New website for Tübingen’s ICALL research group

The ICALL Research Group at the University of Tübingen has just launched their new website:

The ICALL Research Group is lead by our colleague Detmar Meurers, member of the Consortium’s Steering Committee. Detmar started the ICALL research group when he was a faculty member at the Ohio State University (2000 to 2008), before moving to the University of Tübingen.

Please visit the new site to find out more about the cutting-edge research done at the intersection of linguistics, natural language processing and second language research. For more information, please email Detmar Meurers (


Press release on Lancaster University website

A press release announcing the creation of the new Heritage Language Consortium just went online. Many thanks for Anne Rothwell at Lancaster’s Press Office for putting this together.

Caption: A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at a ceremony in Lisbon to officially launch the Consortium. From left to right: Ambassador Luís Faro Ramos, President of the Camões Institute; Dr José Luís Carneiro, Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities; Professor João Costa, Portuguese Secretary of State for Education; Professor Susana Trovão, NOVA University Lisbon; Dr Patrick Rebuschat, Lancaster University; Professor Maria de Fátima Marinho, University of Porto; Professor Detmar Meurers, Tübingen University; Professor Paulo Farmhouse Alberto, University of Lisbon; Professor Cristina Flores, University of Minho.

Lancaster University at the heart of major European heritage language project

30 January 2018 14:14

The study of heritage languages – the languages spoken by immigrant families at home – will come under the microscope with the advent of a new organisation.

The Heritage Language Consortium, a strategic partnership for the study of heritage languages in Europe, involves six leading universities in the UK, Germany and Portugal, as well as the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at a ceremony in Lisbon to officially launch the Consortium. The launch event featured statements by the Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities, Dr José Luís Carneiro, by the Secretary of State for Education, Professor João Costa, by the President of the Camões Institute, Ambassador Luís Faro Ramos, and by the Consortium’s Director, Dr Patrick Rebuschat, from Lancaster University’s Department of Linguistics and English Language.

Portugal maintains a heritage language network across 85 countries for the families of Portuguese citizens, the world over. This enables children to improve their heritage language with qualified teachers who go into schools to run approved language programmes funded by the Portuguese government.

The new Heritage Language Consortium gives researchers from many disciplines – linguistics, education, psychology, and computer science – access to more than  130,000 learners worldwide to investigate language development from many different aspects. At Lancaster, the Department of Linguistics and English Language and the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) will play a central role.

The Consortium Director, Dr Patrick Rebuschat, said: “This strategic partnership provides us with a unique opportunity – no other country maintains such a significant heritage language network overseas, and we will have privileged access to substantial, yet completely unexplored data.

“The Consortium is a major international initiative which uses Portuguese as a ‘test case’. The insights gained from this project will be applicable to other languages, of course. Our research will help us understand how children and adults learn new languages and identify those factors that make some of us particularly good language learners. We can then use these insights to improve language teaching.

“The Consortium will also organize impact and outreach initiatives to engage with parents, teachers, and policy makers across Europe.”

Professor Steve Bradley, Lancaster University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), said: “This important initiative demonstrates again Lancaster’s strong international outlook and our commitment to playing a leading role in research that impacts lives, communities, and educational practices across the globe. The Consortium will provide unique opportunities for Lancaster’s staff and students to be involved in a research area that is of particular significance to Europe today.”

The idea for the consortium was born earlier this year when the Portuguese Secretary of State for Education, Professor João Costa, visited Lancaster University to deliver a keynote at a conference organized by Dr Rebuschat.

The event focused on bilingualism and heritage language education across Europe.

It brought together policy makers from the Portuguese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, leading academics, journalists, school teachers and parents to discuss current trends and challenges in heritage language research and education.

Lancaster University is renowned for its research in the language sciences and is currently ranked 19th in the world for linguistics according to the 2017 QS Rankings.

For more information, please visit or email Dr Patrick Rebuschat:

Summer School in Corpus Linguistics

The ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) – one of the constituent departments of the Heritage Language Consortium – will offer a Summer School in Corpus Linguistics in the summer of 2018. The Summer School is free of charge and covers the techniques of corpus linguistics and their application in three different areas.

The event includes both lectures and practical sessions that introduce the latest developments in the field and practical applications of cutting-edge analytical techniques. Sessions are taught by leading experts in the field from Lancaster University.

