Prof. Dr. Sabine Ehrhart

Sabine Ehrhart

Associate professor

Sujets de recherche Study of languages in contact, especially in Luxembourg, Plurilingual competences in educational settings, Ethnolinguistics, Language ecology of the classroom, Migrational sociolinguistics
Faculté ou Centre Faculté des Sciences Humaines, des Sciences de l'Éducation et des Sciences Sociales​
Department Département Sciences humaines
Adresse postale Université du Luxembourg
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette
Bureau sur le campus MSH, E03 15-030
Téléphone (+352) 46 66 44 9273

Research topics: Linguistic ethnography, especially of regions with a strong tradition in oral transmission (South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Latin America, Cape Verde), language ecology in formal and non-formal educational settings (family language policies, language teaching awareness in the linguistically and culturally diverse classroom), contact languages, language acquisition and learning in plurilingual environments, meso- and micro-scale sociolinguistics with a qualitative approach, innovative communication strategies for the multilingual workplace.

Sabine Ehrhart is Associate Professor for ethnolinguistics at the University of Luxembourg and is teaching in the teacher education programmes of the University of Luxembourg. Her main research interests are: migrational linguistics and social implications of educational policies and her research approach is focused on an ecological approach to plurilingualism.
She is an expert in language contact and educational policy in plurilingual settings. She received her PhD for her thesis on Creole Languages in New Caledonia from Augsburg University. In 2006 she gained her Habilitation on Language Contact in Natural and Institutional Settings with Sorbonne University, Paris. In 2006 she created the LACETS group with the objective of creating a link between theory, research and school practices in the multicultural environment of Luxembourg and she continues to work on this research focus through other national and international projects, in Europe, Africa and Oceania.

She is also editor-in-chief in linguistics for the digital journal De Gruyter Open Linguistics and scientific advisor to different governments, European Institutions and international research institutes.

In 2017, she was selected as a Scientific Partner for Humanities in the MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme “Science meets Parliament” launched by the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel.

During her 2018 research sabbatical she is preparing a research proposal on emergent languages in highly mobile settings with a special focus on language appropriation in non-institutional settings.

Last updated on: jeudi 08 mars 2018

Download Sabine Ehrhart's full CV

Academic Qualifications

  • 2006 Habilitation “For a Dynamic Vision of Contact Phenomena in Language” (Paris-Sorbonne/France)
  • 1991 Doctoral thesis in Applied Linguistics (Augsburg & Bamberg/Germany & Auckland/New Zealand)
  • 1987 Postgraduate studies in Comparative Literature (Orléans/France)
  • 1985 Master of Arts in Romance Linguistics (Augsburg/Germany)

Professional Experience

  • 2006: Nomination as an Associate professor in ethnolinguistics at the University of Luxembourg for the study programmes BScE (Bachelor Professionnel en Sciences de l’Éducation) and from 2008 also for FOPED (Pedagogical Formation for Secondary School Teachers)
  • 2004-2006: Habilitation in linguistics: “For a Dynamic Vision of Contact Phenomena in Language” on the example of New Caledonia (disputation 6th of June 2006 at Paris 3 - Sorbonne)
  • 2001-2004: Coordinator of the federal project: “The introduction of early language acquisition in French in elementary school in the Saarland region. Collaboration between the Ministry and the University/Germany
  • 1995-1999 Linguistic Advisor to the Northern Province Government, New Caledonia
  • 1994-1995 Expert for Plurilingualism and Education, Ministry of Education, Vanuatu
  • 1993-1994 Lecturer for Intercultural Communication, Nouméa University
  • 1992-1993 Professor for French as a Second Language, Teachers College, Nouméa
  • 1990-1992 Lecturer for Linguistics and French, University of the South Pacific, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
  • 1989-1990 Translator for the Pacific Council of Churches, Fiji

Activities and Membership

  • Member of the board of directors of Langscape (Networking the European Research Community on Language Acquisition and Language Learning)
  • Member of EOP (European Observatory for Plurilingualism)
  • July 2010: grant from AUF (Agence Universitaire pour la Francophonie) to teach language ecology to future secondary school teachers in Antanarivo, Madagascar

