Third Language Learning TAndem-SKype

Project Details

Financing body

EU Lifelong Learning Programme


Effective communication is a key factor for the economic success of (international) businesses, and as such it involves building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders in addition to the basic function of information exchange. Thus, companies strive for a competitive workforce in terms of professional linguistic skills,and (future) members of staff are interested in developing their linguistic key competences in order to enhance their employability. Following the EU multilingualism policy,which states that learning one lingua franca is not enough to meet the demands of the labour and sales markets in Europe, businesses on the one hand seek to manage the linguistic demands needed for their day-to-day business and,on the other hand, to gain competitive advantages by using and strategically developing the linguistic competences of their employees.
Hence, the underlying assumption in this research is that in many professional contexts, third language skills are crucial for greater employability and worker mobility within the EU. We define third languages(L3) as all languages that are learned subsequently to the initial foreign language, which is usually English. As this study focuses on optimising linguistic employability skills, we undertake a robust analysis of language needs as a first step in a systematic approach to organisational language management. Having identified critical language needs in European companies, we provide a sound basis for the evaluation and improvement of the pedagogical concept investigated in the overall project, i.e. online tandem language learning. Online tandems represent a method of computer assisted learning, training in particular linguistic skills needed on the labour market. Accordingly,the present study on language needs is embedded in a larger project on language learning and teaching of L3.The entire project focuses on three widely spread languages that are typically learned as L3 in Europe (German, Spanish and Chinese).
Effective start/end date1/12/1331/05/15

Collaborative partners

  • Vienna University of Economics and Business (lead)
  • Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena (Project partner)
  • University of Alicante (Project partner)
  • Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Project partner)
  • Universität Barcelona (Project partner)
  • University of Vienna (Project partner)

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (OEFOS)

  • 602004 General linguistics