Language Contact Phenomena

Perspectives on multilingual foreign language acquisition

The Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) "Language Contact Phenomena" was designed by lecturers from the following institutions:

  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway (UiT, sending institution)
  • Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, (UAM, sending institution)
  • University of Iceland, Iceland (HÍ, sending institution)
  • University of Konstanz, Germany (UKN, coordinating institution, host institution of the on-site teaching and learning phase)

and the group of students and lecturers of these institutions will meet in Konstanz, Germany, from 3rd – 9th April 2024.

(arrival in Konstanz 2nd, departure 10th April 2024)

BIPs are a funding line of the Erasmus+ programme:
They are jointly organised and taught courses by a consortium of at least three universities. Courses consist of both, virtual learning elements as well as a short study mobility phase during which all participants meet physically.



The seminar will provide an introduction to theories and models of L1, L2 and L3 acquisition. Furthermore, we will discuss language contact related topics such as reverse cross-linguistic influence, i.e., influence directed from the foreign language into the L1. For example, we will ask the question if the globally dominant L2 English can affect both the vocabulary and grammar of domestically dominant but globally small L1s. We will cover different speaker groups (foreign language learners with a single L1, but also bilingual populations) and language combinations including English, Icelandic, Norwegian, and German.

Learning objectives

The students will be familiarized with different theoretical approaches to first and multilingual language acquisition and the respective terminology. They will discuss and present current research topics in L2/L3 language acquisition and studies on language contact and get insights in state-of-the-art research methods. Further, they will be acquainted with a range of factors that influence the acquisition and the development of first and foreign languages.

Academic information / ECTS and recognition

Target group: advanced B.A. students, M.A. and PhD students

Language of instruction: English

Course credits: Participants will receive between 9 and 10 ECTS points for their active participation, depending on the credit requirements of their degree programmes at their home institution. Awarded credit amounts will be based on the type (and volume) of assessment completed.

Prsentation 8.12.2023 (organisational meeting)

Tentative programme for the on-site learning phase in April 2024

The programme is tentative and will be updated continuously. Latest update 7th December 2024.

We created a roadmap or timeline of the events taking place within this seminar, including the online elements.

Travelling to Konstanz

Konstanz is easily reached by train. The main station is called "Konstanz Hauptbahnhof", where the majority of public transport busses stop.

If you travel by plane, the closest airport to Konstanz is Zurich Airport (ZRH, Switzerland), where you may take a train to Konstanz Hauptbahnhof. Trains leave every half hour and take between 1:06 (direct trains) and 1:15 (1 change) hours to Konstanz. Train timetables may be found on the website of the Schweizer Bundesbahnen (Swiss national train service) .
An alternative airport would be Stuttgart Airport. Depending on the connection, it would take between 2 h 42 min and 3 h 43 min to get from Stuttgart  to Konstanz by train.

Alternatively, you could also fly into Frankfurt Airport (FRA) and take a train to Konstanz. Depending on the type of connection, the trip would take between 4 and 6 hours. Train timetables may be looked up and tickets booked through the website of the Deutsche Bahn (German railway).

Finding affordable accommodation

Konstanz is a holiday destination and accommodation quite expensive. This is why rooms (dorms, single rooms with shared bathroom facilities as well as a few single rooms with ensuite bathrooms) have been reserved for the mobile participants from Iceland, Norway and Poland. Reservations were made in:

  • the Youth Hostel Konstanz 
    (the rates for 2024 are not released yet, we expect around € 49,80 per night per person, + tourist tax of € 2,50 per day per person)

Insurance (health, accident and liability)

It is each participant’s personal responsibility to make sure they are well and fully covered with health, accident and liability insurance during their stay.

Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that you get in touch with your insurance company to check whether or not you would have to add anything to your police in order to be well-covered during your stay with us. When doing so, please also enquire whether or not your insurance policy would cover a transport home during a pandemic. In the past two years we had to learn (with our own outgoing students) that a lot of policies actually rule out this scenario.

We need to emphasise that participants will not be insured through the University of Konstanz for the duration of their stay with us in April. As our short-term visitors will not be enrolled as students, the university will not cover any insurance aspects for our participants.

Erasmus+ funding and formalities (project 2021)

BIPs follow the general Erasmus+ logic when it comes to funding their participants,  i.e. it is the sending institution of a mobile participant or lecturer that will provide a mobility grant/lump sum for travel. According to the Erasmus+ programme guide for 2021, mobile participants (students) of a BIP will receive € 70 per day (mobility phase up to 14 days). This lump sum may be combined with a so-called top-up for participants with "fewer opportunities" (€ 100, definition of "fewer opportunities is country-specific) and/or a top-up for "green travel" (environmentally friendly travel, € 50, plus up to 4 extra days of funding à € 70).

Mobile participants will receive their Erasmus+ grant from their home institution and will have to hand in the following documents to report on their mobility phase:

letter of admission (proving they were accepted by the host institution to the programme),
learning agreement (documenting the academic nature and study-relevance),
confirmation of stay (confirming the dates of the mobility phase),
confirmation of participation (equivalent to a transcript of records for their academic achievement, basis for credit transfer).

Learning Agreements

As documentation of the mobility and its learning outcomes, for every mobile student sending and receiving institution as well as the student themselves need to sign a learning agreement. Students have to add information on their host institution and the contact / responsible person with respect to their academic programme followed abroad. Please include 

Anja Christ / Melanie Hochstätter,
Universität Konstanz
Universitätsstraße 10
Postfach 185
78464 Konstanz, Germany

in both instances.

Contact details of responsible persons at the sending institutions (a mobile students home institution) will be communicated to the participants.