Conference Organisation (main organiser)

  • International conference: "La Formation des Enseignants en Contexte Plurilingue - Identité, Hybridité, Mobilité"
    12-13 March 2008, Luxembourg

Last updated on: 28 mai 2021



Multilingual Exploration of Languages in Europe (MElang-E)
Funding: European Commission, Erasmus +
Project role: project manager and coordinator for Luxembourg
PI: Prof. Dr. Daniela Elsner
Institutions: Goethe University Frankfurt, Université du Luxembourg, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Tallinna Ülikool, Universitat Ramon Llull
Duration: 12/2014 – 02/2017
Amount (for Luxembourg): € 48.000

(Grande Région)

INTERREG project “European Center for Competence and Resources in Border Studies”
Funding: ERDF & University of Luxembourg
Project role: advisor for linguistics and intercultural communication
PI: Christian Wille
Institutions: University of Lorraine, University of Luxembourg, University of Liège, Saarland University, University of Kaiserslautern, University of Trier and University of the Greater Region
Duration: 01/2018 – 12/2020
Amount (total): € 3.600.000, –
Amount (for Luxembourg): € 600.000, –


Tempus Programme No. 159328-FR-SMHES  & Prolongation
Intercultural communication in medical settings
Funding: European Commission, EACEA
Project role: director of the linguistic program for 20 member Universities between Strasbourg and Vladivostok (Bochum, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk)
Duration: 2005–2012, prolongation as an bilateral convention between Luxembourg and Omsk Medical University: 2013–present


Projet AUF Cultures familiales et scolaires: regards croisés d’enfants et d’adolescents du sud-ouest de l’Océan Indien
Funding: Agence universitaire de la Francophonie
Project role: accompanying scientific expert
Institutions: Université de la Réunion, Université d’Antananarivo/Madagascar, University of Seychelles, University of Mauritius, University of Luxembourg
Duration: 2015–2018


Projet AUF Tandem, bilinguisme et construction de savoirs disciplinaires: une approche du FLE/FOS en contact avec les langues de l'ECO
Funding: Agence universitaire de la Francophonie
Project role: accompanying scientific expert
Institutions: Université de médecine et pharmacie Iuliu Hațieganu (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Université Babeș-Bolyai (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Univerzita Mateja Bela v Banskej Bystrici (Slovakia), Université de Genève, Université du Luxembourg
Duration: 2012–2014


Ecology of Language Contact in Natural Settings for Children and Young Adults (NATURALINK)
Funding: University of Luxembourg
PI: Sabine Ehrhart
Duration: 2011–2014
Amount: € 350.000, –


Langues en Contact dans l’Espace et dans le Temps et leur impact sur le milieu Scolaire au Luxembourg (LACETS)
Funding: University of Luxembourg
PI: Sabine Ehrhart
Duration: 2006–2011
Amount: €75.000, –


Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures (APiCS)
Funding: Max Planck Institute
Project role: collaborator and regional expert for the South Pacific
Duration: 01/2007 – 12/2011


Presentation of research findings (recent)

  • Ehrhart, S. (2017) “La frontière, un défi pour l'enseignement des cours de langues (étrangères)?”, keynote speech at the conference Support Multilingualism in the Euroregio, Maastricht, November 23 2017.
  • Ehrhart, S. (2017) “Teaching languages in contact: the case of Luxembourg and Catalonia”, presented at the high-level conference The Current Challenges for Minority Languages in today’s complex societies, Brussels, November 9 2017.
  • Ehrhart, S. and Bes, A. (2017) “Luxembourg: A multiplurilingual space for language education. How can teacher education respond to the linguistic and cultural diversity of a given place?” presented at the international colloquium Intercultural educational proposals promoting bilingual and multilingual teaching trajectories. Co-constructing teacher development in the 21st century, Bogotá, November 3–4 2017.
  • Ehrhart, S. (2017) “La famille, lieu d'apprentissage de la diversité et de la mobilité”, presented at the international colloquium Paroles d’enfants, d’adolescents et d’adultes sur l’espace familial et scolaire dans l’océan Indien: vers une démarche intégrative des différents points de vue exprimés ?, Université de La Réunion, October 10–11 2017.
  • Ehrhart, S. and Randriamarotsimba, V. (2017) “Dialogue Nord-Sud, plurilinguisme et perspective écologique : pour le développement de la recherche et de la formation d'enseignants en sciences humaines”, presented at the conference The Ends of the Humanities, University of Luxembourg, September 12 2017.
  • Ehrhart, S. (2017) “Wéi funktionéiert Méisproochegkeet?”, talk at the conference Ausgrenzung duerch Sprooch (general public), Esch-sur-Alzette, February 8 2017.