The event is intended primarily for postgraduate research students but applications from Masters-level students, postdoctoral researchers, senior researchers, and others will also be considered.

Dates: 25 – 28 June 2018 (four days)

Venue: Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK


Application: To apply for a place in one of the Lancaster summer schools in corpus linguistics, please fill in the registration form. Since the places in the summer schools are limited, we recommend applying early. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

The summer schools are free to attend; the participants will need to arrange their own travel and accommodation. During all four days, we will offer free refreshments during the tea & coffee breaks and participants will have time during the lunch break to buy their lunch on campus.

Organising committee: Dr. Dana Gablasova (Chair), Rachael McCarthy

For further details, click through to each Summer School’s full description. Queries about the summer schools can be directed to the Summer School administrator, Rachael McCarthy (

To tweet about the event, please use: #LancsSS18

Conference on Portuguese as a Foreign Language at the University of Minho

V Jornadas de PLE Didática e Aquisição

Instituto de Letras e Ciências Humanas, University of Minho, January 19-20, 2018

The Centro de Estudos Humanísticos at the University of Minho (CEHUM) recently hosted the fifth edition of the Jornadas de PLE Didática e Aquisição, an annual conference dedicated to the acquisition and teaching of Portuguese as a Foreign Language. This interdisciplinary event took place on January 19-20 and was organized by Cristina Flores and Micaela Ramon.

The objective of this important conference series is to promote research on Portuguese as Foreign Language by bringing together researchers working on second language acquisition and researchers working on language teaching. Several Consortium members attended the event to present their work.

You can download the program by clicking on this link. For more information, please email the organizers, Cristina Flores ( and Micaela Ramon (

Summer School in Second Language Acquisition

We are pleased to announce that the website of our Summer School in Second Language Acquisition is now online. The Summer School takes place at the University of Tübingen in July 2018 and brings together leading researchers and students from a variety of disciplines (theoretical and applied linguistics, psychology, education, language testing) in order to discuss current trends and future directions in second language research.

The event free is offered free of charge but prior registration is required. To facilitate discussion, space at the summer school is limited to 40 registered participants. Registration includes coffee breaks, a welcome reception (Monday), light lunch during Wednesday’s poster session, and a Stocherkahn trip up the Neckar river. However, delegates have to pay for travel/accommodation expenses and make their own arrangements for lunch (except Wednesday).

Registration will open on February 1, 2018, and close by April 30, 2018 (or as soon as all places have been allocated).

For more information on the Summer School, please consult the Summer School website or email the organizers, Patrick Rebuschat, Detmar Meurers, Simon Ruiz, and Katharina Wendebourg.

Official launch of the Heritage Language Consortium

The Heritage Language Consortium was officially launched on December 19 at a special ceremony, held at the Camões Institute in Lisbon. The event featured statements by the Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities, Dr José Luís Carneiro, by the Secretary of State for Education, Professor João Costa, by the President of the Camões Institute, Ambassador Luís Faro Ramos, and by the Consortium’s Director, Dr Patrick Pereira Rebuschat.

We are very grateful to the Camões Institute for organizing the event, to the Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities and to the Secretary of State for Education for participating, and to the representatives of the partner institutions who joined us on the day to sign the Memorandum of Understanding that officially established our Consortium.

We look forward to begin working on this exciting and important initiative.

Lisbon symposium

Heritage language learning and education: Cross-disciplinary perspectives

Faculdade de Letras, University of Lisbon, December 18, 2017

The Consortium held its inaugural event on Monday, December 18, at the Faculdade de Letras, University of Lisbon. The symposium provided a snapshot of the exciting work conducted by some of our members in the domain of heritage and second language learning. Studies covered a range of approaches (experimental, computational, and corpus-based), all of which are essential to move forward our understanding of heritage language learning. Thanks again to Ana Lúcia Santos for organizing the event and to CLUL for hosting us.

You can download the program, including abstracts, by clicking on this link.


Welcome to our website!

The website of our Heritage Language Consortium is now online! On this site, you will find information on our partners, research projects and events. Some of the sections are still under construction but we aim to have the most important information online in the coming weeks. Most of the pages are available in both Portuguese and English.