As mentioned in our previous post, the Native Explorers initiative developed by Lancaster University and Native Scientist is an initiative of the Heritage Language Consortium. The Consortium is a strategic partnership involving Tübingen University, Lancaster University, the University of Lisbon, the University of Minho, NOVA University Lisbon, the University of Porto, and the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The objective of the Consortium is to promote research on language learning in a variety of settings (from naturalistic development to classroom-based instruction) and across different age groups (children, adolescents and adults). 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 education at various levels, from the classroom to curriculum design, materials development and educational policy.
The Consortium also has an important outreach and community engagement component, and partnering with Native Scientist is a clear reflection of this. The Native Scientist project has been inspiring children and adolescents across Europe to pursue STEM subjects and to further develop their skills in the heritage language, thus becoming fully bilingual, and the Consortium is proud to support their important mission.