Last updated on: 08 mars 2018

Master in Border Studies:    

  • Introduction into Research on Language Contact
  • Umgang mit Wissen in mehrsprachigen Kontexten

Master in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts:

  • Language Ecology of Educational Settings

Bachelor en Sciences de l'Éducation:

  • Mehrsprachigkeit/Kinder- und Jugendliteratur in mehreren Sprachen
  • Projet Lehr-Lernwerkstatt Language education

Supervised theses, total for all MA and Bachelor programs per year: 10

DSHSS (Doctoral School):    

  • Languages in Contact
  • Introduction to ethnographical field research

Other seminars and lectures:    

  • Erasmus Plus: Seminars and research meetings on sociolinguistics, oral traditions and ethics of field research at Université de Nouvelle-Calédonie, Nouméa (March 8-24, 2018)
  • Erasmus Plus EU-DO-IT Workshop on the availability of linguistic resources in communicational exchanges between administrative staff and forced migrants (with Viviane Lohe, University of Frankfurt, March 1 2018)
  • Seminar on field research methodology and the development of research projects with the research team in sociological sciences at Universidade de Cabo Verde (January 2018)

Last updated on: 08 mars 2018

Main supervision PhD theses:

Lovrits, Veronika. (forthcoming). Innovative Approaches in the Multilingual Workplace: Employing Metapragmatic Talk on Languages at Work. (started 03/2020)

Barth, I. (forthcoming). Le plurilinguisme chez les enfants en expatriation (external, started: 09/2013).

Kalocsányiová, E. (2019). Managing multilingualism in refugee contexts. Luxembourg: University of Luxembourg

Shatnawi, M. (2017). Transnational Families and their Children's Experiences of Education: Investigating Issues of Language, Identity and Schooling in Northern Ireland (external).

Schröder, N. (2017). Projektorientiertes und handlungsbezogenes Lernen in heterogenen Gruppen am Beispiel der Freien Schule Glonntal (external).

Stoike, R. (2015). Die Herausforderung der dritten Sprache – eine Grounded-Theory-Studie zu sprachlichen Praktiken und Repräsentationen von Mehrsprachigkeit bei Studierenden der dreisprachigen Master an der Universität Luxemburg.

Niesen, H. (2014). The impact of socio-cultural learning tasks on intermediate EFL students’ grammatical language awareness development.


Co-supervision for doctoral studies and habilitations (recent)

Flavia R. Bley (forthcoming). Brazilian newcomer children becoming multilingual in Luxembourg– three case-studies that investigate how the Luxembourgish public schools, their families, and their participation in Maison Relais contribute to their language learning.

Ismail Bourezgui (2017). Administration de « l’implication » dans le discours publicitaire différé écrit (cas des énoncés de publicité écrits en français en Tunisie. (University of Luxembourg), présidente du jury.

Caterina Sugranyes Ernest (2017). A Plurilingual Approach to Language Teaching and Learning in Catalonia: Using Heritage Languages in the Additional Language Classroom. (Blanquerna - Universitat Ramon Llull), rapporteur.

Vololona Randriamarotsimba (02/2017). Pluralité linguistique en contexte francophone. Perspective écologique. L’exemple de Madagascar. (Université d’Antananarivo), rapporteur, habilitation.


Last updated on: 20 jan 2022