applied Linguistics.

Ikerketan aritzeko motibazioa/Mi motivación para dedicarme a la investigación

I’m a very curious person and a passionate learner: exploring and ‘dissecting’ things, digging deeper into causes, trying to find (provisional) keys to navigate complexity and, thanks to those, expanding my knowledge gives me a deep sense of satisfaction. I find learning replenishing; it makes me feel more alive.

My strongest drive towards research is my wish to contribute to the improvement of language education but also education in general, since language is a powerful tool for forging one’s identity and for relating with the world (i.e., learning).

Aritzen naizen taldea eta ikerketa-lerroak/Grupo y líneas de investigación que desarrollo

As from November 1st 2021, I will be part of the group of post-doc researchers at the Language and Speech Laboratory LASLAB, under the supervision of Prof. David Lasagabaster. The specific area in which I will conduct research is that of language attitudes and motivation in multilingual contexts (more on this here below).

Nire ikerketa-ibilbidean aipatzen dut…/En mi trayectoria investigadora destaco…

As for the two contexts under investigation in the FURLEUS project (i.e., BAC and FVG), there is a remarkable difference in terms of available research specifically aimed at exploring minority language-related issues in education. Research in the BAC is rich and several lines of inquiry have been pursued; the situation appears to be quite different in FVG. In particular, no empirical research so far has focussed on FVG teachers’ language attitudes and how these relate to their teaching practices. FURLEUS wishes to fill such gap and break some ground in this direction, adopting a mixed methodology and using an innovative approach to data analysis.

Etorkizunari begira/Mirando al futuro

My first and most immediate professional hope is to be able to establish a ‘bridge’ between the European contexts where I’ll be working, which share the same great opportunity of being truly multilingual. Such bridge will allow a better circulation of professional capital and of best practices, both for research and for teaching.

My personal wish for the future is to play an active part in a lively international, multilingual and multicultural community of researchers, involved in exciting, top-quality research. My most cherished ambition is to obtain a full academic position at an excellent University in Europe within an international research team.